December 23 will see a push for giving-back in the community in the form of “paying it forward” at four local restaurants, thanks to the efforts of the McNairy County Economic Development and Chamber of Commerce and Selmer City Mayor John Smith.

For the day, flyers in the doors and windows of Jacks, Burger King, McDonalds and Hardees will encourage residents to pay-it-forward for other diners as a way to show kindness for fellow McNairians and support local restaurants.

“The ‘pay it forward’ thing was an idea that came from Mayor John Smith,” said Director of Chamber and Tourism Jessica Huff, who organized the event. “We thought what better way to support the restaurants here locally in McNairy County than with just an act of kindness?”

“After we discussed it, I kind of just rolled with it,” she said excitedly.

Smith says the idea came to him after someone kindly paid it forward for his meal.

“Last week, I had four different people that were in front of me while I was in line and bought my breakfast,” he said. “And I thought that was super nice. I didn’t even know them! So I thought ‘Well let’s just do this on a big scale, and let everybody have that feeling that I had.’”

The duo chose to host the event on the 23 in hopes of catching people who are out doing their final Christmas shopping, and in hopes of encouraging that extra little bit of Christmas cheer.

“With everything going on in the world, I just tossed this idea to Jessica and I thought, though you may not know the person behind you, we as a community have always…when we need somebody, you can call somebody,” Smith said.

“We’ll come together and get it done,” he added. “It’s that time of year—it’s been a difficult year—so why not finish it up nicely by simply paying for the person behind you?”

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