Teen’s good deed brings national spotlight to Nottoway family

Posted at 7:17 PM, Feb 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-20 19:17:12-05

NOTTOWAY COUNTY, Va. -- Twenty-four hours after a Nottoway County teen's act of kindness went viral, the mother and son are finding themselves in the national spotlight.

It all started when Teresa Adams snapped a picture of her 18-year-old son Tommy shoveling snow for 76-year-old Clarence Coleman, who Tommy had spotted trying to shovel snow while holding onto a walker. Adams later shared the photo on the WTVR CBS 6 News Facebook page. That photo along with a story were posted on and the CBS 6 Facebook page. In about an hour, the feel-good story had been picked up by national media.


Less than 24 hours later, the story was shared by Gov.  Terry McAuliffe  on Twitter. And on Friday the mother and son were interviewed live on CNN's HLN. Their story was also featured on websites like Buzzfeed and Huffington Post.


Mother and son on HLN Friday.

The pair is now finding all the attention a bit overwhelming.

"It's just unbelievable for doing a good deed that should be just common to everybody," Teresa Adams said from the living room of their home.

Tommy Adams, whose two cellphones have been ringing constantly since the story was picked up, said he didn't know what to make of all the attention.


RELATED: Act of Kindness: Teen stops car to shovel snow for man with walker

Blackstone Mayor Billy Coleburn praised Tommy and said his good deed is shining a positive light on the rural community in Nottoway County.

"While removing snow is something we all should do for anyone we see disabled, not everybody does.  And I'm sure Tommy Adams mother wasn't the first vehicle to ride by that day and the fact an 18-year-old kid from Nottoway County stopped to help his fellow man speaks volume about the way he was raised and the community he lives in."

Tommy said he gets his desire to help others from his single-parent mother, who got her helping tendencies from her mother.



Adams said national Spotlight or not, her sons are being raised to know  that they can always lend a hand.

"Your schedule is never too busy enough to stop to help someone because at that given time things can change and it could be you that needs the help," she said.