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Pay It Forward


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#1 Pam

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 07:33 AM

OK, this is a serious contest. Any smartassed, non-serious entries (or comments) will be deleted.

That out of the way, here are the rules:

The theme of the contest is Pay It Forward. It's not a literal Pay It Forward but pretty close.

What you need to do: Write an essay (I know! I know!) It won't be judged on spelling or grammar, but instead on content. The essay should detail a time when you needed help, and someone helped you. (Keep reading, there are more requirements)

The prize: The prize is $250 donated to the charity of your helper's choice (or if the person is no longer alive, a charity they supported) in their honor or memory.

Your essay should be between 500 and 750 words (short and sweet, I hope there are a lot of entries to slog through.)

The charity must be one of the big recognizable ones, or at least one that is easily researched and verified as legit.

CB was founded on the premise of Pay It Forward - it was a way of giving back all of the help that we received when we were newbies. We are fortunate that we can continue to pay it forward, and we can help others do so as well.

The contest will close at midnight EST, September 30, 2007.



#2 Lighthouse84

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 08:09 AM

That is really cool!

#3 LearnCreditTips

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 08:47 AM

Pam,
May I ask if the intent is to describe help specifically related to financial problems or to life in general?
I would imagine that the intent is to detail and highlight help with financial matters, but maybe that is not the case at all. Would you please elaborate?

#4 Cushie

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 09:45 AM

Do we post our essay here?

#5 Cushie

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:02 AM

Here's mine:

In 2000, I knew I was dying. Not dying fast, but I knew my body was slowly shutting down and ceasing to work correctly. My first thought was to find a doctor who could help. When that didn’t work I reached out and went on the internet. Many long nights of searching, questioning and crying were answered when I found a website full of other women who were dealing with many of the same problems as me.

One woman in particular, Sue Koziol, reached out to me. Sue was from Michigan and offered to see what she could do to help me. She offered to look at pictures of me (the disease I had was easily recognizable via physical features). I sent her my pictures, she sent them around to others and they knew, almost instantly, that I was facing the same disease as them.

Sue then started calling me. Offering support, with names of good doctors near me, telling me that I needed to stay positive, being a wonderful friend. Sue would call just to tell me a joke, in an effort to brighten my day.

When I was finally diagnosed with the condition Sue was the first person I called. She cried for me – tears of joy, tears of sorrow for what I’d face. She helped prepare me mentally for what was to come – the surgery, the recovery, the changes to my body.

Sue helped form CUSH, a non-profit organization. The letters CUSH stand for Cushing’s Understanding Support and Help. She was a tireless crusader for all men and women who have Cushing’s. She and I organized our first national convention. Sue coined the term ‘Cushie’ for those of us who faced the disease. I wear that name proudly and in honor of Sue.

Sue died March 12, 2006 from complications of the same disease we share. But few people can accomplish in one lifetime what Sue accomplished. She held my hand and guided me through the darkest, scariest times of my life. She was the true definition of a friend. I only met Sue twice, face to face. Yet she was my friend.

If I win, I want the money donated to the charity that Sue started and championed. I can think of no greater honor to her memory.

#6 adventurer07

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 12:22 PM

I got married in the spring of 2005. After we were married a side of my husband emerged I never expected to see. He would suddenly begin throwing things around our apartment for no reason. He would rape me savagely if I refused sex. I soon was pregnant after he began flushing my birth control pills. He became jealous, following me and calling me whenever I was out of sight. He would follow me to the library or gas station just to make sure that’s really where I was going. He insisted that I quit my job and then repeatedly put his job at risk to keep tabs on me under the pretense of protecting me. He began threatening to kill me if I left him, then threatened to kill me if I even thought about or looked at another man. He began to abuse prescription drugs and anti-depressants. I became trapped in my own home.

I was terrified for my life as well as my child's, terrified that day would be my last. I reached out to everyone I could think of, one of which was an online friend I'd known for several years but never met. She lived 1100 miles away. I began sharing what I was going through with her daily and made her record them so that if anything happened to me, she could go to the police. She was there to listen, and as things got worse, we began to talk on the phone. She began urging me to leave him and I tried twice. At one point he put his foot in front of the tire of my car and threatened to have me thrown in jail if I ran over his foot.

