1. Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County recognized for tithing
During its annual awards recognition ceremony, Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County was awarded the Malachi 3:10 Award from Habitat for Humanity International.
The award is given to local Habitat for Humanity organizations that have tithed a minimum of $500,000 and has been awarded to only 6-percent of Habitat for Humanities.
The name of the award comes from the Malachi 3:10 verse in the Holy Bible, which reads, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that it may be food in my house. Test me in this and see if I do not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
2. Elkhart couple pays it forward in a big way after strangers save their daughter's life
Debbie Micola was driving her 7-year-old daughter to the movie theater one day when a deer jumped in front of her car on C.R. 17, causing her to swerve on the icy roads. Her car flipped over the guard rail and into the river. She thought she was going to die.
"I actually laid back in the car to die but God told me if I did, my daughter would too," Micola said.
Determined, Micola broke the window on the driver's side door while two strangers jumped into the water to help. The strangers pried the car door open and rescued Micola's daughter. When Micola asked how she could repay them, they told her to help someone else when the time comes.
Fast forward years later, Micola remembered that day when she was volunteering at a local pantry and had to turn someone away because they ran out of food.
Debbie and her husband Simon then started Santa's Pantry in 2008 and began working with the national Pay It Forward Foundation in 2010. Santa's Pantry works to help other non-profits and aims to inspire people to "pay it forward" every day.
3. Elkhart's own Christine Medin named Indiana's "Distinguished Young Woman" for 2014
For the second year in a row, Indiana's Distinguished Young Woman hails from Elkhart County.
Elkhart Central senior Christine Medin was named the 2014 Distinguished Young Woman for Indiana during the state finals of the scholarship competition on Saturday, Feb. 15, said Julie Dilorenzo, Medin's director for the competition. Medin will go on to compete in the Distinguished Young Women National Finals in Mobile, Ala., in June.
4. Sometimes helping out in a small way can make a big difference to another person
Terry Warner Willsey Wiley posted this on the Elkhart Pays It Forward Facebook page in January:
"I was at CVS on Jackson yesterday and the lady in front of me did not have enough for her chemo drugs from the pharmacy. They were only $3 so I put a $5 bill on the counter and told Pharmacist Jerry to take the money out of it. He took it and also put the other $2 towards another prescription she did not have enough money for. She was able to get both prescriptions and started crying. I just walked away. $5 is so little to give when I have been blessed so very much."
5. Three Elkhart County residents have won big in Big Bucks Bingo, but there's still time left to play
Three people have already claimed prizes in the Big Bucks Bingo contest sponsored by The Elkhart Truth and Martin's Super Markets.
Sarah Scott of Goshen has already won $300, Mary Lou Sheets of Nappanee won $200 and Steve Minder of Bristol won $100.
The $1,000 grand prize is still up for grabs for the first person who brings a Big Bucks Bingo card completely covered to The Elkhart Truth's office.