Tag Archives: pay it forward ideas

Pay It Forward Ideas – Story 7 by Jayda

January 3, 2014

This story is part of the Pay It Forward series.

random acts of kindnessA collection of Random Acts of Kindness

Free parking: When I visited PCC Sylvania I decided to purchase additional parking passes.  I taped the extra passes to the machine with a note that wished the students good luck on their finals and happy holidays! I also did the same with every parking permit machine I came across while I was downtown.

Killing the cold: When I was a very young teenager I spent half of a year as a gas station attendant as my after school job. I remember how blistering cold it was in the winter and how the gas would make your hands freeze. Gas station attendants are under-appreciated, there are few places in the country that offer this service and most of us take it for granted. I bought a box of hand warmers from Costco and taped a $5 dollar bill to each set. I spent the last month and a half handing them to every team of gas station attendants I came across.

I could not tip the Bell ringers for the Salvation Army but I made sure that they all had toasty warm mittens too!

Free Coffee: I don’t visit many coffee shops but while I was downtown I had to keep warm so I bought the coffee for 5 of the people behind me at the PSU Plaza.

Gratitude and Gratuity: Any time we visited a restaurant over the last couple of months I made sure to give each wait-staff person a little note of appreciation and a little extra ($20 over the 25% gratuity), These people work so hard for so little and endure so much they deserve our thanks.

Groceries: This was interesting and I got a few weird looks, but it was fun. On a couple of separate occasions I passed a note to the grocery clerk with $20 asking her to apply it to the purchase of the person behind me but not to say anything to them unless they asked. I visit the same grocery store and see the same clerk and I was able to hear a re-telling of one reaction, but the best part was that the clerk said it made her day and that for the rest of her shift she put a little extra into every interaction and in return she got a little extra back and some of the best work days in memory. Smiles and kindness truly are contagious!

The toy drive: My husband and I went on a small shopping spree and were able to purchase several fantastic toys to donate to some much deserving and amazing children that are in the foster system this year.

I have to say that this was an amazing opportunity to give back, and I thank Cash4Books so much for providing the means in which to do it! I love this so much I have tried to put random acts of kindness into my daily routine whenever and however possible!




Read all the stories at the blog tag: Pay It Forward Ideas

Pay It Forward Ideas – Story 6 by Tracie

December 29, 2013

This story is part of the Pay It Forward series.



Some time ago, I came across Sahalie Bohren’s BohrenStrong Relay for Life page. It was impossible not be touched by her story, and I promised myself I would make a donation this year to help her cause. Thanks to a gift from my employer, McKenzie Books, I was able fulfill that promise.

Sahalie’s dad, Isaac, was part of our McKenzie Books team for almost three years. He left the company on the last day of 2011 to continue his education and pursue a career where he felt his amazing mathematical talents would help bring good to the world.  

Isaac took great pride in his work; he was a very dedicated and loyal employee.  He was also a true math genius and took great joy in sharing his gift.  But what really made Isaac light up was the very sound of his daughter, Sahalie’s, name.

To honor Isaac’s memory, I am paying it forward to Sahalie so she can help make a difference in the fight against cancer and continue to tell her dad’s story. I know that Sahalie is the now one who lights up when she hears Isaac’s name, and I hope this donation gives her yet another chance to remember her father and smile.

This is Sahalie’s story:

My name is Sahalie Bohren.  When I was just a few years old, I got up
on the stage at my local Relay For Life and said I was relaying for
EVERYONE.  My family was involved with Relay because my uncle;
grandpa; and great grandparents had died of cancer.  But then, right
after our Relay event in July of 2012, our reason to Relay changed.
Now I am relaying so that no other kids have to lose their dad to
cancer like I did.

On July 13th 2012, my daddy was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  I
was only 7 years old.  We soon learned it was Stage 4 and had already
spread to his lymph nodes, bones, and to his brain.  My daddy died two
months after being diagnosed, on September 16th 2012. He fought hard,
and was proud to be a survivor for those two short months.

I don’t think any other little kid should have to watch their daddy
die before they are ready because of cancer.  Now my dad can’t come to
my school plays or Christmas or when I graduate and get married.  And
I don’t think any dad should have to try so hard to beat cancer and be
so sick.  My dad tried as hard as he could to not leave me, but one
day after I left for school he just stopped talking and then he
stopped waking up anymore.  And then, that weekend his body couldn’t
keep breathing anymore and he left us.  I hugged and kissed my dad
goodbye and told him that even though he was gone, he would always be
my dad.

