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Ben Vail

Ben Vail


  Pay It Forward 2001

Greg Vail

Pay it Forward

Last year, Ben Vail and his six grade class raised $1,500.00 to help a local family who had lost their home in a fire. They won the 1st annual Pay it forward award for schools. Some of you may have read the book, or seen the movie. Here is the story submitted by Mary Beth Tang, that won the award:

Mrs. Lisa Burgess's 6th grade class raised approximately $1500 in one day for the family of a handicapped student whose house had burned down--all with the student's own money.

When Mrs. Burgess told the class of the news that the Bamber family had lost their home as well as the family pets in an electrical fire, and that they had no homeowner's insurance, she suggested to them to take action to help the family. This is part of her ongoing teachings to do life service work to lead fulfilling lives.

The class brainstormed the idea of donating $1 to $5 each.

Instead, on the following day, one boy came to class with his Mom and had her write a check from his savings account for all the money he had saved to date, $250.00!! He said he was waiting to find something special to spend the money on, and this was it.

The effect snowballed from there: the next child cleaned out his account of $166 dollars, the next brought in $50, some brought in $5, some sought out donations from other classes.

Not only did they raise $1500, the students brought in gift certificates for retail stores that they hadn't yet used. They went to local merchants, speaking with store managers to arrange donations to the family, including free meal certificates from local restaurants.

When the mother of the handicapped student was notified of the charity and came to pick up the money she was overwhelmed with emotion.

Little had the students known, the family had to come up with $1000 by week's end to pay a utility fee -- money that they didn't have.

As a mother of one of the students in Lisa Burgess's class I cannot convey in words how grateful I am to have a woman of such love and integrity teaching my child such valuable lessens. My son was BEAMING with pride, and I was moved to tears.

I hereby nominate Lisa Burgess's 6th grade class for the Pay it Forward award.

Thank you,

Mary Beth Tang

Ben Vail Home Page I Pay It Forward Award I Orange County Register 2/15/02 I Register Follow Up 2/16/02 I back to Greg Vail Home

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