Archived Story

Paying it forward is a good rule to remember

Published 6:00am Saturday, May 26, 2012

I’m sure most people are familiar with the term “pay it forward,” but for those who are not, it simply means if someone has done something nice for you, do something nice for someone else in the hopes that the acts of kindness will just keep spreading.

With the April 27 tornado disaster we had here in the county last year, I saw several different instances of “paying it forward” by people who had been affected by other natural disasters and received help from relief teams who wanted to return the favor and help tornado victims from last April’s outbreak in Alabama.

One such group was a church group from Slidell, La., who came to Franklin County this past September to help the family of one of their members who were affected by the storms that came through Phil Campbell.

I remember the leader of that group telling me about how he had to rebuild his home after Hurricane Katrina and how other people came into the small Louisiana town to help out.

Those acts of kindness from complete strangers that he witnessed during his extreme time of need made an impact on him and gave him even further desire to help other people who faced similar situations.

Because of the example set by those relief workers in Slidell, this man brought a whole skilled church group to Phil Campbell to repair tornado-damaged houses.

Now enter a completely different church group from Roanoke, Va., that was in the area this week.

I talked to this group on Thursday about why they decided to come to the area and I was told that they had been doing relief work for many years and had still been doing relief projects in Louisiana from Hurricane Katrina before coming here.

They said they were just glad to help others and to be part of the rebuilding efforts.

When I asked them what area of Louisiana they had been volunteering in, they told me they had been in Slidell.


Now, these people from Virginia may have never helped the group from Slidell that came to help out in Phil Campbell this past September, but what if they did?

What if they were some of the ones who helped the first man rebuild his home and inspired him to bring a group up to Phil Campbell to help out?

Either way you look at it, the spirit of “paying it forward” is still alive and well in our county as relief efforts continue over a year later.

I don’t know about you, but their acts of kindness have inspired me to pay more attention to the nice things I see people doing all around me on a daily basis and to join in wholeheartedly in paying it forward to someone else.

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