Advertise with us!

WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Pay it Forward - The Viars Family - Journey of Hope

The Viars Family - Journey of Hope

This week’s ‘Pay it Forward’ centers around a north Georgia family whose love for a child took them halfway around the world and back – twice!

Our ‘story begins on a cold morning outside a Ringgold convenience store. That’s where we meet Terri Deem. She is eager to introduce us to her friends, the Viars. This seemingly ordinary family has overcome extraordinary odds to make their lives complete.

Terri tells me, “Julie and Kevin (Viars) have hosted a Ukrainian boy for several summers and over Christmas time, and then went through the process of adoption. It’s been almost a year.”

The Viars knew from the moment they met 14-year-old Denis that the orphaned teenager from the Ukraine held a special place in their hearts and in their home.

Terri says, “It’s been thousands of dollars that it has cost them to fly back and forth to the Ukraine, to do all the paperwork, the medical, to have him checked out… By the grace of God they got out okay and made it home by Christmas.”

Terri knows that Julie, Kevin, Denis and the Viars’s three other biological children are all home today. So, we count out our 500-dollars in ‘Pay it Forward’ cash and make our way down the road and to their front door.

Once inside we find the family minus the matriarch. Julie is down the hall and surprised to see us all in her living room.

Terri walks up to Julie and says, “On behalf of NewsChannel 9 and the McMahan Law Firm we are ‘Paying it Forward’ because we know what expenses you have gone through to bring Denis home. And, we are so very happy for you.”

The Viars’s last trip overseas was a true testament of the family’s resilience and faith. Kevin returned to Ringgold with the two youngest children. Julie and Savannah stayed behind, 32 long days of not knowing whether the Ukrainian government would even release Denis for adoption.

And, in their final push for his passport thousands of people gathered in a violent anti-government protest outside their window.

Julie says, “As soon as we arrived in Kieve they said, “Do not leave your apartment.”

She goes on to explain, “We didn’t think we were going into the heart of it. We thought we were going towards the shopping and that’s where the heart of it was. We had a shield of protection around us the whole time. That was just a God thing.”

As Julie, Savannah and Denis’s money ran short Julie was willing to open her suitcase to strangers.

“I told one of my friends, ‘I’ve got to have an indoor yard sale and if it’s anything we’ve got we’ll give it up. It’s that important. There’s nothing in this house that I can’t part with to get him,” Julie says tearfully.

A very shy Denis sums up his NEW life in one word, “Normal.” He finally has a family he can call his own.

I ask Julie how long she would have waited for Denis, how long she would have fought to bring him home.

She pauses and smiles, “He’s our child, so forever.”

Julie hopes to one day return to the Ukraine. Her dream is to build a home for the forgotten group of older, orphaned children who are forced to the streets at the age of 16.

The Viars Family - Journey of Hope

Tuesday, January 7 2014, 06:35 PM EST

Nominate an Individual

We Want to help you help your neighbor.

Nominate an unsung hero or family in need by filling out the form below. Tell us their story in 250 words or less, and you just might get the chance to reward them with $500 cash. We`ll pick a new nominee every week.

Business News

Yahoo to spin off Alibaba stake into separate company

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is spinning off the company's prized stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding in a move that will avoid paying billions in future taxes.

Consumer Info

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An actress who claims she was racially profiled after being detained by police is seeing her case make its way through the courts.

Get This


PHOENIX (AP) -- A Super Bowl ticket for six bucks?

Science/Tech News


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- For many computer users, it was like one of those times when the power, water -- or even TV service -- goes out.

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward Videos

Deborah Tedder - Teaching Women Around the World to Sew

Gertraude Van Burkirk - It's the Little Things

Rhonda Gibson - Volunteering in Memory of Her Mom

Donna Nelson - Creator of the Secret North Pole

Pay it Forward - 2014 Year End Review

Becky Brinkley - Love in Every Loop: Sewing Caps for Cancer Survivors

Jerry Wagner - A Reason to Live

Madison Cravey - Changing the World, One Good Deed at a Time

John Buger - Recycling Kindness

Cyndi Davis - A Grandmother's Undying Love

Barbara Stander - Helping Children in Need at Christmas

Rosie Keeler - "Changing Young Lives, One Meal at a Time"

Drew Hannigan - "Inspiring Students Inside and Outside the Classroom"

Mitzi Davis - Honoring the Kindness of a Co-Worker

Dolly Martin - Creative Acts of Kindness

Jeff Martin - Ham Radio Hero

George Holmes - A Good Neighbor for Decades

Ty Bramlett - A Good Samaritan to Severe Weather Survivors

Jessica Lawrence - The Heartbeat of Her Community

Shannon Asher - Leading the March in Jordan's Journey

Coach Ryan Cooper - Saving the Life of a Young Student

Kevin Gray - The Generosity of a Stranger

Tammy Williams - Helping Students Succeed, One Stitch at a Time

Marsella Swanson - A Lifetime of Giving

P.J. Crouch - Inspiring Countless Others with his Can Do Attitude

Derrick Wagner - Tireless Advocate for Abused and Neglected Animals

Peggy Carroll - A Mother to Children in Need

Christan Taylor - A Beacon of Friendship

Phillip Snyder - Opening Doors for Neighbors in Need

Jaylen Parris - A Little Girl with a Big Heart!

