Hometown Hero--Jerry Byers

Jerry Byers
Jerry Byers

You know the saying, idle hands do the devil's work. That may be especially true for children. But one man is doing all he can to protect youngsters in his neighborhood.

In the war on drugs, Jerry Byers could be considered a medic. In his Jesup apartment complex, he's seen plenty of casualties.

"I've seen people kicked out of their apartments over using drugs, I've seen people get hurt in fights cause of using drugs," he said.

So two years ago, he organized an anti-drug march for children in the apartments. This year, he invited churches from as far away as Hinesville to help spread the message.

"He's amazing," said Russ Hutto, youth pastor at Jesup Christian Fellowship. "On Wednesdays, he's rounding up the kids in the complex and bringing them to our church."

Before the march, Jerry gives prize money for the anti-drug poster contest from his own pocket. Besides the march, he teaches children gardening and plans activities to keep them away from drugs.

People call him the most caring maintenance man they've ever seen. "He's a one in a million," said Lilly Clay, the apartment manager. "There is so much good that he does for these children."

Jerry says drugs are as much of a temptation in a small town as they are a big city. If he can save one young life, the walk and everything else is worthwhile.

That's why Jerry Byers is this week's WTOC Hometown Hero.

If you'd like to nominate a Hometown Hero, you can drop us a line at the station: PO Box 8086, Savannah, GA 31412, or email  rwallace@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com