RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Sometimes family ties can test us in ways we never imagine. We're paying it forward to a bachelor who suddenly found himself being a surrogate parent to an active pre-teen, while also caring for his own critically ill mother.
His friend calls him a strong, inspiring role model who deserves an Act of Kindness.
Michael and John treated me to an impromptu performance. Although they sing in different gospel groups, these longtime buddies get right into sync.
"I've known John for almost 15 years."
Michael said his friend is in tune with what's important, like family.
"That year I met him, his mom took a fall and she could no longer live on her own cause she was falling, she moved in with him until she died. Now he's caring for his nephew, 12 years old."
John, a single guy with no kids, has stepped up to the role of surrogate dad to Quinzelle.
"He goes to school meetings, doctor's appointments, everything. He's like the father. He's just a good guy."
Michael said John has been so successful at giving his nephew a stable home life, he wanted to give his friend a show of support.
"A lot of young African American males, they get a bad rap, so the ones that are stepping up to the plate, being role models, mentoring, they need to shine a little, we need to recognize that."
Sabrina - "It makes me very excited—"
Michael - "Great, great!"
Sabrina - "To pass on one hundred—
Michael - "Two hundred"
Sabrina - "You got it down! (laughs)"
Together - "Three hundred."
Michael - "Wonderful, this is wonderful, this gone shock him."
Sabrina - "Oh great, so what does he think you're visiting for today?"
Michael - "Take him to lunch."
Sabrina - "Well, let's go meet Mr. Oliver."
Michael - "Let's do it, thank you."
Michael said John, who works nights in the health industry, would never guess who's coming to his door today.
John - "Oh my god, this is Sabrina from channel 12"
Sabrina - "Hi, how are you?"
John - "Oh my god."
Michael - "Can we come in?"
Sabrina - "Any idea why we're here?"
John - "No."
Sabrina - "You're our Acts of Kindness recipient John. Your friend thinks so highly of you."
We go inside to tell John why he was chosen.
Michael - "You do a lot not only for your family, you do a lot for my family."
John - "Thank you."
Sabrina - "And with the recognition comes a little token of appreciation."
John - "Wow!"
Michael - "So you get $300."
John- "Oh my god."
Michael - "1,2,3."
John: "Oh my god, this is unbelievable. I want this, I watch NBC — I mean channel 12 — all the time when I'm getting ready for work, and I would never have imagined this would happen to me."
Michael - "This is a marvelous thing you've done man."
Sabrina - "You've become a surrogate dad!"
John - "Yes."
John says what was a shock, has been rewarding.
John - "Wonderful experience. I want Quinzelle to be successful."
And well rounded.
John - "School, football, basketball, church."
John plans to use some of the cash to let his nephew hoop it up with his favorite team, the one that came to his school and signed his souvenir ball.
John "And he really loves to watch VCU play, so I'm gone take him to a live game."
John said he wants his nephew to be happy, and have a home where peace and harmony prevail.
If there's an organization or individual you believe deserves an Act of Kindness, e-mail me. Remember, it cannot be a relative.