I miss my dad every day, but at Relay I can remember him and honor him
by fighting back against cancer.  I work really hard all year to put
on fundraisers and collect as many donations as I can, because maybe
that last dollar I raised will be the one that helps pay for the
research that will find a cure.  I set a goal every year for
fundraising, and I am a team captain for my own team at Relay.

I relay for my dad, Isaac Bohren, who was BohrenStrong.


Read all the stories at the blog tag: Pay It Forward Ideas

Pay It Forward Ideas – Story 5 by Colleen

December 21, 2013

This story is part of the Pay It Forward series.

When Jim first presented the program, I had many thoughts rush to my head—donate to a school; donate to one of the non-profits I volunteer with, donate to a shelter downtown. I decided to sit on it for a while and think it over.

layaway-angel-2Finally, it hit me. Years ago I read about people they call “angels” who go into a store and anonymously pay off someone’s lay away account. I have always wanted to do that, but for one reason or another, have never gotten around to it. So finally, with your “Pay it forward” program as my inspiration, I went to Big K-Mart here in Beaverton and paid down two lay away accounts. They don’t let you pay the account off completely, because once it is entirely paid off, it no longer exists in the system and there would be no way to track the customer’s items. So, I was allowed to pay off everything, but .01.  The team at the store was great. One of the staff members looked through the lay away accounts and found two that had a lot of children’s items—clothing, toys, etc. I paid $156.92 on one and $131.65 on the other.

Working in the customer service field, we talk about things like hidden factors—the goings on in each of our lives that determine the way we behave day in and day out. I will never know who it was that I gave these gifts to, but my hope is that the gift I was able to give, with your help, acts as a positive “hidden factor” in each of their lives.

I’m grateful for this opportunity.



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Pay It Forward Ideas – Story 4 by Hannah

December 21, 2013

This story is part of the Pay It Forward series.

Thanksgiving is a time for giving and spending time with your loved ones. But what about those who don’t have loved ones to spend the holiday with? Or even worse, those who don’t have anywhere to go for the holidays?  My thoughts went straight to those who bare cold nights and hunger, sleeping on the streets of Portland.

I am no movie maker that’s for sure, but I wanted to share my Thanksgiving experience in a way that was different and gave my experience even more feeling. I created a movie explaining my phase 2 of Pay It Forward. It also comes with music which is a bonus! :)

I hope it inspires others to continue to pay it forward.


Hannah M.


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Pay It Forward Ideas – Story 3 by Nita

December 13, 2013

This story is part of the Pay It Forward series.

Heifer International

Heifer International

My best friend Harriet introduced me to Heifer Project in 1998. The core of Heifer project is simple, it’s passing on the gift.

You donate money to this organization that gives livestock to qualified families in need (you can choose location or let greatest need be chosen for you). You can give as little as $10 for a share of livestock up to $5000 for a selection of goats, cattle, pigs, sheep, etc. The families must agree to raise the animals, breed them and in turn, give the offspring away to others in the village. A worthwhile organization that helps people learn to survive on their own and learn a skill that will help them so much more than a handout. It’s been said that the highest form of giving is empowering people to help themselves. Why give a person a fish when you can give him a fishing pole?

Although this organization provides many different ways to help people, I stick with donating  livestock as animals provide life-sustaining products such as milk, eggs, cheese, honey and wool. Because of Harriet, this organization has become near and dear in my heart. I asked close friends and family not to give me birthday presents anymore but instead if they want to give me something on my birthday, please donate to Heifer project in my name (you can print an honor card that said a donation of whatever animal you choose has been made in your name or receive an email notification). In the last ten years, friends and family have been able to donate ducks, chicks, goat, sheep, geese, seedlings/trees and the biggest one was a water buffalo (a birthday present when I turned 40) in my name.

Three years ago Harriet lost her 2 years long battle to cancer and I miss her very much. This time in honor of her memory, her birthday (10/30 – the day you made the pay it forward announcement), and thanks to you for making it possible, I donated a Hope Basket  and a share of seedlings in her name.

Thank you.



Read all the stories at the blog tag: Pay It Forward Ideas