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For me, one of the sweetest moments in life is when someone does something for you out of the sincerity of their heart, regardless it’s a big or small gesture. It could be a simple phone call from a friend asking how you are feeling when you’re sick, a surprise birthday card from your children, or a stranger stopping on the road and help fix your flat tire.
I want to share a Pay it Forward story I’ve seen on the news recently. This story reminded me just reaching out and helping strangers in time of need can really change their lives, and perhaps they can help others in the future as well. Jeff Parness leads the organization New York Says Thank You which he founded after 9/11 as a way for him to say thank you, for the support New York received from around the US and the globe with the rescue and recovery effort.
The organization is made up of volunteers that goes to area affected by disaster and help rebuild, from historic church to a veteran’s home. Jeff said “It was our way of saying, you know, New Yorkers will never forget what people from around the country and the world did for us in our time of need after 9/11.” It was his way of paying forward the generosity New York had received.
Jeff started his rebuild mission with the first project in San Diego in 2004. In 2005 as the team rebuilt in Utica, Illinois which was affected a tornado, the beneficiaries of the San Diego project went out and helped. This pattern of new volunteers made up of previous year’s recipients continued growing each year, to now at 2-300 strong and what bonds them together is they’ve all survived disasters.
As the holidays are getting closer, I want to urge everyone to reach out and help someone. I’ll be doing the same and all our actions will make someone’s life brighter, regardless it’s big or small.
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