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The response to this story was beautiful and overwhelming. I want to include some of the kind thoughts that were sent to Ben on this page for all to see.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write Ben and encourage the good in my son. We all need to look for the good in our youth and tell them we appreciate their efforts. A kind word, given without the expectation of being paid back for it is the very heart of "Pay It Forward."
I bet your mum and dad haven't stopped smiling since you got this terrific award. Lots and lots of con gratulations to you and all your classmates from us.
Terry and Jerry
(Dad's friends from England)
I saw the article on the Pay It Forward Award, and I am so incredibly proud of you! I've always told your father what an awesome kid you are and how blessed he is to have you as a son, and this just confirms it.
Congratulations, and God bless you!
Great job Ben!!!
I would like to congratulate you and your class for your unselfish generosity. The Lord has seen your spirit and He will bless you for it!
What a wonderful thing for you to do to help someone else who had a real need. It's so great to see young people who care for others as Christ does. I hope that you have been blesses many times over for your generosity. Way to go, Ben!!!!!
What a wonderful thing you did for that family! It's so great to see kids like you who care about helping people so much. What a good heart you have!
Ben, I have always been proud of you, your sports, music, computer skills, etc. You are an exceptional person. You have a heart of gold.
I know your dad thinks he has all the bragging rights to you, but I am also bragging about your accomplishments and willingness to give to others.
B.B. Vail, you are turning out just right.
I do love you. I am very proud and excited for you. Keep up the wonderful ideas and you will, as you already are, go far.
Love, Aunt Sharon
Well, I want to applaud and commend you and your son Ben for his wonderful display of unselfish humanity and a genuine concern for the well-being of those who are in less fortunate situations than us.
Ben sounds like a natural leader with a huge heart--true qualities of a Vail! What a positive catalyst Ben is. He has challenged others (myself included) to look for the good not only in others, but also in ourselves.
It's so easy for all of us to hypnotically go through our daily routine wearing blinders that don't allow us to see anything but our selfish pursuits. Ben and the rest of his classmates are testaments and examples whom we should want to emulate.
I haven't seen the movie Pay it Forward yet, but I now plan to rent it.
Thank you, Ben, for being such a mature and unselfish example of Christian love that we all should strive to practice!
What a wonderful thing, Ben and the 6th grade class. I am so very proud of all of you for your kindness and caring for the human race.
Taking care of each other is one of the most important jobs we all have while we are on this planet. I am so glad that somebodies are remembering that, and paying it forward.
Thanks for reminding all of us.
I was talking with your Dad the other day and he was telling me about what you did recently.
Ben, how totally and completely cool. Your dad gave me the link for the article that was written and he said that there is going to be a write-up this Thursday in the paper.
How exciting. It was a nice change to read about someone wanting to give to someone who didn't have anything.
Now days, most people/kids are so into themselves that they can't see beyond the road that there are others out there who are not as fortunate. It takes special people like you to see what is up ahead. My hat off to you!!
My hope for you is that you never lose sight of what you have in your heart now. God will bless you for this.
I know that you Dad is proud, as I'm sure your whole family is.
Blessings to you,
Thank you so much for sharing this encouraging story of your son and his classmates/teacher! It is so good to know that there are good people out there that want to give unselfishly like that!!!
I am going to share this truly inspiring story with my small bible study group at work and also my girls (high school age) ministry group on Monday that I help lead.
I hope this will spark them to want to do something amazing like this... It certainly has encouraged me and realize how blessed I am each day...
Greg & Ben,
Greg, I can see why you would be such a proud dad. What an amazing story and an amazing gift.
Ben, you should be very proud of yourself. I am sure over the last year you have been told that same thing by so many people you know. And now, again, I will tell you.
I know that you have no clue who I am and, honestly, I only know you by all your dad has shared with me in the short time I have know him.
After reading about what you did and how you and your class came together to help another family, I was filled with pride for a kid I don't even know. It is a cool feeling.
It takes a great amount of courage to do something like what you have done. So many people see the news and hear story and say things like, "Man, that sucks." But, in the end, they do nothing. You are a fine example of what people are capable of.
Thank you both so much for sharing this story with me. I am touched. I hope you don't mind me sharing this story with the people I work with.
We also try to help out in places that people forget. Maybe, someday, you and your dad can come and see what I do. I think it is kinda cool.
What a wonderful, unselfish act of kindness! You showed us your heart and it's beautiful.
You have every reason to be proud. My wife and I recently saw "Pay It Forward" for the first time about a month ago.
I read the article in your e-mail and it brought tears to my eyes. I immediately called Cathy and told her to grab the paper and read the front page article.
She said, "the one about pay it forward?" I said yes. She said, "I already read it and cried when I did." I said read it again to me out loud. She did, and when she got to the name Ben Vail I said, "Do you know who's son that is?" She started crying again.
In this world of selfishness and materialism it is wonderful to read of the selflessness of these kids.
