Pay It Forward


In 2010, Pay It Forward (PIF) started as a temporary outreach to help those in our community. A person was selected to receive $50. That person would then use the money to Pay It Forward. Due to the enormous support from the FCCV congregation, PIF continues 2½ years later and generates interest from other churches as well as our community, as seen by the visits to our church website. In recognition of this part of our ministry, our church is making PIF permanent. PIF recognition will be the fourth Sunday of each month when we will hear how the previous $50 was used to pay it forward and a new PIF person will be chosen. If you would like to participate in PIF, write your name on an index card and place it in the PIF box in Fellowship Hall. Donations are also being accepted to ensure that the PIF program continues. If you choose to make any size donation, you can place a check in the offering plate, marked for PIF or give a donation downstairs in Fellowship Hall in the PIF box.

10/10/10 FCCV Intro to PIF

12/31/10 Journal-Inquirer Article

Wikipedia PIF Philosophy & Movie Entries

Pay It Forward Participant's Guidelines & Suggestions

Use your heart.

  • You have between now and next month to utilize the gift for a charity, cause, charitable fundraiser, soup kitchen, food pantry, etc. or someone or a family in need. You can be creative also.
  • You can utilize the gift in the local community you live in or the town where the FCCV is located. Or, you may have one already picked that you have a connection to or related to at work. As noted at the top - Give from the heart.
  • You will report next month and tell the congregation who you gave the money to and why and any other information you may have about them. Your report does not need to be long, 2-4 minutes. Let your passion tell the story. You will present your report prior tothe service after a welcome by one of the pastors. Someone from Stewardship will begin moment and introduce you to the congregation.This will be the Pay it Forward moment as noted in the church bulletin. After your presentation, you will select another person for next weeks Pay It Forward.
  • If the recipient asks you where the money came from you can say it is a gift from you and the FCCV. A simple thank you from the recipient is sufficient and may suggest to the recipient that hopefully someday they will have an opportunity to pay it forward to someone else


Pay It Forward Story Book


John Koziol - I asked a neighborhood elementary school teacher if she could use $50 for the benefit of her class.  Her first thought was to buy resource materials for several students who were not able to read at grade level. 

As our teacher gave this project more thought, she felt she was being selfish to keep it in her own classroom. She enlisted help from the school nurse who suggested augmenting the school’s Thanksgiving basket mission for 20 needy families in their school population.  Attached to the baskets would be a pay-it-forward note asking the recipients to show their appreciation for this gift by doing three nice things for others in need.  This approach not only broadens the gift from one classroom to the whole school; it
also promotes good deeds throughout the community.

Stimulated by this pay-it-forward concept, our teacher plans to have her students make greeting cards for our servicemen during the forthcoming holidays.  The students’ cards will include materials for their recipients to make cards to send on to others.

Thus this $50 could encourage others to give thoughts for paying forward from a classroom to the school to the community and to the world.

Sean O’Gara - Assisted a neighborhood child with one leg longer than the other. Thus inhibiting him in doing things a normal child can do. Such as walking in the snow. Sean, put the gift towards a special snow shoe that will enable him to walk and play in the snow for the first time. The gift was matched by the vendor who covered the remaining cost of the special shoes.

Anonymous - Church member reported that her niece who is out of state heard about our Pay It Forward program. She donated $50.00 to the program which in turn was given to a family in need in the Vernon community.

Pat Lazeren - Purchased 2 Bags from HockanumValley for the “Pack a Sack – Bring it Back” program. Program designed to furnaish groceries for families in need in the local community. Others in turn paid it forward to fill the bags.

Madeline Condry - Paid it forward to “Kid Safe” program in Vernon. Was used to purchase essentials for families needing assistance. Items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc.

Pat Aldrich - With a love for music and the music ministry of the First Congregation Church of Vernon. Pat Aldrich enriched the Les Childs Scholarship by paying it forward with her gift of $50.00 The Les Childs Scholarship is awarded annually to an applicant for the pursuit of excellence in music.

Irene Pinkham - Sharing the joy of music and love of children. Paid it forward to the youth choir to enhance their program and the music they provide the FCCV.

