‘Merry & Joy’: Woman’s story is inspiration to pay it forward

While Sharon Eliot is still grieving the loss of her son, she shared her strength, amazing attitude & gratitude. She’s already paying it forward herself

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As we hope to inspire you to pay it forward from watching our Positively JAX series “Merry & Joy,” we found ourselves inspired by a woman who is going through a very tough time.

Thanks to an anonymous donor offering turkeys and homegrown fruits and vegetables, and generous gifts from local law enforcement and firefighters, Mary Baer and Joy Purdy have been making surprise deliveries around town helping to lift spirits and show how any little gesture can go a very long way.

Sharon Eliot is a single mother who adopted six children from family members. Less than two weeks ago, she lost one of her children.

“Last Saturday, my oldest son, my cousin’s son that I raised, committed suicide, and after some issues he was dealing with, so just to bring awareness to suicide — reach out. Reach out. You have enough people around you that love you and can help you through it,” she said.

While Eliot is still grieving, she shared her strength, her amazing attitude and her gratitude for those who have rallied around her.

She’s already paying it forward herself — donating to local charities every payday.

“I just try to always be positive. I try to let good light come from me and come into me. I just try not to let any darkness cloud anything that I do,” Eliot said.

‘MERRY & JOY’: Positively JAX series with firefighters & law enforcement hopes to inspire others | Helping lift spirits of Jacksonville mother of 7 | Gifts delivered to Jacksonville mother who usually delivers gifts | Special gifts arrive in the nick of time for nurse, her family | Mother thankful for help from community, holiday meal & gift from police union

We were honored to deliver her the gifts of turkey and homegrown vegetables and fruit for her Christmas dinner, along with a $400 gift from the Fraternal Order of Police.

“Thank you, thank you so much. I could never thank all of the donors and all of you at Channel 4 for blessing people this way, and I hope it inspires someone else to bless someone else,” Eliot said

“I think so many people who see your story are going to be reaching out with prayers to you as well,” we told her.

“Yes, we need — always need prayers,” she said.

Eliot is about to retire from her civilian job with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s communications division but said she hopes to continue to work with local law enforcement.

About the Authors:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.