SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS 5) - The coronavirus isn't stopping acts of kindness. There's an apartment manager in Scottsdale who takes care of hundreds of tenants every day. It's certainly not an easy job but he's found a way to make them all feel like family.
Edd Gilbert is not the kind of apartment manager that parks himself behind a desk. He likes to be out and about, getting to know his tenants.
"We value everybody that lives here, that means their families, their pets, all of that," said Gilbert. "Even though I work here, I'm still part of the community and I actually care."
It's not a stretch to say Gilbert knows everyone that lives in Scottsdale's Fireside East Apartments by their first name. He also spends much of his free time volunteering in the community, helping folks in need. And if someone doesn't financially qualify for one of his apartments, he goes above and beyond to find them another place to live.
"One of the biggest things that I've experienced is people not having a place to stay. There are answers, people give up, so I like giving hope that you know what? There is another alternative," said Gilbert.
Sheri Johnson is an apartment locator who met Edd last year while trying to find a woman a place to live. She was immediately impressed by Gilbert's compassion and determination to find a home for someone in need.
"Every once in a while, you'll meet someone that stands out and you can't get him out of your head and he's one of those people. Like, everyone needs to know this guy because he's that special," said Johnson.
Johnson wants Gilbert to know what a difference he's making, so she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to Gilbert and give him $500. Our news crew followed along recently for the big surprise.
"I reached out to Channel 5 and their PIF program ... and I wanted you to be honored for the person you are," said Johnson. "You're one of the nicest people I've ever met, so kind and compassionate and just how much you care about people in the community and things you've done. So on behalf of Channel 5 and me and everyone, I want to present you with this $500," said Johnson.
"I feel like everybody that lives here is part of the community, like almost family," said Gilbert.
"He's just one of those special people," said Johnson.