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Teen Pays It Forward to helpful Home Depot worker

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Sometimes you just need someone to help you get an idea off the ground.

Fourteen-year-old Joey Hudy found that help at his neighborhood Home Depot.

Joey has Asperger's syndrome. His social skills are behind that of other 14-year-olds.

He also needs a needs a hobby, and he has found something constructive, so to speak.

And, boy, can he build.

"If you pump it up to 30 psi it goes up to 176 feet," Joey said of his latest project, a marshmallow cannon.

"We've already gone through, like, two bags of marshmallows," he said.

PVC  pipe, a compressor, and a painted Altoid box("That's what I used to house all the wiring so it doesn't get all messy," he said.) comprise the marshmallow cannon.

But as crafty as this aspiring engineer can be, he needed a hand with this last project.

Jerry Becker works at the Home Depot nearby in North Phoenix.

"Probably been a while since you built a marshmallow cannon?" he's asked.

"First one ever," he said with a laugh.   

Jerry helped Joey, and not just at the store. He gave up an entire Saturday of his own to finish the job.

"It makes me cry thinking about how nice of a man he is," said Julie Hudy, Joey's mom.

She emailed CBS 5 and asked if she and Joey could Pay It Forward.

CBS 5 and the Hudys surprised Jerry at work.     

"Hi, Jerry, you wanna come down?" Joey says in the store.  "Without your help I probably wouldn't have made the air cannon. Thank you for all your help.

"Now I'd like to Pay It Forward," he said as he gave Jerry the $500 award and he, his mom and Jerry embraced.

Because he has Asperger's, Joey has had low self-esteem most of his life, his mother said.

Now, with Jerry's helping hand, his confidence is building.                        

"He's gonna go a long way," Jerry said. "I got a feeling he'll be in the history books one of these days for something."

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