CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – This holiday season one local organization is paying it forward by helping local charities and families in need.
Kingland Systems in Clear Lake and Ames decided to give their employees a gift of $100 each.
But the money wasn’t for them to keep. It was to be used to pay it forward.
“The holidays are a time where families come together and all that and I’ve been blessed with a very good family. I was brought up by wonderful parents, but I realized that that’s not true for a lot of kids in this area,” says Jan Anderson.
That’s why Project Manager Jan Anderson at Kingland Systems decided to give her gift to Yolanda Harden.
Harden is the achieving maximum potential facilitator for Francis Lauer Youth Services in Mason City and says she can relate to the kids at the shelter as she too had a rough upbringing.
“I knew as I got older that that was something that I wanted to do was give back to these kids and give them a reason to hope for the future, to look to the future and to be able to have a future,” says Harden.
And although Yolanda received the gift, she has decided to give it back to those who need it the most.
Immediately when I received the money I was in tears, but within seconds I knew that I really wanted to give that back to the kids at the shelter.”
Not all of the employees knew who they wanted to give the money to, but the act of giving even to someone they didn’t know made an impact.
“I gave my gift anonymously and the response that I got was a thank you back to the stranger and it made a strong impact on me, strong enough that I’m just going to do this on my own each year,” says Jeff Gorball, director of Kingland Systems.
Other employees also plan to pay it forward again next year.