What makes it even more special is that Ben didn't make a big deal of it or brag about it. He just went about quietly being model of Jesus here on earth. I pray God blesses him and the other children many times over for their unconditional giving.
Thank you for sharing the article. I know I can take a lesson from their generosity.
I can't even start to tell you how impressed, touched and proud I feel reading about the wonderful things you and your class have been doing.
You may think it's "no big deal", but Ben sometimes something done by just one person can be the catalyst to wonderful changes for a whole town, a whole country or a whole generation. What you have done and are doing may just be that kind of spark.
You are a great inspiration. Your Mom and Dads must be about to explode with pride!! I know I feel privileged to know you and I'm forwarding the OC Register article to practically everyone I know!
Congratulations on the award -- and thank you for being you...
Wow Greg, that is so awesome and inspiring! We are very very touched and moved by the story. We are not the tiniest bit surprised that Ben would do something like that.
He seemed like a pretty terrific kid and we know he has a very cool dad who also shows great compassion, thoughtfulness and love for others.
Thank you so much for sharing the news story!
Please tell Ben that he is an inspiration to all of us....just like his dad is!
much love always,
Kaye and Brian
I am so proud to know you! I feel better today because of what you and your class did for someone else.
Keep on giving and giving...it will keep on coming back in blessings for you.
My name is Junko, and I play clarinet in the orchestra at Saddleback Church with your dad.
It is good to see that you are growing to be such a caring and giving person.... how did you turn out so different from your old man??
Seriously, what you and your friends have done is a great show of compassion and Christian love. Jesus said when you helped feed and clothe the hungry, you helped feed and clothe him.
Even more than that, you did it with out trying to show off what you were doing. You gave from your heart, and I admire what you and your friends have done.
This is a very exceptional act, and one i feel compelled to share with my friends in Japan, that anyone, no matter how old, can make a difference in the life of others.
Thank you for paying it forward!!
God Bless you and your friends.
Dear Ben (and the rest of your classmates and Mrs. Burgess, too!)
I am speechless. I was tearful and hopeful as I watched the movie "Pay It Forward" last year. My thoughts were "Wouldn't it be great if everyone all over the world took this message to heart and really lived their lives like this?"
I read your Dad's glowing email about you and your class and how you have embodied the spirit of the novel and the movie. Like the character, Trevor, you have touched my soul, moved me to tears, and filled my spirit with hope and gladness. You are an inspiration.
My father once told me that we should all aspire to be like Jesus Christ. . .love all people without judgment. . .be an example of love, forgiveness, and support. . .not TELL people about the Golden Rule, but live it and show them. . . let people know the Rule because your lifestyle attracts them.
Today, you have made the Golden Rule and the Pay It Forward concept very attractive and many, many people will be inspired by your good deeds. You are well on your way to a wonderful, spirited life.
Best Regards, Dusti Taylor
For Ben... You did a very good thing! Just imagine all the great deeds that
you can accomplish in the years ahead...
I am so proud of you and I want to thank you and your classmates. This is what really means being a Christian on the real life. You gave me a good lesson.
Such an awsome story.....thanks for sharing
What a wonderful thing for Ben to do. You must be so proud of his unselfishness. Wendy had called me with the story, but it was good to hear the whole story. Keep in touch,
What a great story to share. Being a parent, I can appreciate how proud you must feel. Your son has learned what it means to give and give freely, what a wonderful rewarding lesson in life.
This world would be a lot better off if we all learned that lesson young, and fortunately it is never too late. Their example may help others to take the step of "Paying It Forward."
You never know how many lives he may effect. What a great gift to give.....and, be proud Greg, your son Ben gave all he had, not just 10%, but all to people in need. . . . God is blessing him and he is rich in God's love.
I say the article in the paper yesterday.
I was so glad to read about your pay it forward project. It is wonderful to discover at an early age that one person can make a difference in others lives! What a wonderful story. I am sure your story will be an inspiration for others to follow.
I am very proud to have you as my relative.
Hello Vail boys,
Thanks for sending me the article.
Ben, we are truly so excited that God has blessed you and your family as you have unselfishly blessed others.
People live their whole lives and don't come close to making such an impact. There's alot of awards to be given and received for great achievements in life but none as important as this one.
As you continue honoring God in your life may He bless you with all the desires of your heart. Who knows what awards you'll win next? Maybe the Nobel Prize.
Love you always,
What a special person you are! Love is what makes life worth while, and I can see that you are taking the footsteps of Greg!
Bless you all!
Love Always in Christ!
I've passed this on to everyone I know!
Congratulations to Ben and to you, for being such a great, supportive dad.
First of all, I miss seeing you at church. Hopefully, I will see you soon. I learned a couple of tricks of my own to teach you (that is, if you don't already know them).
Secondly, your dad told me about the Pay It Forward award. Congratulations! And, I'm so proud to know you. You are such a great young man.
I was very moved by the story of the situation that you and your class helped with. You have learned so much and have so much character that many adults will never have.
You ought to be proud, and I know the Heavenly Father smiles on you and says, "Well done."
I hope to see you soon.