Kids in Sandy-ravaged town discover the joy of paying it forward

Photo credit:NBC News

“It’s funner to give a gift… and if you do it a lot, you can get a good feeling,” says third-grader Rachel Ward. Rachel’s school was struck by Superstorm Sandy and received help from a nonprofit called Family-to-Family. The students were so grateful that they wanted to give back, too.

So they helped put together birthday packages for children in need, understanding that a few small actions can make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Alison Kase, a Family-to-Family volunteer and mother of two children at Rachel’s school, PS 47, shares, “They have been on the receiving end of such wonderful kindnesses. But we felt that it was very important to teach what we call ‘living empathy,’ to live through the moment of that exchange of receiving and then to give and pay it forward.”

Family-to-Family director Nancy Hennessee says that the goal is to help people connect, which can be done through programs like “One Book at a Time” or “Sponsor a Family.” In the second program, a family is matched with a less fortunate family, providing food donations and even sending personal notes to further the connection between the two families.

Principal of PS 47, Ann Moynagh, says, “It’s just heartwarming. You know, that’s who they are, so I already knew how they were going to respond, but just to see it in action and the joy that they have in giving back to others… it’s just heartwarming.”

Good for You to Rachel and the students at PS 47! We’d like to hear what you and others in your community are doing to benefit others. Share your stories with us, and why not start the New Year by sending a Good for You Message to someone who’s made a positive difference in your life?

NBC Nightly News, 1/2/14

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