Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Most Innovative Company

In its March 2013 “World’s Most Innovative Companies,” Fast Company awarded the number one position to Nike, one of our donors. In the article, which is attached, Nike, according to Fast Company, is continually reinventing itself. That is pretty hard to do when you are number one in world sales.

However, Nike’s CEO, Mark Parker, allows ideas and suggestions by others to flow freely, which gives the behemoth, a continual fresh face in the world of sport clothing.

Two examples, which pushed the company forward this year are the Fuelband and the Flynet.

Here is the entire article.

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White Shoes, Black Laces

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other day, I Paid It Forward’s team visited an elementary school where a child had received an I Paid It Forward Card and requested shoes. We had a general idea of this kid’s shoe size, but just to be safe, we brought five pair in to get the best fit.

It was lunchtime, and all the kids were outside when we walked into the office. We announced ourselves, and the child in question was called into the office.

When he appeared, he was holding three paper bags of popped corn. One was allowed. He wore an adult’s large hooded sweatshirt that zipped up the front and had a skeleton pattern on the front. His shoes were canvas slip-ons normally worn in the summer.

After a gentle scolding by the principal for having too much popcorn, the young man was escorted into the office to try on the shoes.

After trying on a couple of pair, he settled on a white pair with black laces. For the first time in a long time, he had a new pair of shoes that fit his feet. He beamed! The old pair of shoes were stuffed in his sweatshirt pockets, where they stuck out. The popcorn bags were clutched next to his stomach, and the brand new pair of white shoes with black laces were proudly on his feet.

Before we left, we made sure he received an I Paid It Forward Card and a note addressed to his folks that explained why he has a new pair of shoes.

With the card, he is required to be an “ambassador of kindness,” and pay the gift of shoes forward by finding another person who might want a pair of shoes. When the card is gifted, there is an instruction on how to notify us for a new pair of shoes.

I couldn’t help myself, and took a photo of him, which is now framed and hanging on my office wall. It’s a reminder of why we do what we do.

An act of giving back to a community changes lives

Here is an inspiring story about a tattoo artist, who is changing the lives
of former gang members and victims of human trafficking by changing or
removing their identifying tattoos for free.

Chris Baker, 42, is a tattoo artist and youth pastor who lives in Oswego,
Illinois. As reported by ABC News, Baker wants to give back to a community
who has given him so much. Since 2011, he has created more than 500 free
tattoos for individuals who are eager to turn their lives around by altering
or eliminating identifying tattoos.

Read this inspiring story.

Can You Tell Which One?

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Look at all these feet! I wonder what school and where they are going? Can you spot the feet with the brand new I Paid It Forward shoes???? Or maybe someone who might need a brand new pair of I Paid It Forward shoes????

“The Shoe Lady”

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They call her “the shoe lady” because I Paid It Forward’s founder and president, Keri-Lyn Jakubs, delivers new shoes to children while they are in school. The sizes brought are determined by the children who are nominated and receive an I Paid It Forward “gift of kindness” card. However, Keri-Lyn knows that not all size requests received are the correct-fitting sizes. So she and her crew, bring many more shoes than are necessary.

“What I’ve learned,” Jakubs says, “is that most of the shoe size requests we receive are not really the size the child actually wears at all.”

It’s a guessing game that sometimes doesn’t work. The other day, a student was nominated to receive a pair of shoes, however when she got there, none were the right fit. Instead of waiting for donations, Jakubs purchases a new pair of shoes so that child can have the proper fit and not be disappointed due to I Paid It Forward’s limited size selection.

“One of the needs we have right now,” she shares, “is a variety of sizes from a variety of shoe manufacturers. We receive generous donations from manufacturers, but these donations don’t cover the size request of every child who receives a “gift of kindness” nomination. We are in serious need of children’s size shoes. For instance, right now we have requests for boys and girls children’s sizes 2 and 6 and we currently have none.”

Jakubs is asking for gifts of shoes and cash donations to cover these missing size shoe requests. If you would like to help, email Keri-Lyn Jakubs at kerilyn@ipaiditforward.org.

I Paid It Forward is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your donations are tax deductible.

Giving Back Feels Good

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We’ve heard that it is better to give than receive, but do you know giving has been proven to actually make you feel good?

In a Gallup survey on volunteering, 52% of the volunteers give because they like doing something useful and helping others. Thirty-eight percent felt better about themselves when they did volunteer work.

In a Canadian study, 85% of Ontario volunteers rated their health as “good” compared to 79% of non-volunteers. Only 2% of the volunteers reported “poor” health. That’s one-third the amount of non-volunteers who reported the same health status.

Other studies show a positive relationship between volunteering and increased self-esteem, with volunteers reporting both greater personal empowerment and better health. Is this a release of endorphins? Researchers think so. And the release of endorphins improves nervous and immune system functions.

Many people, such as I, report a “high” from volunteering, similar to the good feelings that come from exercise. Others state volunteering helps fight depression. Helping others certainly takes one’s mind of one’s problems and enables one to see a bigger picture. Once you see what a difference you can make to someone’s life, your own problems seem smaller and more manageable.