The Finnish Bistro family experienced a tragedy on Dec 8. Paul Falling, their 19 year old dishwasher was violently shot to death in an apparent robbery while he was waiting for the bus in North Mpls. Sandra Weise, Bistro owner started a gofundme page for a memorial fund to help with final expenses. A group of Como teammates donated our pay it forward money to help during this difficult time.
Myself and some of my coworkers at Wycliff pooled our money together to donate it to a friend of mine who had her baby 15 weeks early and is struggling with medical bills. I’m so thankful for Sunrise as well as all of our employees for being able to help some dear friends of mine during their hardship.
Every day, I see an individual on the corner of Rice and Marion. One cold night, I asked the individual if he had a place to stay. He said no. I handed him the $25 and told him this will cover a few nights at the mission so he could stay warm, and get a meal. The light almost turned red as he packed up his gear, with enough God Blesses and Merry Christmases to last me the season!
I paid it forward by giving the money to the Salvation Army!!!!!
Recently, a dear friend of mine lost her husband of 4 years and was left with a 3 year old daughter and a 4 month old son. Jeremy was a 12 year Marine veteran. I reached out to his mother to find out what I could do for his wife and children. She mentioned to me that they would be moving into a new home this coming January and that there still some things that they could use. It means the world to me to be able to honor this great man with a small gift to his family.
I received a phone call from Face to Face that a young mom just delivered a baby girl. They asked if we could help in some way. A group of my coworkers and I pooled the money together to purchase baby clothes and items needed for this teen mom. Her wish list included necessities like diapers and laundry soap. We know it was a wonderful surprise for the mother to find new baby girl outfits in her gifts that she can use throughout her baby’s first year.
There is a Goodwill store close to my house that we go to and frequently drop off donations. There is a young man that works there and is often working when I drop my items off. The day before Christmas I was running errands and I to that man while he gave me my receipt. He gave me the best heartfelt hug and it brought tears to my eyes that so little can mean so much. Thank you Sunrise for letting us do that each year.
I enlisted the help of my 1st grade son Owen to Pay It Forward. We purchased $5 gift cards to Starbucks for him to hand out to staff at his school that might not always receive the appreciation they deserve. I honestly wish I could have recorded him giving the gifts to the secretary, nurse, art teacher, music teacher and naturalist that day. When I picked him up that evening he was over the moon and could not wait to tell me all about how great it was it make all those people’s days.
For the last 2 years, I have used my pay it forward money to purchase 5 - $5.00 McDonald’s gift cards and given them to the needy who are standing at street corners asking for help.
The boxing gym that I work out at was putting together kits to handout to the homeless. I told the others in my department about this and they all gave their funds to this effort, too!
I went to the dollar store with some folks from the gym to buy the supplies and then we put together kits available to folks that want to hand them out.
Several Sunrise employees have been reading at the La Creche Early Childhood Center in North Minneapolis on a monthly basis and thought that we would pay it forward for the kids. We connected with them and asked what they needed. They mentioned that they are beginning a capital campaign for new playground equipment. So the generous donation of Sunrise Banks will help pay if forward for many years to come as the kids slide, swing and climb on their new playground.
My wife works as a first grade teacher in Stillwater. She gave the money to the counselor in the Oak Park School she teaches at. The money went to a family that has young children, is in dire straits, and the mother has cancer.
I gave the $25.00 Pay it Forward money I received to a Salvation Army bell ringer in Fridley at SAM‘s Club. I thought the money Salvation Army collects when they come together can do better job than me giving to an individual.
For the second time, I paid it forward to Small Sums. This small nonprofit does so much with so little. It’s very insightful how Small Sums has identified a gap from when a homeless person finds a job until they actually start working. I was one of many people who helped Small sums keep providing these services after a tragic break in.