Pay it forward 2016!
2016 boasted our second annual "Pay it Forward" program hosted by our CEO, Paula Teacher. Paula was inspired last year when PJ, one of our employees, paid her fare in a random act of kindness when he was in front of her at the toll booth on the PA Turnpike. This got her mind reeling about what a huge difference any act of kindness makes, of any size, and the impact that all of us at Paula Teacher & Associates, Inc. could make as a whole. This is how the Pay It Forward program began at Nature Park Commons and throughout all of Paula Teacher & Associates, Inc.
Paula distributed $10 to every employee of our organization for everyone to pay forward to any person or organization as a random act of kindness. It is Paula's hope that all of us will be reminded of how good it feels to pay it forward and possibly inspire others to do the same.
Read below to hear some of the wonderful ways our employees have used their $10 to start the ripple effect that is "paying it forward."
I was at Kmart buying a kiddie pool for my baby, and there was a mom with a young girl - I'm assuming her daughter - in the toy aisle. I overheard the mom telling the little girl that the Barbie doll she wanted was just going to have to wait until the next paycheck, and the little girl was so sweet and understanding. I waited until they left the aisle, and I grabbed the doll (priced $12.99) and took it to the register. I bought the doll, then left it with the cashier and described the little girl and her mother so that when they checked out she could make sure they got it.
I was inspired to give to them because I could tell that the little girl had been told that story about waiting until the "next paycheck" before, and she was so sweet about it - no temper tantrum or anything. In fact, she was very comforting to her mother about it. I thought about my daughter, and I hoped that she would be that sweet should that ever be a problem we face. I wanted her to get something nice for her good behavior.
This year I donated my $10 to the Westmoreland Humane Society. I was inspired to donate to the humane society when I came across one of their drives this past weekend and I got to see the animals they had and how much the volunteers cared about finding them forever homes. I feel like these organizations make a positive impact on the community and it's wonderful to be able to support them.
I have never worked for any employer that did something like this. This is a great idea. The culture at this agency is so different than anything I have ever experienced. I understand why people stay for so long. The level of employee retention is nothing like I have seen before. I used to not bother getting to know anyone at previous jobs because it was a revolving door. My supervisor and co-workers with the ACE program are some of the best people I have ever worked with. I'm glad to be here.
Thank you for the opportunity & reminder to spend a little time with someone I had almost forgot all about.
I gave the pay it forward money to the cashier at my local convenience store to pay for the next few customers in line.
I used the money to provide room fresheners for an individual's home and used the remainder, and adding to it, to help an elderly lady make a purchase that she sadly couldn't afford. Both individuals were happy to receive the surprise offers!
I used my $10 to help a friend's mom move. I know that she needed the money and help and wanted to do something for her.
I always have clients who are struggling financially so this year rather then deciding who I thought was the most in need I decided to let fate decide and put $20 in my bag. I sat down for an appointment with a woman who normally does not have financial struggles and the first words out of her mouth were, "I have no gas in the car and I'm down to $6.00." I handed her the $20 and said now it's $26. At first she wouldn't take it because she thought I was just pulling money out of my wallet to give her, I explained the pay it forward and how I'd decided to match it and she finally agreed to accept the money.
My client and I were entering the Mills Mall Complex when he spotted an elderly man with a backpack, dressed in tattered clothes, sitting down. I stopped and put the passenger window down and asked him when was the last time he had eaten. He replied "about 24 hours ago."
I told him to meet us at the Steak and Shake restaurant just about a thousand yards up the street and we would be happy to pay for his meal. About ten minutes later we saw him entering the parking lot. We invited him inside and asked him to order, then paid the waitress, including the tip in advance. He thanked us then we went on our way. We both felt good helping this man in this fashion.
I paid it forward because I think we should all help one another out for the greater good! In the middle of this month I went to the Pittsburgh arts festival with my family and I used the 10 dollars to pay the bus fee of the three people behind me. Seeing that smile on their faces after knowing I did something kind, no matter how small, is just wonderful! I hope that my small act of kindness, with the help of Paula Teacher, will spark their want to pay it forward.
I donated to the Blackburn Center in Greensburg, PA
I was inspired on how the organization grew since 1976 providing services to victims of domestic valance throughout Westmoreland County. From bullying to human trafficking, domestic and sexual violence can come in a variety of forms. I hope that this organization will eliminate the root that causes violence and for the well-being and safety of survivors/victims.