July Ramsdell - Featured a special guest by the name of Summit. Summit an Australian Shepherd who is specially trained in disaster and wilderness ground searches. DAWGS. Her Pay it Forward gift provided funds to further provide training in this valuable life saving program.

Linda Shivers - Using a charity close to her heart and one she has generously contributed valuable time to over the years. Linda paid it forward to the Cornerstone Soup Kitchen located in Rockville. A gift that surely will provide additional food supplies to those in need in the local community.

Don Melander - Working for an engineering firm. Don and his company have provided services and volunteered their time to the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity. An organization that builds affordable housing to strengthen the community it serves. Don’s Pay if Forward gift further provided materials and supplies to the organization.

Nancy Parker - Gengras Foundation of Hartford

Jean Chaplin - Paid it forward to the Visiting Nurse and Health Service Program of Vernon. Letter presented to the congregation from the VNHP that explained the program and benefits of.


Jan & Tony Muro - presented pay it forward gift towards diminishing the cost of installing a chair glide for Karen Heebner who has been fighting cancer courageously the past several years.  This will allow her accessible assess to the basement that leads to the garage and driveway.

Katherine Cutting - pay it forward gift went to A Brighter Hope. A fundraising effort to raise $5,000,000 to update, equip and maintain the Clinical Care Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in children at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.

Susan Pilkons - Cornerstone Foundation

Confirmation Class - Class received $200.00 for pay it forward.

Lilly Westerberg - daughter of Steven & Emily Westerberg shared with us her pay it forward gift to the Children’s Welfare Fund, a gift to benefit the children at the Connecticut Children’s Place for activities, supplies or equipment such as birthday trips, field trips, trips to the movies and more.

Lynn Sweet - Creative Living Community. Young boy with autism. Artwork. Spots on bulletin and selected members received gift.

Chris Buxton - Touched us with her gift to Hospice that provided comfort to her mother and family during her mother’s illness till her final resting place in Gods Garden.

Al Newton - Family Counseling session at Hockanum Valley Community Council

Holly Boutwell - Holly Boutwell presented us with her pay it forward gift in honor of Phyllis Chase a former nurse at Skinner Road School. Payless Shoes.

Steve Morse - Toys for Tikes. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department

Don Peacock - MARC organization.

Margaret Klukas - Reading Program – Skinner Road

Ashley Markunas - Sponsor a child for summer camp thru the Vernon Parks and Recreation

Sally Sullivan - To people in need of assistance while undergoing cancer treatment. St. Francis Hospital.

Geraldine Strong - Heifer International

Cheryl Purnell - Basic Needs Program – Hockanum Valley Community Council

Debbie Bartos - Tri Town Fuel Bank

Tom Sweet - Fidelco – spirit of sunshine for those that are blind.

Phyllis Chase - Marlborough Heath Care Center – Therapeutic recreations services.

Nick Bartos - Whale – Greenpeace

Michelle Bower - Story of Texas trip and good deed.

David Pinkham - Local school for supplies

Michelle Darby - Vernon Animal Shelter

Avery Kinney - presented the blessings Pay it Forward gives to those in need with her gift to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in helping them continue their lifesaving mission of finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Check her story posted on the Pay it Froward display board were you can also see her story about St. Jude patient JaLise.

Bob O’Gara - presented the blessings Pay it Forward gives to those serving the local community in which we live with his gift to the Vernon Police Explorer’s.
The mission of the Vernon Police Explorer Post 800 is to develop desirable qualities of character, and teach responsible citizenship and leadership, while introducing Explorers to a career in law enforcement and community emergency response through training and practical application. Explorer Cadets have the opportunity to learn almost every aspect of law enforcement through an Academy, regular classes, on the job training and through online courses and Emergency Organization Training

Joyce Sepulveda - Hockanum Valley Food Bank. Price Chopper contributed $25.00 Got husband to contribute $50.00. Collecting at VCMS during Dress Down Day. Has grown to $275.00 plus what is coming from VCMS. Having others pay it forward.

