The following Articles are a moving example of what a difference we can make when we care. The reason I am so touched by this series of events is my son, Ben Vail, is a wonderful part of this real life story.
This is great a story and I encourage you to read on. Many ask where Ben is today (2004). You can see his personal website here: Ben Vail Home and Ben Vail's Web Design site is here: Vail Web Design. Check him out and drop him a line anytime.
OK... Read on.
I spend much of my time talking about MY career and accomplishments, but those things mean nothing in and of themselves. Are people better because of our existence? Is the world a better place because of our contributions? Are we blessing or just waiting to be blessed? The answer to questions like these define significance. This is the lesson my 12-year-old son and his friends remind us all.
Pay It Forward
Pay It Forward is movie and book based on the story of a 12-year-old boy changing his world with a simple concept. Do something special for 3 people in your life, ask for nothing in return but that they pass on the good deed to 3 more people; Pay It Forward, not pay it back.
Pay It Forward started as a schoolboy’s concept. It changed his little world in a big way. It is a book, movie, and a national organization named "The Pay It Forward Foundation." The website is www.payitforwardfoundation.com.
Mrs. Burgess’s 6th Grade Class from Golden Elementary School received the first annual Pay It Forward Award for 2001. The Award announcement can be seen at the
Pay It Forward website. This link shows other winners for 2001 and the letter that was originally submitted for the foundations consideration. You can read the foundation letter here, reprinted for your convenience.
The Orange County Register ran a feature article Feb. 15, 2002 on this heart-warming story. This article is also included here for your review.
OC Register again
The follow up article was in the Orange County Register Feb. 16, 2002. Many have been touched by this story and events that followed. This article is now up here
My personal mail response has been amazing to say the least. At last count I have received 60 responses from people touched by this story and inspired to send Ben a note of thanks and support. Thanks so much for taking a minute to read this story and I pray it will continue to move people to compassion. JUST ADDED 4/3/02 - your responses.
While doing a search on AOL, keyword, "Pay It Forward", I found the movie fan site for Pay It Forward. I put a web page together on AOL Hometown with 4 of these pages in a single page fan site for Pay It Forward. The content here is basically the same text, but the lay out is different. Click here to see the AOL Hometown Page which is also set up to email to a friend easily. It's all very cool!
Enjoy the Articles and be blessed... and blessing,
Greg Vail, President of the Ben Vail Fan Club
Ben Vail Update
Ben is in High School now. He was playing Sax for a while but went to the rhythm section on me. He asked for a Bass for Christmas and is playing Bass now.
Funny story - I always said his name was Ben-Jamin Black and he was going to grow up and be a black bass player. Pretty funny I know. Well, when I asked him what kind of Bass he wanted he said he didn't care as long as it was black. I now have a Black Bass Player and am convinced I am a prophet.
When Ben started Valencia High School he joined the Drum line on mallets and they went all the way to National competitions this year, winning 7th place in there division. Congratulations Valencia High!!
There is still much to be proud of with this young man, and I am still president of his Fan Club!