A movie titled Pay It Forward, released by Warner Brothers in 2000, had a profound impact on my life.  The storyline is endearingly sweet and really quite simple but one that packs a wallop of a message.

Pay It ForwardA young boy, Trevor, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, takes to heart an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher.   The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people.  His efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.

The novel of the same name, written by Cathrine Ryan Hyde, gave birth not only to the movie but also the Pay It Forward Foundation and a social movement of inspirational and random acts of kindness.

Having had the best year of my relatively young 3 year real estate career, I found myself reflecting on this movie and wondering how I could pay forward the gratitude I feel for the many blessings in my life.   In a synergistic moment at a recent MLS meeting, a woman named Chris Kang spoke to us about an organization I had never heard of called Valley Assistance Services

As soon as I heard their motto, "The helping hand forward for Valley Assistance Servicesthose in need", I knew I had found my way to pay it forward to those who need it most.  Valley Assistance Services mission statement is: "connecting seniors and families with appropriate and essential social services, to reinforce independence, resilience, and create an improved quality of life".   They are dedicated to providing hope and empowerment to seniors and families so they can sustain their independence. 

I love the fact that this organization is committed to helping isolated seniors stay connected in life so they can remain in their own homes and live their lives with independence and purpose.  It is a cause that pulls at my heart strings as I have had a number of personal experiences over the past 3 years with seniors who have found themselves alone and without resources at a time in their lives that they are unable to solve their circumstances without help. 

Being in the business of "homes", whether I am helping Buyers find the one of their dreams or assisting Sellers in selling one that no longer suits their needs, I see on a daily basis the joy that comes with home ownership.  And, I have shared the sorrow of someone who can no longer stay in the home they love. 

I want to help people be able to stay in their homes and beginning in November, I started paying it forward with a commitment to donate $100 from every one of my real estate sales over the next year to Valley Assistance Services.  My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of my clients whose support and continued referrals have made my business successful.  It is because of you that I am able to give back in such a personally meaningful way and in doing so, help to change a part of the world that I call home.  

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         


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