Mary Wheeler - Petit Family Foundation. Read letter from Dr. William Petit and foundation mission.
“Go forward with the inclination to live with a faith that embodies action; Help a neighbor, fight for a cause, love your family. I’m really expecting all of you to go out and do some of these things with your family, in your own little way, to spread the work of these wonderful women.”

Beth Fowler - Presented to local organization for treatment and counseling for abused and battered women.

Dick Wurst - presented the blessings Pay it Forward gives to those serving the local community in which we live in with his gift to the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity. An organization that provides homeownership to those that qualify in the Hartford and Tolland County area. A gift that the Wurst Family doubled to support this organization.

Dee Kidd - presented the blessings Pay it Forward gives to those serving the local community in which we live in with her gift to the organization Peace on Earth that is run by volunteers that fosters hope to those in need with food, clothing, basic amenities, gifts, etc.

Millie Oliphant - shared her blessings Pay it Forward gives to those serving the local community in which we live in with her gift to the Trinity Cooperative Preschool to assist families in the early Christian training of their children.


Gaile Dembeck - inspired us with her story of how years ago as a teacher with a disruptive student she anomalously gave that student a coat the he embraced with warmth thus changing the life of a child by giving. With her Pay it Forward gift that was further matched, she made an offering to the Maple Street School to share that very same gift she gave years ago to a disruptive student in need. 

Betsy Gerakaris -shared with us her blessing to helping those in need of food, clothing and shelter in the local community. Matching her PIF gift, she paid it forward to The Cornerstone Foundation that has touched thousands lives in the Rockville, Vernon and surrounding community.

Lillian Westerberg - shared with us her heartfelt story of her gift to the Danbury Animal Welfare Society. A place where her family adopted their pet dog Daisy 10 years ago. Their gift is being used to a help a dog named Rosebud who needs an operation as she is waiting to find a home by a loving person. 

Donald Montgomery - matching the contribution he received from Pay it Forward shared with us his gift he made to Foodshare. A program that is the heart and center of the greater Hartford areas fight against hunger. Serving 42 towns and distributing 16 tons of food each day to a network of 300 local partners in the community that feed hungry neighbors.

Jim Wilson - shared with us the amazing number of how many charities and organizations there are in the world that are in need. Keeping it local. Jim shared his Pay it Forward gift in support of the Memorial Garden towards the purchase of a tree in recognition of the 250th Anniversary of the FCCV. 

Dave Bower – shared with us his own family’s personnel experience when they had to deal with a member with cleft. Feeling fortunate that they were able to correct via surgery through their insurance. Dave took that inspiration and matching the pay it forward gift. His family shared that gift to an organization called the Smile Train. An organization whose mission is providing every child born in the world with cleft in the poorest countries an opportunity to live a full and productive life, a new smile and second chance at life. An inspiring story.

Mariah Shivers -  shared the blessings Pay it Forward provides the local community with her gift to the Vernon Fire Dept. The Town of Vernon Fire Department provides fire, medical and emergency related services to the Town of Vernon 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, handling over 1,000 fire and 2,500 emergency medical calls annually.  The VFD team derives its strength from a diverse group of dedicated men and women who are volunteers. People who want to give something back to our community making a difference in our lives and the lives of others. 

Sophie Becker -along with her dad Brad shared the blessings Pay it Forward provides to the local community with their display of bags of food and items they purchased and donated to the Hockanum Valley Community Council Food Pantry that provides food and necessary items to those families in need in the community.

Dave Kemp - American Red Cross. Helping those suffering damage from tornadoes in Kentucky

Jack Longo - American Dog Pound. Helping to find a dog a home.

Ron Burr - Blessed the Strong Family Farm Foundation with his Pay it Forward gift. The Strong Family Farm provides an agricultural education center where individuals, families and community groups experience an authentic historic family farm environment.

