Hometown Heroes inspire community to ‘pay it forward’

The philosophy of this week's Hometown Heroes is to take what you need and give what you can

In Dec. 2016, Joe and Debbie Danyi started a "pay-it-forward" box in Struthers outside of their business, Youngstown Computer.


STRUTHERS, Ohio (WYTV) – In Dec. 2016, Joe and Debbie Danyi started a “pay-it-forward” box in Struthers outside of their business, Youngstown Computer.

They made it a point to involve their son, Ryan, as much as possible to teach him to be kind to others. The couple says the box has really helped them realize the good in people.

“Their pay-it-forward box is such an important contribution to the community. I think it reaches a lot of people in need and also it sends a positive message,” said Sarah Russell, a family friend.

The box — full of food, diapers, toiletries and anything else a family may need — comes with just one condition.

In Dec. 2016, Joe and Debbie Danyi started a "pay-it-forward" box in Struthers outside of their business, Youngstown Computer.

“The theory is, you give what you can and you take what you need. And so the people that are taking from it, I want them to participate in any way they can. It doesn’t have to be giving food or money, but somehow going forward and helping people in the future,” Joe said.

They didn’t come up with the idea on their own though, they got it from a friend who has a “my little pantry” box in their front yard.

“I was telling Joe about it, that I wanted to support her box and keep bringing donations, and he said that’s a fabulous idea. And we were doing that, then we came up with the idea to start our own here in Struthers,” Debbie said.

Ryan has helped play a big role in keeping the box alive and well.

“He has been a really big part of this. He goes shopping with us to help pick out the items for the box. He’ll stuff the box,” Debbie said.

Ryan said he likes helping because “it’s kind for other people and people can get more things.” He likes the idea that every single thing that goes into the box is going to help someone in need.

Russell explained that the idea of the box is to pass on a good deed. By being a role model for others to see, it can in turn inspire more people to pay it forward.

“The people that are coming to this are so positive. It’s reassuring me that there is humanity left out there,” Joe said.

If you want to give or need to take from the pay-it-forward box, you can find it outside of Youngstown Computer at 600 Youngstown-Poland Road.