Pay it Forward

Pay it Forward

When the “Going gets tough”, the “Tough get going” by “paying it forward”. Decades ago, my husband and I were in a financial rut and took a course called the 3T’s. It was a 10-week course where we read, did exercises, and met with the group involved each week. The 3T’s were about tithing our Time, Talent and Treasures. The core of the course was to tithe at least 10% of all you receive and trust that life would give back to you probably in ways you never expected. Over the decades, we found this principal to pay off abundantly in ways we never expected. There is a magic in giving freely.

My first thought was “I’m broke financially, emotionally and physically”, how can I give when I am not even treading water. This is the most important time to give. For me, it reset my thinking that there are plenty of solutions and abundance in my world to meet all my needs. This principal is so true with our economic downturn induced by Covid 19.

When the market crashed in 2008, we owned a real estate company we shuttered for 7 years to volunteer. My husband Mark and I started a non-profit where we helped tens of thousands of Oregonians save their homes and dig out of debt. We figured if we were not going to make money, we could make a difference with skills few people had right then.

No one had money to pay us and what little came in went to pay for the research tools we needed to do the legal work to prepare for homeowners to take to their attorneys. Thus, we volunteered not knowing how long it would be or what would be at the end of the tunnel for us.

We saved enough money over those 7 years to buy an abandoned Victorian in the Historic Washburne district of Springfield, then proceeded to rebuild it into the Pony House Inn. We settled our lawsuit with US Bank Trust and received a chunk of money to start the remodel. Then the magic really started happening. Keep your eyes open, do not judge your challenges but rather look for the opportunity.

We had numerous folks show up and volunteer to help us rebuild the old house. Just to name a few, a plumber, an electrician a sheet rocker and heating and air. We paid for materials and helped with the work saving us over $100,000.

I have learned in life that I cannot afford, NOT to volunteer. I do it freely without expectation of return. It is always a magical adventure with great rewards.

In the Spring, I organize and host the Washburne Annual Plant Exchange wherein we help collect and get adopted plants. The exchange is currently underway, and we expect to host and re-home at least $7,000 of plants again this year to our neighbors. It is all done with volunteers.  People donated what they could and we raised over $2,000 in cash to donate to Ann's Heart Women Shelter.

When life isn't giving me what I want, I sit back and consider what I can give.

What can you do to make your community a better place to live in?