Nancy Bright - Donating the $50 and a matching gift to the massage therapy program at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. The healing touch of a licensed massage therapist provides comfort to children of all ages who are in the hospital. Infants, children recovering from surgery, adolescents with cancer or sickle cell disease all benefit from massage. The massage therapy program was started last summer with a grant from Friends, the Connecticut Children's auxiliary, and is now sustained through the generosity of donors. Children are able to enjoy the relaxing and calming effects of massage free of charge. The therapist also teaches parents how to massage their children so they can participate in an activity that takes their minds off the stressful circumstances of being in the hospital. This program is growing and another massage therapist will be hired soon so that more children can benefit from the calming effects of massage. The response from patients and their families has been very positive. Children have told our massage therapist, "I feel better "and "I feel special." Those are nice words to hear and that is why, I chose to pay it forward to the massage therapy program.

Sarah Cutting - Sarah Cutting gave her PIF gift to Relay for Life. A global event that Sarah has participated in because a year ago she found out her grandmother Carole has breast cancer. Relay for Life raises money for the American Cancer Society to help research cures for all types of cancer and also provides support to the patients and their families. Year to date Sarah and her Relay for Life Team have already raised over $1200. My hope is we can find a cure for cancer so families do not have to experience losing a loved one or watching them suffer this illness.

Robert Warner - Robert Warner blessed the Memorial Garden with his gift in memory of Wright Gifford and Paul Leonard.

Bill Kerr - Bill, a Hartford Firefighter blessed the Demond's Children Fund. A fund established to support Ben Demond's two young boys, Alex and Cole who were severely injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver that killed their father a Norwich firefighter in March.

Annie Longo - Annie Longo’s used her Pay it Forward gift in helping a very good friend in need. With two older girls in college and two younger boys at home and being a single mom, Annie was able to help take some stress off for a devoted single mom of four children who has been affected by the weak economy. I have never met anyone who is devoted to her family, her kid’s well being, God and just being a good person says Annie. It was a great feeling being able to help her out and use the pay it Forward gift to help her. When she asked me what me what she could do to return the kind help, I simply said pay it forward when someone else may be in need in the future.

Ken Morgan - Ken Morgan inspired by the story of a young boy who lost his life when he fell from his bicycle in Somers last year. With additional contributions from several friends to add to his Pay it Forward gift.  Ken was able to purchase 10 bicycle helmets for children ages 3 and up. He then donated the helmets to the Vernon Police Department. Thus allowing them to Pay if Forward to furnish a child a bicycle helmet that may not have one when they see a young child riding a bike without a helmet. Creating goodwill in the community and also maybe avoid the fate that the young boy in Somers suffered.


Millie Oliphant - Click here to read her story.

Julia Assard - Julie shared her PIF gift story in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Along with additional contributions from her family, she was able to purchases enough items to furnish several families in the local community a Thanksgiving dinner that otherwise would have to go without.

Barbara Melander - Click here to read her story.

Michelle Giordano shared with us that she “Paid It Forward” to the Chrysalis Center in Hartford, specifically to their Rockville project.  This project involves the Phelps Mansion at the corner of Ellington Ave. and Prospect St. which is being refurbished into 10 apartments for formerly homeless veterans.  The project is in need of new furniture, which is where the Pay It Forward donation will be used.  To read more about the Chrysalis Center, go to

Candy Buswell chose to PIF to the Food Pantry and to provide blankets for the Homeless Shelter. She matched the $50 and was able to donate to each of these organizations.

Al Newton shared with us his Pay It Forward moment, in which he supported Evening Circle’s sponsorship of a family in the Vernon area.


A heartfelt “Thank You” to those who donated, to those whose cards were drawn and who thoughtfully accepted the challenge to "Pay It Forward" (and then gave us the details) and to the congregation who listened and clapped to acknowledge the joys of Paying It Forward.

Additional contributions will guarantee the continuation of the program. If you are interested, there is a box for collecting items and gift cards for this great cause set up near the Scrip-Your-All table. If you would like to participate in Pay It Forward, fill out a card and place it in the PIF box in the Narthex or by the PIF sign near the Scrip-Your-All table. If you would like to make a donation of any size, checks may be placed in the offering basket (marked PIF in the memo) or in the PIF box in the Narthex near the stairs to Fellowship Hall.