I gave one of my clients mother the money to purchase their lunch at Sheetz. I knew they didn't have the money, so I put the money towards their total. She was very grateful.
As soon as I heard June was pay it forward month I knew what I wanted to do with my $10. On my way to work, most days I see a man who I think is homeless. He wears the same clothes (winter coat) no matter what the weather. In the winter, I see him on a bench on the main street just passing time. He also has one of those rolly carts with everything he owns in it tht is always with him. So one morning on my way to see my client, I see this older black man with his rolly cart, crossing in front of me. I pull right over, and hurry over to him with the $10 bill in hand. I tell him my name and ask him to take the $10 because my employer tells me to give it away. He refuses..He pats his shirt pocket and says "got lots of money in here". This went on for a few minutes, with me asking him to take the $10 and him patting his pocket telling me he has lots of money. HE WOULD NOT TAKE THE MONEY!
I tried again, another day, thinking that he might not remember me, but again he refused. Clearly he could have used the $10. But for some reason he just wouldn't take it.
It was the last day of the month, and I was getting my hair cut. As I paid the girl and tipped her, realizing it was the end of "pay it forward" month, and she had told me she was vacationing with her two young children the following week, I impulsively pulled out the 10 and gave it to her saying "happy vacation". She accepted it immediately saying "THANK YOU! you made my day"
It made my day as well!
I was on vacation myrtle beach at barefoot landing. Their was a family buying souvenirs short on money their daughter wanted something and I asked cashier to put $10 towards their purchase:)))
I spent the money on a homeless man name Willie. I have spoke with him throughout the years off and on and always look for him when I'm downtown Pgh. It was nice to see him again since I haven't seen him in over a year. He still remembered me. We ordered from a vendor on the street. He was too embarrassed to go inside anywhere. We spent about an hour and a half talking. It was a great day for the both of us I think.
While having breakfast at Denny's, there were 2 older gentlemen in the booth next to me. As I paid my check, I anonymously picked up their check and tip.
$10 was given to special needs individual to enhance community involvement.
I donated to a friend, who is sick.
Donated to a co-worker who's home was flooded.
I saw two young boys collecting for their baseball team so they could buy uniforms. I gave each boy $5.
I gave my $10.00 dollars to someone who really needed it. There are people out there who are the working poor, they work hard to get ahead, and always end up a step backwards. There are people who don't work at all and have subsidized housing, and get huge amounts for food stamps, and have free healthcare. I know people who have lost benefits, because they chose to work, the system is wrong, work should be rewarded, not punished. So that is why I did what I did.
I bought new summer clothes for one of my clients.
After the incident in Orlando, Florida Sunday morning, I used my pay it forward money (and additional money) to help support the victims and their families following this tragedy. The organization "Equality Florida" set up a GoFundMe page to support the Pulse nightclub shooting victims and their families and I donated to them.
$10 was given to special needs individual to enhance community involvement.
Used the money to help a woman with two cats of opposite sexes get a discount altering and vaccinations through Animal Rescue League's special programs in May and June. She thought some of their special activity was a "behavior" problem....problem solved :)
I have given the $10 to my aunt to help with massive medical bills accrued by my now deceased uncle.
A few coworkers started a fund to help our administrator's family who were devastated by a flood. So, I matched the $10 and donated it to the fund to, hopefully, help the family rebuild their lives.
I was driving around a few days after we were sent the $10.00 and saw a man traveling across the country with his dog. He was holding a sign saying he was trying to make ends meet on his journey and he was asking for help so that he and his dog could eat. I stopped, spoke with him for a few moments, wished him well, and gave him the $10.00.
I've always had a soft spot for those in need in such a way. I consider myself very lucky to have been born into the living situation that I was and to have the parents I have. When I see a person with a sign saying they need help eating I feel that that could easily be me. If it were me, I would want someone to be kind, treat me like a human being and help if they could. That is what inspired me to give. The man was very nice and in stopping to talk with him I got to hear some of his interesting life story. With his conversation he paid it forward to me right back. Also, his dog was adorable and awesome. Thank you for helping us Pay It Forward.
I put the 10 dollars toward a ticket to Kennywood for a friend on a limited income.