As part of the presidential theme of International President Gay Aaron, Civitan is proud to present the Pay it Forward program. To pay it forward is to do a good deed for someone, just because it’s the right thing to do, and ask that they in return help someone when they have the chance to do so. This speaks from the heart of Civitan’s mission to build good citizenship. Here are just a few stories from people who have paid it forward in their communities. If you would like to share your own Pay it Forward story on our website, there is a submission form at the bottom of this page.
Jacque – Enterprise, AL
Every Monday I volunteer at the local bowling lanes, Boland Lanes, to assist a Special Olympics athlete who uses a walker so he is able to bowl. Each time he bowls I set up a special metal ramp on the approach to the lane and place his ball on top of the ramp. He comes to the lane and pushes the ball off the ramp. Then I move the ramp out of the way for the next bowler. It is a great feeling to be able to help in this way, and it is always very rewarding to see the smile on his face when his bowling ball hits the pins.
Teresa – Mt. Gilead, OH
I volunteered to keep score for our county Special Olympics basketball team. I have never done this before, wanted to learn something new. BOY did I. I learned firsthand of the confidence that the players, coaches and parents have for each other. That everyone is the same - everyone can do something to benefit the team and have a good time while doing it. I thank them and respect them for Paying it Forward and teaching me that they are the same as everyone else.
Lou – Rocky Mount, NC
I helped give a Christmas party for 75 needy children & parents at Christmas. I knew a lady, we were not really close friends but she helped me so much in getting things organized. A grandmother brought her grandchildren to the party (their mom was home sick with cancer). Daughtridge Gas donated a fully decorated Christmas tree and the children put their Mom's name in the box - they won the tree!! It was a very moving moment! My Friend "Paid It Forward" to this family by bringing clothes, food, and gift cards. She called and told me how without us getting together, she and others would not have been able to "Pay It Forward" to this family. Not long after this another friend came to see me and used the very same words "Pay It Forward." I told both of them about Civitan. You know, the Lord ALWAYS puts us where we need to be; especially when we are not looking.
Linda – Jacksonville, NC
While waiting in line at the pharmacy, I saw an older lady and her cashier discussing her purchase for medication. It came to $45 and the woman could not afford to pay for her medication. As her and the cashier had moved to a different part of the pharmacy to figure a way for her to get a few days’ supply I was helped by another employee for my purchase.
The older woman’s cashier walked by, and I asked her if it was the $45 that the woman could not afford. She told me yes. As I work in the medical field and hear stories of how hard it is for the elderly to afford their meds, I told that cashier I would pay for this lady’s meds. She told me I didn't need to do this, I told her it was not a problem. I am blessed to have been able to help this woman out.
As I was leaving after my purchase I was told God Bless you by both cashiers and was thanked so kindly for the little lady. It is a great feeling to be able to help someone just because.
Dan – High Point, NC
A friend I know at church has a yard with two large pin oaks that fill his house and lot with leaves. Being 80 years old, he has problems keeping his yard clean and the grass alive.
I told him I would be there Thursday morning around 8:30 to clean his yard. He did not believe me. We cleaned the leaves and a hour later we were talking. We had a large moble toter and one large leaf bag filled with shredded leaves equaling 10 bags of leaves. He wanted to pay me but I smiled and told him of Civitan. I explained we are about “building citizenship" and "doing unto others as we would have them do unto us."
I gave him a Pay it Forward token, explained to him about Civitan, invited him to our weekly meetings and asked him to share this token with someone when he helps "pay it forward" to them. I asked him to also explain this to whomever he helps, so that they may also "pay it forward.”
DeWayne – Tuscumbia, AL
I was eating breakfast this morning, and sitting in the booth in front of me was a soldier. He had a few years on him and was in his booth all alone. He was dressed in his army camo. The whole time I was there, something inside of me told me to say something to this guy. At first I thought no, he is a battle-hardened veteran and will not want to be bothered. But the feeling would not go away.
So when I finished eating, as I got to his booth, I stopped and asked him if he had been in Iraq. He said yes, and that he had also been in Afghanistan. In fact, he would be heading back this year with his group from Florence (Alabama).
He then proceeded to tell me he had been in the service for over 34 years and how much he loved his country. I told him how glad I was that we had people like him protecting America and keep us free. I then reached over and got his check and told him I would take care of it. I told him about the coin and how I was paying it forward. I also told him that I didn't need to give him a coin to remind him to Pay it Forward, because he was doing that every day of life and had been for over 34 years.
He thanked me and saluted me as I left.
I still have my coin, but I did put a smile on his face, and he said that he would tell all his buddies about this because they needed to be encouraged as well.
Ruth – Dayton, OH
I was in the midst of a busy work day, when a resident at our facility said he was sad because he felt bored. Several of us got together and took twenty minutes to get a game of Wii bowling going for him, and it turned into a fun afternoon for him as well as us! It is easy to forget the truly important things, I was grateful for the reminder!
Chuck – Montgomery, AL
Perry McCain, one of the members of our bluegrass band, Home Remedy, has been a Civitan member for over 20 years. Within the last year he has gotten three other members, myself included, to join. The band, on September 25th, 2010, played for the banquet of Civitan’s Alabama-West Florida District in Pensacola, Florida. It was a great time with lots of great music, and as a finale, then-President Mark Eisinger, Immediate Past District Governor Jim Smith, Governor James Jones, and Governor-Elect John McCall joined the group to sing "Will The Circle Be Unbroken". Although we had not indicated that we would charge anything for our performance we received $150 from the convention sponsoring club, the Pensacola Civitan Club.
The spirit of all of the efforts of Civitan has truly touched each of the members of the band and we saw an opportunity to "Pay it Forward" with this money. At the weekly meeting of the Montgomery Civitan Club on October 8, 2010, we donated our $150 to be used for our club’s fledgling wheelchair ramp program.
Jenny - D'Iberville, MS
My mom and I were in line at Wal-Mart and in front of us was a young lady, probably mid-30's if I had to guess. She was paying for her groceries with cash. She only bought things that were on her list. From what I could see, it was just the basics, milk, cereal, bread, etc. She was counting her money to pay the bill while Mom and I were patiently waiting to take our turn, and she said to the cashier, "I don't have enough, I only got what was on my list", so mom asked how much the lady was short, and it was $8 and she took out her wallet and paid the remainder of the bill. The lady gave my mom a hug and said "God just blessed you.”
Leigh - New Bern, NC
Two coworkers approached me about Paying It Forward this Christmas. Instead of coworkers exchanging gifts, they wanted to have everyone donate towards a coat drive for children in local elementary schools. Winter coats and socks were provided for 41 children. One of our Civitan Pay It Forward tokens was put in each coat with a card reading, “Today, someone who does not even know you has performed an act of kindness for you because they care about you as a human being. The person who has done this kind act for you does not want anything in return from you other than your promise that, when you are able, you will perform an act of kindness for another person, paying it forward. This token is a reminder to you of that promise. When you perform an act of kindness, share the token as well, as a reminder to that person of their promise to pay your act of kindness forward.” Warm kids and warm hearts!
To share your Pay it Forward story, just submit it in the field below. We will list your first name and general location along with your story, unless you request otherwise. Thanks for participating, and for paying it forward!