Recently my employer, Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust, launched a new initiative for its employees to “Be Exceptional”. In order to get us started on our new goal, the Bank gifted each of us with $50 cash, with the only stipulation being to “Pay It Forward”.
For those who don’t know, the concept of paying it forward it is the action of taking a gift and re-purposing it to do a good eed for others, in the hope that someday the recipient may do the same for someone else. As a Board Member of the Catholic Worker House, I immediately knew that I wanted to give my gift to the house, but how to do it? As a child, I had always loved Easter and it occurred to me this would be the perfect time to remind the kids living at the Catholic Worker House that the Easter Bunny hasn’t forgotten them.
I used my funds to purchase a basket of goodies for each child in the house — nine baskets total — and one basket for all the adults too! In each basket was all the candy I loved as a kid – a chocolate bunny, Cadbury Eggs, jelly beans and more. My mom, Linda Barrett, the House’s correspondence secretary, even got involved in my project and donated funds and helped me shop for everyone, so it became a bit of a family affair.
Our house manager, Larissa Ruffin, explained to me how important it is for kids at the house to be “able to have the normality the crave”. So I hope a little candy and some Easter egg hunting did just that. It made me feel so good inside to share my good fortune with others and to give those kids what they needed, especially at the most blessed time of the year. Thank you to all of you who also share your good fortune with the Catholic Worker House all year long. Paying it Forward is good for the soul!