A “Pay It Forward” 35 Years in the Making

Gratitude Day 341

Fri., Oct. 18, 2019

Deuteronomy 15:7:  If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.

“We’d like to donate some money to the Blessings Program you coordinate,” the caller said.

Her name was Gail. We kind of know each other. Well enough that she felt comfortable calling me.  

Donate money to the Blessings program?

Yes! Great! Yeah! I love these kinds of calls!

The rest of the story? Well, that’s where it is SO. COOL.

Gail called me as a representative from the Poynette Class of 1984. Recently, they held their 35th class reunion. As part of their event, they included a “Pay It Forward” aspect.

Here’s how it worked. They asked their class members to give money. Class representatives said they would find a good local program to contribute to. Would the Blessings in a Backpack Program like the money?

Well, yes, of course we would. Just one condition.

A condition?

Yes. Can you and some other class representatives stop by my house so I can take a picture? I just think we need to let others know about you super cool idea.

“No problem,” said Gail.

Recently, Gail and four of her classmates stopped by our house. It was raining. It was a little cold. We stood on our lovely wrap-around porch while I talked a mile a minute about our local Blessings program. They probably felt like they got ran over by the word train, as I squeezed in as many words and facts and figures as possible in the 15 minutes they stood on my porch.

And then, we took the picture.

We wished they had a big check. I assured them the envelope was just fine. The money they handed over to me, $480, will provide weekend food for four Poynette students during the entire school year.

Amazing.

Then, I asked them. How did they come up with the idea? Why Blessings?

These classmates graduated 35 years ago. They are now in a position where some of them can make a little donation back into the community. Some of them still live in the Poynette School District. Some don’t. Yet, they wanted to set an example for other classes of how they can gave back whether they live in the district or not.

How cool is this?

If I’m ever asked to serve on a class reunion committee, know what I’m going to do? I’m not going to volunteer to get the food organized. Or secure a location. Or put together a booklet about the class members. (Been there, done that.)

I’m going to organize a “Pay It Forward” event. I’m going to ask class members to share a little bit for a local project in the community where we graduated from high school. Make a little difference for some kids today. Let our action say that we’re glad we graduated from this community, this high school. Choose to support the school and community whether we live there or not.

The Poynette Class of 1984 came up with a great idea for their class reunion. I know. Going to a class reunion can be, well, OK. I’ve attended most of mine class reunions. I’ve attended a few of Hubby Rick’s class reunions as well. They are nice. Fine. Good to catch up.

But a “Pay It Forward” aspect?

I’ll be there in a New York minute. Count me all in!

If you are having a class reunion soon or later or whenever … consider a “Pay It Forward” aspect. Doesn’t matter if it will be your 10th reunion or your 50th class reunion. It’s a great opportunity to give back to the place you received your diploma from.

For creative ways to give back to a community, I am grateful. 

Holy God – We just might say, “This is crazy!” a few times today. Assure us that this is OK. Help us see those times when we are crazy as just part of the journey towards something totally awesome. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

One Reply to “A “Pay It Forward” 35 Years in the Making”

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