Thursday, May 20, 2010

On Paying it Forward (Or, I'm gonna win this thing if it kills me)

Gotta admit. I'm not usually one for blogfests and contests, but this one's got me going gaga over trying to earn all the points possible. And there are LOTS of points possible to earn. It's B. Miller's Pay it Forward contest. If you're a writer, this is definitely up your alley. His rules:

The grand prize for this giveaway is the winner's choice. EITHER a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble (or Borders, Amazon, etc - whichever you prefer) sent directly to your preferred mail receptacle, OR...
If you are a writer with published work available for purchase, B. Miller will buy your novel/story collection/chapbook, etc., up to a value of $25. He will also read your work and give a review on your chosen website, as well as a review and a plug on his blog, Twitter, and Facebook fan page. He will go to his local library and booksellers and ask that your work be stocked on their local shelves in Greenville, South Carolina. And, if you're willing, he will do a guest feature on his blog for you, complete with interview and links to your media.

As I said, there are many ways to get points. Best to check out his Pay it Forward post to learn the details. But one of the things I must do, apart from promoting B. Miller's contest, is to post a story about a time I paid it forward.  And I begin...

Last year while in my local supermarket, I was checking out when I heard an older woman complaining about her condo shuttle being delayed. She was upset because all her groceries were bagged and she was worried the perishables would spoil if she had to wait too long.

The manager was trying to console her, but the woman was becoming more agitated by the moment. As soon as my groceries were bagged, I asked her if I could take her home. She must have been well in her 80s and looked at me as if I had magically appeared to save her day. The look alone made me feel I had done the right thing by offering, even if she refused.

But she accepted.

Her name was Ruth, she told me. I loaded her groceries and headed for the general part of town where all the condos are, but guess what? Ruth didn't know exactly where she lived since she didn't drive and relied on the shuttle to take her places. So in the end, it still took her about 20 minutes to get home since I had to shoot up every street and ask her if it looked familiar. Eventually we hit the jackpot, and she recognized her building. I unloaded her groceries and carried them to the first floor unit where Ruth gave me a warm hug and told me I was her angel.

As I drove the ten minutes it would take me to get home, I didn't care what had happened to my own perishables because I knew Ruth would have a nice evening.

So there you have it, may pay-it-forward story. Feeling motivated to make your own pay it forward moment? I hope so.


  1. That's lovely! I would do the same thing...I saw a little old man JUST miss the bus once. It was so sad to watch him shuffling to try and catch it, but no one saw him, so the bus drove on. Around here, you're going to have to wait an hour or more for the next one.

    I went around the block (I was in the wrong lane and couldn't get over fast enough) to offer him a ride, but he was gone by the time I made it back around.

  2. So so wonderful! Hon, I never doubted you were the type to pay it forward in real life ;o) and this just shows my instincts were spot on!

    What a unique concept for a writing contest...

    Great story ;o)

    Visit My Kingdom Anytime

  3. MissV~ Cheers for trying!

    Courtney~ Kind words definitely. Thank you so much.

  4. Lovely story, Wendy! It always feels good when you do something for someone else.

    A few years ago, I was going into a sporting goods store. There was a gentleman sitting in the entry way. I was pretty sure he was homeless. I talked to the clerk as I checked out and she thought he was homeless too. It was one of the cold Februarys on record in STL. I noticed he didn't have a coat. I went out and visited with him and found out he was a disabled vet from the Vietnam War. (I must say I have a soft spot for our service men...) He was waiting to be officially declared disabled and then he would get a monthly check which would allow him to get a place to live. A local restaraunt was letting him use their address to get his mail until he had a place. I asked him if I could get him a jacket and call some friends at the Red Cross office where I volunteered and see if they could help him with temporary housing until the Veteran's Administration came through for him. He said I could. So I bought him a coat, called the Red Cross office and then gave him a contact person to talk to. I don't think he ever called the Red Cross. Later that day I stopped in our local bakery and told them about my encounter that morning (while I was shopping for bread) and the owner of the bakery gave me five loaves of bread to take to him. When I got back to the sporting goods store he wasn't there, but his stuff was on the bench out front. I placed the loaves of bread with his things and left. I hope that Larry has a warm place to live now...I doubt I'll ever know, but it felt good trying to help out. :)

    Thanks, Wendy...I feel good after sharing that day with you. :)

  5. Sharon~ Great story. You should pop on over to B.Miller's site and post it.

  6. Love this! Ruth sounds like quite the character. Glad you got to be her angel. :)

  7. Great story Wendy! You are an angel. A cockroach killing angel. :)


  8. So I always knew all along that you were an angel; no big surprise there!

  9. What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing.

    I try to find at least one little thing a day to do. But I feel like it never ends up a pay it forward because the same people end up doing things back for me. LOL!

    I guess I need to branch out and find other people to help. :o)