Kim Marnin and BJ Wylie have no shortage of ideas for their combined $2,000 Pay It Forward Challenge money…but they decide to let their kids choose how to spend it. The children choose several worthwhile projects—from gathering coats for a student council "Project Snowday" charity effort to donating toys to the Salvation Army for its annual Christmas toy drive for children.
The children—and their parents—buy turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving baskets for the needy. They also donate books, art supplies and birthday boxes for Children's Inn, a South Dakota agency that provides a safe haven and resources for children with emotional and behavioral problems stemming from abuse and neglect.
Like most kids, BJ and Kim's children love ice cream. So, in addition to helping with local projects, they show up at an ice cream store and hand out gift certificates for treats to everyone in line. The kids also love animals, so they donate toys, collars and leashes for animals at The Second Chance Kennel in their town. Their generosity knows no bounds. One of BJ's boys even lets a dog at the shelter share his lollipop!
"I had no idea I would ever be able to have the means to do this!" BJ says. "I know this will stay in our hearts forever."