Rev. Jack Bryan - Transforming the Lives of Men

Mayor Jane Dawkins - Leading with Love

Catherine Patten - Unwavering Advocate for All

Larry Hester - Honoring America's Heroes

Linda Bates - From Heartbreak to Hope

Loretta Layne - Serving Up Hope and Love in the Face of Hunger

Tony Womac, a Truly Inspiring Teacher and Friend

Greg Wilmoth - A Brotherly Bond That Knows No Bounds

Carol McKinney - From Heartbreak to Hope

Lisa Mattheiss - A Lifeline to Local Families

Tiki Finlayson - Giving Her Late Son's Life New Meaning

Ezra Reynolds - Inspiring Others in the Face of Adversity

Lionel Bass - Making Mornings Brighter

Tremayne Johnson - A True Fatherly Figure

Cathy Orr - Inspiring Other Cancer Survivors

Virginia Redmond - Staying Strong in the Face of Homelessness

UPDATE: The 'Pay it Forward' Spirit Continues at Park View Elementary School

McKinnley Teague - A True Inspiration

Cora and Bob Woodward - Defining 'Like a Good Neighbor'

Stephanie Radzyminski - Making Her Daughter's Big Dreams A Reality

Theo & Nan Pinkston - Nourishing Children in Catoosa County

Allison Maynard - Sparking Young Imaginations

Chris and Dorothy Rolle - Creating a Community of Hope

Lesa McCracken - Finding Forever Homes for Animals in Need

Ray Laymon - Rebuilding Hope

Jimmy Thompson - A Good Neighbor to All

UPDATE - The 'Pay it Forward' Spirit Continues with Johnny Jennings

The Viars Family - Journey of Hope

2013's Memorable Moments - Pay it Forward

Bradley County Honor Guard - Paying Tribute to the Lives of Military Veterans

Allyson Kirkland - Feeding Those Who Are Broke, Hungry and Down on Their Luck

Rusty Matthews - A Husband's Selfless Act of Loyalty and Love

Andrea Smith - Undercover Elf

Lindsey Armstrong - The Spirit of Thanksgiving

Johnny Jennings - Keeping the Promise

Shenetta Moore - Honoring a Single Mother's Sacrifices

Cailie Pendergrass - Inspiring her School and her Community

Elise Bailey - Helping Families Say Goodbye

Tom Cranmore - "Helping Kids Aim for the Stars"

Steve Morgan - "A Present from the Heart"

Zamyshia Koharcheck: "The Greatest Gift"

Scoutmaster Mack Gregg - Leading by Example

Marty Dunagan - A Sign of Hope, Helping Children Find Their Voice in the World

UPDATE: Eric Clark - Bicycling for His Family

Ernestine Ferrell - Always There for a Neighbor in Need

Ana Dunn - Honoring America's Veterans

Normal Park Parents - Fixing It Up for Kids

Eric Clark - Going the Extra Mile for his Family

Ollie Farris - Friends for Life

Cheri Fowler - Fostering a Child's Love

Tim Robinson - Beyond the Call of Duty

Robin Scott - Safer Streets One K-9 at a Time

LaShawn Peoples - Continuing the Tradition of Tenderness

Ricky Sims - Pay it Forward Follow-Up

Mary Lou Woods - Preserving the Past

Sarah Brown - Determined to Make a Difference

Ricky Sims - The Will to Walk Again

Frankie Conar - Helping to Heal Hurting Hearts

Ervileen Pickett - Weathering Life's Storms with a Smile

Giff Walker - Tireless Volunteer at the Age of 90

Scott Ownbey - Pay It Forward Follow-up

Scotty Ownbey - A Devoted Worker

Advertise with us!


Tonight on WTVC NewsChannel 9

6:00 NewChannel 9 

6:30 ABC World News Tonight

7:00 Wheel of Fortune

7:30 Jeopardy 

8:00 The Middle

8:30 The Goldbergs

9:00 Modern Family

9:30 Black-ish

10:00 Black-ish

10:30 Modern Family

11:00 NewsChannel 9 

11:35 Jimmy Kimmel Live

Complete Schedule »

Storm Track 9 Weather App
No Text Zone
Pay It Forward
Agent Carter2