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Pay it Forward

I’m sure that most of you have heard of or even used the term “pay it forward.” The expression is used to describe the awesome concept of asking that a good deed be repaid by doing it for others rather than repaying the person who offered the initial good deed. In this way we can continue to carry on the good that has been done for us and share it with others in need. It’s a very simple concept – and one that can continue to spread, ultimately making the world a better place.

In the hit movie and the book Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, the idea was to repay a good deed by helping out three others in need. I don’t necessarily think that there should be rules in terms of the number of people you help, but what I do believe is that we need to give back for the many good deeds we receive. And yes, there are many, so where do we start?

I’d like to share with you two areas of my life where I feel I need to do some paying it forward…

The United States Armed Forces

I have always been incredibly humbled by the men and women who join the U.S. military to serve our country. I can’t fathom the sacrifices that they and their families make, the risks they place themselves in, and their amazing courage. I also have felt we don’t do enough to support them while they are serving, but even more so, when they return after service.

My admiration for those in service and my desire to help them increased tenfold when my nephew Sammy joined the Marines. Sammy was stationed in Iraq last year and just returned on February 6. I am so proud of him!

So here’s a perfect example of a good deed that every United States citizen has received: the service and sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces to protect our nation. We could all “pay it forward” by volunteering our time or donating to the many organizations that support our troops and veterans. I have decided to support the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP). WWP serves to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

You can learn more about Wounded Warrior Project and make a donation at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

You can also find Wounded Warrior Project on Facebook or follow them at twitter.com/wwpinc.

Women Helping Women

I’ve always been a big supporter of women helping women, especially young women who need role models and support to build their self-esteem.

Ladies Rock CampI’ve finally found an organization that I can wrap my arms around—the Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls, a weeklong camp where girls ages 8 to 17 take up rock music instruction, form a band, write an original song, and perform it live at a real venue. It’s a mash-up of rock ’n’ roll and women helping young women to grow. The goal of this nonprofit organization is to foster leadership and self-esteem for girls through music education and performance.

There are many ways you can get involved…send your daughter or niece to a rock camp, attend a camp (there are camps for adult women too!), volunteer your time and talents, donate, or attend one of their events. With over 20 Girls Rock Camp organizations worldwide in the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, hopefully there is one close to home that you can support.

For more information visit http://www.girlsrockcamp.org/main/.

Watch the trailer for Girls Rock! The Movie, and you’ll wish you got to go to Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls!

What’s Your PIF Inspiration?

Like I said earlier, there are so many good things in our life and so much to be grateful for, where do we start? Everyone has their story. I told you about the two causes I am passionate about and would love it if you decide to support them as well, but what really matters is that you practice acts of kindness and help others in need and ask them in return to pay it forward!

I’d love to hear about a good deed that you received or how you pay it forward, so please leave you comments below.