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Bengals tailgate hand-out prompts Cincinnatians to continue giving

Jason Chapman, a 29-year-old Union Institute & University enrollment counselor, remembers tailgating before a Cincinnati Bengals game last year.  He was with his friends, having a great time and eating lots of food. There were plenty of leftovers and when spotting some people in need on the other side of the fence he decided to offer them a plate of food.

Chapman was apprehensive. What if they were offended by the offer of food? What if fellow tailgaters disapproved of the generosity?

But the people accepted. Soon more people came for food and then other tailgaters began giving out food. Chapman posted this experience on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and got such a positive response, he decided to start The Midwest Project.

The Midwest Project identifies a need, announces it through social media and asks people to participate.

Carla Butler is executive director of Wesley Education Center which was a beneficiary. Midwest paid for about 25 kids to go to the Zoo's Festival of Lights. Many of these Avondale kids had never been to the Cincinnati Zoo.

She says, "I loved it. It was something that was unexpected."

Jeanelle James, Woodward Career Technical High School valedictorian, will be the next beneficiary. The money will help with college expenses.

Chapman and his friends Rodrigo Williams and Kenneth Bibb say helping people makes them feel good.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.