Pay It Forward - Brightwing

Pay It Forward


Paying it forward, or the act of doing a good deed for a stranger without a thought of return, is not a new idea by any means. Others have done it – Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Liberty Mutual, and there was even a movie titled Pay It Forward in 2000. A kind word or an unsolicited good deed that can create a positive snowball effect doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars, and we at Brightwing  decided to see where and how our contractors and partners do good unto others.

Russ Urquhart

In the Brightwing newsletter we educate, engage as well as highlight our contract workforce, and this month we decided to give our “Brightspot” a pay it forward twist.  We gave one of our contractors, Russ Urquhart $50 to pay it forward. Here is what he decided to do.

“I donated the $50 Brightwing gave me to Rolling Dog Farm in honor of my family, Tatiana, Sivon and Robhem Urquhart. This organization takes in animals with disabilities and special needs, cares for them, and allows them to lead a normal life in spite of the challenges they face.

The animals at Rolling Dog Farm, both big and small, are loved and cared for, for the rest of their lives or until someone comes and adopts them. When I can, I donate to Rolling Dog Farm and encourage others to do so as well.”


Art Road


Brightwing’s service partner Carol Hofgartner, creator of Art Road, a non-profit organization focused on providing art classes to students in Detroit, has been paying it forward for years.  Art classes were cut due to funding and in the 8 years that they have been absent, there are 10,000 students who have gone through schooling without art education.  Seeing that all children were special and deserved the right to art education, she started Art Road.

“I find that paying it forward through art education has been one of the most rewarding and satisfying aspects of my entire life. We are giving children the education, skills and tools to unleash their creativity that will in turn be paid back to their communities and the world.

Children learn not only about art, but about life. They discover that we can all look at the same thing and see it in entirely different ways.  When their work is displayed in the classrooms, hallways and in student exhibitions they take pride in their work and feel of value.  This allows them to set goals, take accountability and succeed. Art teaches children how to be a valued citizen of the world by the use of their creativity.”

Have you ever paid it forward? If you had the time or funding to do a random act of kindness or care, what would you do?




Author: Elyse Lopez and Carol Koskyn

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