Friday, August 12, 2011

Paying It Forward

As some of you already know, I have two adult sons with autism who live together in an apartment run by Edwards Center. Edwards Center is an organization serving adults with developmental disabilities. They provide a full range of services including residential, employment, social, and recreational. When I started the 10 Steps program, I pledged whatever money I made from it to Edwards Center. I did this because (1) I think Edwards Center is an amazing organization, and (2) I’m fortunate enough not to depend on the income I generate from teaching and writing about the 10 Steps, so this seemed like a great way to use that money.

Earlier this week, I met with an editor from Indigo Editing and Publications to discuss the book I’m writing based on the 10 Steps. During our conversation, I mentioned my pledge to Edwards Center, because whatever I make from the book will be donated to them. At the end of our two hour session, I got my checkbook out to write her a check for her consulting services. She stopped me before I started writing and asked me to give her consulting fee to Catholic Charities, an organization she supports, so I wrote the check out to them. She was moved to do that because of what I told her about my pledge to Edwards Center.

I thought what she did was very cool, so we decided that we would both tell folks about this idea, hoping that others might be inspired to donate a little something in this fashion to whatever they support. So please spread the word!


  1. This is an awesome story and a wonderful idea. When we pay it forward we all win.

  2. Thanks for sharing this story. We all need to be least I do. I'm glad to read about your boys. I have 2 adult sons too...different circumstances though. I know we are both uber-grateful for them. Thanks for visiting my Blog Hop today too. Following.

  3. Another comment...maybe inspiring for someone. Today my Zumba class was packed...about 30 gals and 2 guys. One of the guys is leaving tomorrow to walk in the Breast Cancer 3-Day up north in another state. We honored him for going...I"ll write more about that on my blog....and had a shirt hs is going to wear. He had us sign the back. On the left side we put Honorees he could walk for...and on the right we put In Memoriams. Really touched my heart and made giving to this cause a pleasure and a privilege.

  4. Galen that's fantastic that this lady donated her consulting fees, you're generosity has inspired others.

    I cannot give financially but I am on a mission of love, empathy and compassion. I am giving back in a way that is extremely challenging studying for this degree in social work. I will be contributing full time through my work once I have this degree earned. I feel if we all do our part in whatever way we can, that this world is just that much better of a place to live in.

    Your posts are so inspiring, I really enjoy visiting here when I can make it over. Have a fantastic weekend!

  5. Tess--Absolutely. It's win win. Thanks for commenting.

    Healthier and Wealthier--Thanks for your two comments. Would love to hear more about your sons. Great story about the guy in your class.

    darlin--As you so rightly observe, there are many ways to give. Your commitment to a degree that will allow you to help others will be an ongoing gift for years. I so admire you. THanks for commenting.

  6. Hop'pin by from 'Gratitued Friday Blog Hop'. I'm following your blog now, wont you please come and follow me back?? ~KM

    Krafty Max Originals

  7. The movie "Pay it Forward" wasn't much of a hit, but it did leave behind this powerful phrase.

    Life should be about paying forward in everything: love, financial resources, knowledge, empathy, etc. What is the point of living if you are closed in to just yourself.

    Your story is a simple yet needed reminder that all of us can "pay forward" in some way every single day. Darlin's comment is important: paying forward is not restricted to money. In fact, the most powerful way to PIF is to interact on a personal level with someone else.

  8. Max--Welcome and thanks for following. I'll follow back.

    Bob--I liked that movie, but you're right about it's lack of fame. And I so agree about darlin's comment. There's a commercial that shows a series of people observing someone doing something nice. Simple things like holding a door, picking up something dropped, letting someone go first. Eack person is inspired by what they see to do likewise when the opportunity arises. It isn't about money; it's about connecting. Thanks for your comment.

  9. What a wonderful post! I am currently raising money for two organizations and often feel inspired by the kindness and generosity of others. Sometimes the kindness does not involve money, but giving something of oneself selflessly. Your post is a good reminder of how this can happen.

    Katy xxx

  10. You are an inspiration to all of us who have children with special needs. You do something about yours.... what's it called "Put your money where your mouth is." I don't. I never even mention mine. Bless you for being so open and giving.

  11. How beautiful! I loved the moved Pay It Forward. As others have said here, there are so many ways to do this each and every day. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Oh I love this Galen! It's what the world NEEDS NOW more than anything. Thanks for sharing that feel good feeling :-)

  13. Galen,
    Great idea. I love exchanging charities. Thank you for sharing this.
    Have a great weekend.

  14. Gems--You clearly understand this idea already if you are supporting two organizations with your efforts. Your efforts will no doubt inspire others to pay it forward. Thanks for commenting.

    Manzanita--We all deal with parenting in our own way. If you ever want to chat, send me an email. I would be honored to hear more about your family. Thanks for commenting.

    Sandra--I liked the movie, too. It's such a simple concept. Thanks for commenting.

    Jean--Maybe the movie should be available in all countries! It would do a world of good. Pun intended! Thanks for your comment.

    Angela--I was very touched by the consultant donating her fee. Hope you have a good weekend, too. Thanks for commenting.

  15. Thank you for the inspiration. I love paying it forward. I am always amazed what kindness we can bring out in most people. I hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks for stopping by Grandma Bonnie's Closet.

  16. Thanks for stopping by my Just Breathe blog and following. I thought it was hidden..I have just been playing with it. Now you have inspired me to work at it some more...your good deed will, I am sure, have a knock-on effect! Superman Sammy is doing well and I am so glad to be able to focus on other bloggy things now.

    Katy xx

  17. Grandma Bonnie--It's a great way to have fun, isn't it!? Thanks for commenting.

    Katy--Hope you will spend more time with it. I thought it was great. Thanks for commenting.

  18. I think pay it forward is so important and I try to do that all the time. I am rather amazed at all the folks who do NOT and do not share with charities even if their kids are involved with the other kids.

    The other day a young woman came to the door who needed to fund raise for her cheerleading uniform... I traded her $15 for 30 minutes of her cleaning out a kitchen cabinet I can not reach right now and needed the pie pans from...have to stand on a stool! She may come back and help me with some garden work I can not do either. IT was win-win and easy...
    I don't just give when they are at the store with their hands out...
    I had a friend who wanted to go to a war zone to help the woman cope when their husbands were away...I did not have any money to share but gave her a silver dollar to start the action...and then told people about her groups adventure and what she had to offer....several groups came forward and assisted her in her endeavors...word of mouth referrals...stay connected and building the community

  19. Very inspirational gesture and read Galen ;-)
    Many times when we give from the heart, it inspires others to do the same, but it also brings many unexpected blessings as well. Thank you for sharing this...


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