Pay It Forward: 100-year-old still volunteering at local thrift store

ST. LOUIS - Age is only a number for a south St. Louis County woman who just turned 100. Mary Halliburton doesn't slow down when it comes to volunteering at a thrift store that benefits a food pantry. This week, she will mark 30 years of volunteering at the Feed My People Thrift Store.

The staff at the store threw her a birthday party on Friday to celebrate her turning 100. But there was more than one reason to celebrate. The store manager surprised her with our Pay It Forward award, a $500.00 gift card from First Bank.

"On behalf of FOX 2 and First Bank, I want to give you $500 to Pay It Forward. I want you to use all of the ideas and wherewithal that you've given to us here at Feed My People and use that $500 to pay it forward in our community. And we want to thank you for all the hard work and the dedication that you've given to feed my people," said store manager Roy Wunsch.

A surprised Mary said, "I don't think they should have done that. I didn't come here to get paid."

Mary says her parents taught her to put others before herself.

Wunsch nominated Mary for the award. He said, “Mary is the type of volunteer you wish all of your volunteers could aspire to be. ​Mary’s heart and her mind and her wherewithal to make sure that clients and the customers and the donors all feel welcome here. And that's really what the heart of Feed My People is all about."

Mary has been volunteering at least twice a week with Feed My People, which operates a thrift store in south St. Louis County and two food pantries, one in South County and one in High Ridge.

Pay It Forward is brought to you by First Bank. If you would like to nominate a deserving person for the award, click here.