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Who We Are
The Pay It Backward Foundation was created by trailblazing entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tony March. Coming from an impoverished and unstable family background and upbringing himself, Tony made a personal pledge to dedicate his life to touching as many lives as possible through both his corporate and personal means. It has been a most unlikely journey.
“Truly I tell you,
whatever you did
for the least of these
brothers and sisters
of mine, you did
Over the past 40 years, Tony has donated millions of dollars in his quest to help reduce poverty and establish innovative programs for healing and personal renewal. Prior to the release of his autobiography, his uncommon and industrious acts of charity and philanthropy have been largely kept private. Throughout his years of community service, he chose instead to focus on the needs of others and work behind the scenes in relative anonymity. Ultimately, he came to understand, that sharing his story could even better serve the communities he was once part of.
Tony hopes others will be inspired to give back, too, and takes his own inspiration from Scripture: “Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40
In the end, Tony’s charitable and philanthropic journey has not been a typical one. Although he has contributed financially to organizations and causes in significant and appreciable ways for well over 30 years, he hopes more importantly to be able to inspire others following in his footsteps, to get right in the kitchen, so to speak, and spend time serving, in whatever manner or capacity, so that real lives can be touched and hearts and hurts healed.
In today’s contemporary vernacular, paying it forward is generally understood as a random, paid in advance good deed, even a very small one, with the accompanying belief that by paying someone forward, good karma will eventually cross our path when we least expect it (what goes around comes around). As corporate and community citizens, most of us do indeed believe it’s important to grow and influence a positive and considerate social culture. After all, we’re all in this together at the end of the day, and supporting one another can only make our individual worlds stronger.
“I have found that
among its other
liberates the soul of
When challenged with the task of creating a memorable title for not only Tony’s story, but ultimately his walk of life, the phrase Paying it Backward leapt to mind for Marvin Karlins, Tony’s autobiographical writer and friend. The phrase seemed to poignantly capture Tony’s personal approach to giving, and indeed how he thought about giving.
Acts of kindness, charity, and community service were to Tony, more of an extension of his love and concern for others, and his personal desire to make a tangible difference in their lives, than for eventual good karma to bless him. He knew what it was like to not have. To be hungry, lonely, and without a safety net of family and loved ones. He knew where he came from and he made a promise to himself to always look back to see how he could help make the world a better place for those who had not yet found a way to move forward. As he shares about his life journey, “I was once one of them”.
To Tony, paying it backward represents an opportunity to do something significant with what he refers to as our time, our talents and our treasures. Paying it backward is a challenge to each of us to reflect upon our individual blessings and take a look backward to the plight of others, often times, to places we once came from ourselves, to those suffering in obscurity.
This can look different for each and every one of us. From simply handing out water bottles in a tent city, to volunteering in a local homeless shelter, or writing a check, Tony’s personal encouragement is simply to do something. To get back to humanitarian basics, as we look back into our own communities and worlds to see how we can make even a small difference in real lives. The serendipitous exchange, he has always maintained, is that the giver too will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in having contributed to making his or her community a better place for all.
For those who have lived lives that are unfamiliar with a past of hurt and suffering, the giving story is still available to you! Simply giving back a portion of the blessings you have received, is a great way to make your own personal contribution to a happier and healthier world. Connect with us to learn more about how to use your time and unique talents for the benefit of others. Your life will be better for it!
RAY KUIK Idealist
So, what does an avant garde Canadian branding and marketing communications firm owner have in common with a trailblazing American car dealer, whose storied business pursuits and accomplishments have only been overshadowed by his passion for helping others?
Well, it might be the shared belief that helping others is an inherent responsibility that each of us has to our individual communities and country. Or, it could be the bond of understanding, that at the end of the day, we are all created equal, and none of us truly deserves privilege or blessing above another. Or perhaps it’s the mutual sense of gratitude for being citizens of countries with rights and liberties and freedoms, and the promise of opportunity for all. Then again, maybe it’s nothing more than a shared love of loving. Either way, when Tony met Ray and Ray met Tony, two very divergent worlds collided, with the rather unpredictable result being the genesis of a friendship and a kinship that would serve as the catalyst for an everyday people foundation and cause.
If you would like to connect with Ray to discuss a giving cause in your community or city, or would like to learn more about the Pay It Backward Foundation, connect with him at email@example.com.
Take a peek inside Ray’s “emotional brands” world at www.qpower.ca.
KRISTIN NICHOLSON Community Cause Leader
You can look at the glass half empty, or half full. See the worst in people, or look for the best. Turn a blind eye, or offer a helping hand. Meet Kristin Nicholson – the glass half full, looking for the best in people, always offering a helping hand kind of gal. With a sincere heart for people and a passion to serve “the least of these”, Kristin is the Pay It Backward Foundation’s lead community cause liaison. Whether you’re the principal at a small high school, or perhaps the CEO of a national corporation, Kristin delights in having open conversations to find out more about you or your organization, in order to help guide you on the path to becoming a change-maker in your community. Discover the many unique ways in which The Pay It Backward Foundation team can support causes and initiatives in your community!
Start a conversation today with Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRACE KLINE Builder of Meaningful Relationships
When you like people, you simply like people. Meet Grace Kline from Columbus, Ohio. “Gracie” is the Pay It Backward Foundation’s resident positive spirit and long-term relationships nurturer, always keeping her eyes and ears open for a best-fit relationship for both the Foundation and the people we serve. Sometimes it’s fielding an online enquiry and digging a little deeper to understand what it is a site visitor is seeking to learn, and supporting them through either an email or personal follow-up and conversation. Other times, it might simply be directing a caring soul to the right address or addresses, so they can make a difference in their own community and world. Either way, a conversation with Grace will be guaranteed to brighten up your day and lift your spirits.
Reach out to her today at email@example.com to learn more about our work in communities everywhere.