PAY IT FORWARD

Man's selfless attitude rewarded by Phoenix co-workers

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Co-worker Angie Kramer, right, surprises Mike Cisneros by paying it forward with $500 to recognize his efforts to help others. (Source: CBS 5 News) Co-worker Angie Kramer, right, surprises Mike Cisneros by paying it forward with $500 to recognize his efforts to help others. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Cisneros said he got the initiative to help others while on a California beach two years ago. (Source: Cisneros family photo) Cisneros said he got the initiative to help others while on a California beach two years ago. (Source: Cisneros family photo)
His activism started simply enough, with a truckload of about $50 worth of clothes and toiletries. He and a friend drove around at Christmas two years ago and handed them out. (Source: Mike Cisneros) His activism started simply enough, with a truckload of about $50 worth of clothes and toiletries. He and a friend drove around at Christmas two years ago and handed them out. (Source: Mike Cisneros)
Through callouts on Craigslist and Facebook, he now has a network of friends and co-workers who have been inspired by his simple message. (Source: Mike Cisneros) Through callouts on Craigslist and Facebook, he now has a network of friends and co-workers who have been inspired by his simple message. (Source: Mike Cisneros)
"We're addicted to that feeling now, and now we want to spread that to everybody else.  If we all just come together, we can make a big impact, together," Cisneros said. (Source: CBS 5 News) "We're addicted to that feeling now, and now we want to spread that to everybody else. If we all just come together, we can make a big impact, together," Cisneros said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Mike Cisneros is not your typical 20-something.

This product of the "Me" generation found himself on vacation in California one summer completely content with his life.

After all, he had three healthy boys, a fiancee, a house and a truck that was paid off.

"I was sitting on the beach, and I was, like, 'Life is perfect. Life is great right now. And when I get back, I'm going to try my best to do something. I don't know what, but I want to do something for my community,'" Cisneros said.

His activism started simply enough, with a truckload of about $50 worth of clothes and toiletries.

He and a friend drove around at Christmas two years ago and handed them out.

Since then, his efforts have grown dramatically.

"It just makes me very, very happy and I can't stop doing this," Cisneros said.

Through callouts on Craigslist and Facebook, he now has a network of friends and co-workers who have been inspired by his simple message.

"We don't want money, necessarily, but if you can donate your time, your resources, you have a bike that you don't use, give it to us and we'll put it to good use. You have clothes that you don't wear anymore, give it to us and well put it to good use," Cisneros said.

Once a month for the past four, his group, "Open Arms Outreach," sets up shop to feed 200 homeless people at a time.

They even offer shaves and haircuts, and try to provide whatever is needed.

"My concept was, if I can get a thousand people to give me a dollar a month - not $20, a dollar a month - that's $1,000 a month we can just give back to buy bikes, buy toys, buy shoes, buy bus passes, pay somebody's electricity bill because it's going to get shut off," Cisneros said.

But his co-worker at Take Charge America, Angie Kramer, wanted Mike's efforts to get a bigger financial boost than just a dollar at a time. So she called CBS 5 to surprise him by paying it forward with $500.

"Oh, my God," Cisneros said when he walked around a corner at his workplace to see Kramer and at least a dozen other co-workers gathered to show their support.

"For all of the good work that we're doing with our group and feeding and taking all of the stuff to the shelters and helping those families, I have $500 for you Mikey," Kramer said.

"Oh, my God," Cisneros said again. "My heart is beating like crazy right now. Thank you."

Cisneros immediately started dreaming of how many people he could help with that money.

He doesn't hesitate to hand it off because he knows he gets back as much as he gives.

"We're addicted to that feeling now, and now we want to spread that to everybody else. If we all just come together, we can make a big impact, together," said Cisneros.

If you would like to help the Open Arms and Cisneros achieve nonprofit status, visit the Open Arms Outreach gofundme page, the Open Arms Outreach page on Facebook or email Openarmsphx@gmail.com.

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