2014-04-27 / News

STC elementary classroom raises $2,000 in ‘Pay It Forward’ movement

By Mandilee Loomis
Staff Reporter


Kathy Bogar’s class at St. Charles Elementary raised $2,000 for National Pay It Forward Day (April 24.) The class chronicled its donation projects in a Pay It Forward book, shown here. Students pictured are (back, left to right) Autumn Trevillian, Zoe Pease, and Alex Suppes; and (front, left to right) Danny DeShone, Brady Huntoon, and Whitney Katch. (TCC Photo by Mandilee Loomis) Kathy Bogar’s class at St. Charles Elementary raised $2,000 for National Pay It Forward Day (April 24.) The class chronicled its donation projects in a Pay It Forward book, shown here. Students pictured are (back, left to right) Autumn Trevillian, Zoe Pease, and Alex Suppes; and (front, left to right) Danny DeShone, Brady Huntoon, and Whitney Katch. (TCC Photo by Mandilee Loomis) ST. CHARLES – One local elementary class raised some $2,000 recently in order to Pay It Forward.

In October 2000, the movie “Pay It Forward” chronicled a story of a young boy who had a bold vision he called paying it forward. The idea was to perform a random act of kindness for three complete strangers. All he asked in return is they themselves find three strangers and pay it forward in the hope that the idea would catch on and spread like wildfire.

One teacher at St. Charles Elementary has taken this concept and ran with it – raising thousands of dollars over the years for Pay It Forward Day held April 24.

Kathy Bogar is a fourth grade teacher at St. Charles Elementary. In 2006 area resident JoAnn Frederick, whose nephew was in Bogar’s class, learned of Pay It Forward. Frederick decided to donate $10 to each student in Bogar’s class and challenged them to find someone less fortunate and pay it forward. Bogar explained after that year an area bank funded the $10 per student each year. The event lost its funding and the effort stopped after the 2009-2010 school year.

This year one parent decided to re-ignite the concept. Cindy DeShone had an older son in Bogar’s class who had participated in Pay It Forward. Now her younger son Danny was also in the class.

“It was such a good experience with her older son doing this project that she wanted her younger son and his classmates to participate. She used her personal funds to donate $10 each to all 26 students in the class,” Bogar explained.

DeShone gave the money to students in early March. She challenged them this time to not only pay it forward – but to also use entrepreneurial skills to grow the money; and encouraged students to donate $10 back to next year’s event. Students in the class made true to that promise and 20 out of the 26 were able to pay it forward for next year’s fundraiser.

In total, the class raised approximately $2,000 for various projects. Bogar chronicles each year’s Pay It Forward event by creating a book that highlights student’s projects through pictures and each children’s charity they chose; written in their own words.

Wyatt Wilkins together with his family collected over $300, as well as pet supplies, to help fund medical care for an injured, stray dog the family found. Cameron Hicks invested his $10 in supplies to make Lego jewelry and keychains he sold. He raised over $200 and donated it back to the school to purchase needed art supplies, while student Bryce Sherven collected $200 in donations from family and friends and purchased school supplies that are now distributed throughout the school to students who need them. Braeden Milbrandt sold cake pops for 50 cents each to the tune of $160. Braeden and his parents Ryan and Jamie Milbrandt donated the funds to the Cartwright Center in Saginaw, where three family members had spent time there for hospice care.

“I thought it was great that I was helping somebody else’s family,” Braeden said.

Many of the other students in the class sold items during parent teacher conferences in March. Items like cotton candy, candy bars, homemade baked goods, duct tape wallets, and handmade flower magnets lined the halls during the student-named “Pay It Forward Bazaar.”

This is the most amount her classroom has ever raised and she is proud of her students, Bogar said.

“The parents are also very proud of the kids,” she added. “The students get such a good feeling helping others. Many of them say that they want to do this forever. I’m glad it inspires them to want to do good for other people.”

It appears Pay It Forward is a growing movement. There are now over 60 countries that have declared a National Pay It Forward Day, and last year people from 65 countries participated on April 24 with individuals working on proclamations in 36 states and 41 cities. The goal for this year’s international Pay it Forward Day was to inspire over 3 million acts of kindness around the world.

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