A Special Message of Thanks

From Dr. Sara Cumming, Professor of Sociology, FHASS

To my FHASS and TLA colleagues;

Thank you for helping “Pay It Forward” this past holiday season.

For the past several years I have donated gifts to a small group called Pay It Forward during the holiday season.

Pay It Forward started with two Educational Assistants (EAs) in Niagara who worked in low-income area schools. Understanding the struggle that a portion of their students would face during the holiday season propelled the EAs to start collecting Christmas gifts to anonymously donate to these families.

Over the years the level of need in the Niagara region has increased drastically resulting in a much higher demand than could be met solely by donations collected by two individuals.  The EAs reached out to their friends and family members asking if anyone was interested in ‘adopting’ a family for the holiday season.

This past year I was able to ‘adopt’ two families with the help of some very generous individuals in my faculty and my TLA group.

I first wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  I brought my four girls with me to drop off the gifts to the families and it was truly an emotional endeavour.  Both of the mothers were overwhelmed with gratitude and not one person left the encounter with a dry eye.

Photo: Sara Cumming

Photo: Sara Cumming

I have recently been asked to step into a more permanent leading role with Pay It Forward and will actively be organizing volunteers, fundraising, and doing community outreach so that we can continue to puts smiles on children (and their parents) faces during one of the most economically stressful times of the year.

Thanks again to all who participated this year.  Looking forward to seeing what Sheridan can do next year!