The Pay It Forward Challenge
The social worker who connects Lauren with the families tells her that giving the families cab fare—instead of a bus pass—will restore a measure of dignity they lost with their homes. "That hit me really hard," Lauren says. "People may look at my bank balance and think I don't have much, but I have so many resources in the way of love, opportunities, a warm home and good food."
Lauren spends another $100 on five Best Buy gift cards for students who were nominated for acts of kindness by their teachers at Georgia O'Keefe Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin. One student, Antoine, is rewarded for returning a bus ticket which dropped from another child's pocket. The principal likes Lauren's idea so much that she decides to make it a regular program at the school!
The remaining $760 goes to teach ballroom dancing to students. Thanks to Lauren, all eighth-graders at the school will spend several weeks learning ballroom dancing in their gym classes. "These kids will have this experience for weeks and weeks, and whatever they gain from it—whether it be a little more confidence or just some increase [in] flexibility—will be something that will stick with them for years to come."