Giving Tuesday brings back memories of kindness for a man known for helping others

SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. – It is Giving Tuesday and the spirit of giving is in the air.

The legacy of one man’s kindness is living on in the lives of people he touched, including a store owner in Allen County.

Jerry Whitney says a man named Berlin Marsh showed him kindness years ago when he was struggling to afford a Christmas present for his daughters.

Whitney says he came into Marsh’s store, he and his young girls spotted a nice little bike.

“I said, “How much is it?” He’s like, “It’s $35,” [or] somewhere around that. I said, “All right then. I can’t afford it,” and I started to walk off and he said, “Wait a minute. How much do you have? And I reached into my pocket, and I had $12 and some change. And he said, “That’s enough son.” The sign we’ve got here that hung there at his building, I bought it for a reason to hang here. It reminds me every day of the kindness this man showed a young dad that didn’t have two pennies hardly to rub together,” said Whitney.

Now, Whitney focuses much of his time helping people in need out in any way he can, whether helping feed or shelter the homeless, giving to people who need a smile, or volunteering to help feed people on Thanksgiving.

Now, to help others and pay that kindness forward, there is food donation box outside of Whitney’s store where people can take or leave non-perishables items.

Whitney’s daughter, Jennifer Emberton, says her father was helping other people all the time when she was young, even when that meant he had to go without.

“That day Mr. Marsh, he let my dad leave with dignity and that’s something that most people have forgotten about,” said Emberton.

“Everybody that comes in contact with me, whether it’s in here or on the street, I want them to leave our conversation feeling like somebody, like I cared. And that’s the way Berlin made me feel. I walked into that store, and I probably felt like a nobody, you know, not having much money. But when I left that store, he made me feel like a somebody,” said Whitney.

Marsh’s daughter, Berlinda Bazzell, is proud of her father’s legacy, following his sudden death in 1986.

“It’s all about giving and caring and that’s what he did and that’s what I’m continuing to see,” said Bazzell.

Whitney hopes that his story reminds you that every small action can make a massive impact on somebody.