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MOSCOW MILLS, Mo. – A local race car driver has given up his sponsorship for this season and is instead asking for donations a foster care organization.

Driver Jeff Yates shifted gears this year and dedicated his entire racing season to raising money and bringing awareness to Divine Nest, a foster care placement system. His sister-in-law was so impressed by his sacrifice of taking a year off from being financially sponsored, she nominated him for our Pay It Forward award. She surprised him at his home in Moscow Mills with a $500 gift card from First Bank.

Jeff and his wife, Sarah, adopted two teenage daughters through Divine Nest. He wanted to bring awareness to the organization so—in January—he decided to give up sponsorship money this season.

“It’s very scary right now…for mid-season right now and with no money coming in from sponsorship, it can be very scary,” he said.

But all is well halfway through the season. Yates has raised half of his $10,000 goal. He’s wrapped his car with the Divine Nest name and asks race fans at Tri-City Raceway in Granite City for donations.

“There’s a big need for foster families and adopted families in this area, Lincoln County St. Charles County, it’s huge,” he said.

Yates even gave the $500 gift care to a foster family who needs furniture.

“It speaks to Jeff’s kind heart and his giving nature and it just needs to be recognized,” said Jill Yates, Jeff’s sister-in-law.

The Pay It Forward award is brought to you by First Bank. If you would like to nominate a deserving person for the award, go to and look for the Pay It Forward page.