Woman turns $5 ‘reverse offering’ from church into incredible gift for paper man

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OAKLEY, Ohio — A church in Ohio gave each of its parishioners $5 in a “reverse offering,” and told them to bless someone else with the money. Well Alysun Ogilby took that instruction to heart and blessed a local paper man with an amazing gift.

The paper man is named Willie, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. An animated man, he sings and dances in all sorts of weather to encourage the purchase of his newspapers.

“He gives it his all every Sunday. And I thought there is no boss to see him work so hard. No way to tell him what a good job he is doing,” Ogilby told the Enquirer. “Who’s paying attention to him? Who inspires him?”

So using the $5 as a launching point, the Cincinnati mother set up a crowdfunding website with $500 as her goal. She hoped to use the money to provide Willie with a new cart or a gift card for groceries.

After posting about the “Bless the Paper Man” campaign on social media, however, money pouring in from across the country. Over $4,500 has been raised, and the campaign ends Saturday.

Ogilby told the Enquirer she will present Willie with the gift Sunday.

“I want to make it clear to him that this isn’t a charity, but a blessing,” she said. “Willie is very loved. He teaches us that even when we are tired, we can smile.”