I was terrified, pregnant, sick, and broke. I felt I had nowhere to go and had no idea where to turn. Then my friend suggested I move to where she was and I could stay with her. She even volunteered to come pick me up if needed or send me a plane ticket. I decided instead to sell the jewelry my husband had bought me and to work temporarily to get the money I needed. I drained our mutual accounts, and eventually was able to leave.

He began stalking me. He moved within six hours of where I'd moved and would call constantly, looking for me. My friend stood beside me, supported me through the whole horrible ordeal and even went to a restraining order hearing with me, ready to testify if needed.

I began to fight back against him. I found out about legal issues pending against him, one for a malicious wounding case where he’d stabbed another woman eight times in the throat. I contacted the prosecuting attorney and volunteered to testify as well as help in any way I could. In October of that year, I found out about another woman that he had been living with and then attacked. She was hospitalized with a concussion and fractured spine. I shared that information with the authorities and volunteered to testify in that case as well.

He eventually served a year for his crimes and is on probation. I still am careful and under an address confidentiality program to protect my identity but after two and a half years, I am making positive strides in my life and moving past it. Every day gets better but I couldn't have done it without her help, love, and support. During this process, I went through almost a year of therapy for three hours a week to deal with the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder I experienced from being a survivor of domestic violence. The program was free because I couldn't afford to pay for my therapy. I would love nothing more than to be able to give them a check so that they can help someone else that desperately needs help as badly as I did then. Their website is http://www.womensbureau.com/ and they are a part of the United Way. I am a survivor of domestic violence and I have never been able to tell this story before. Thank you for the opportunity to get this out.

#7 Pam

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 01:57 PM

Pam,
May I ask if the intent is to describe help specifically related to financial problems or to life in general?
I would imagine that the intent is to detail and highlight help with financial matters, but maybe that is not the case at all. Would you please elaborate?


Just life in general - doesn't have to be financial. <_<

#8 travelgrl

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 02:07 PM

Here is mine-
First a little background:
My daughter attends a small startup Charter school. The school focuses on Leadership and Community Service. Each student attends a leadership class 2 times a week learning leadership skills for the future. Each student is also required to perform 15 hours of community service every 9 weeks.
The school is in its 3rd year and we have been a part of the school since the beginning. Parents and students and teachers work closely together and it feels much like a family. Parents can drop in at anytime and speak with the principal or supervise the lunch time break or just assist in the office. It is a place where everyone knows everyone and looks out for each others children.

Once a year the students participate in the YMCA Youth in Government program at our State Capital. Students must prepare a mock bill to be passed in a mock legislature. They get to experience how our State government works and the process to prepare, write and present potential bills to be passed into law. It is a 3 day event and is not a free event. The cost of this program to send a child is approximately $300.
Last year was a tough year for us financially. My husband’s business lost a few key accounts and we made the difficult decision to close it. I struggled to make the payments for Youth in Government especially since it is very close to Christmas. Now the YMCA does offer scholarships for this program, but I was too proud to even apply for this and was bound and determined to pay for my daughter to attend this program for the 2nd year on my own. The last payment of $125 was due just before my payday and I put a sticky note on my check to please not deposit the check until the 15th. Since it is a small school and I knew the person who handled the accounting, I knew this would be ok.

The next day I received an email from the accounting person regarding my check. She said that she could see that we were having some financial difficulties and that she would just pay the balance for my daughter’s trip and she would just tear up the check. She said to consider it a gift and she would not take no for an answer which is why she emailed instead of called me b/c it would be harder for me to say no. Instantly my heart melted and I broke down in tears. I was so overwhelmed by this person’s generosity who I really did not know well. Of course my immediate reaction was to call her and tell her no, but I simply said Thank You and made a promise to myself to help someone else out in need when the time came.

I would want the prize to go to the school. Since it is a Charter school, they do not get enough funds from the state to cover their operating costs. Last year we had to raise $55,000 just to pay the bills. The parents and students are asked to assist in various fundraising projects throughout the year. With only 120 students this is a large task to accomplish! This school is very special to my heart and was a godsend for the tough middle school years.

#9 GEORGE

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 09:34 PM

Your essay should be between 500 and 750 words (short and sweet, I hope there are a lot of entries to slog through.)

:good:

That is about 3 or 4 months worth of answers..........

#10 searpr

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 05:26 PM

I don't have a good story, but I just wanted to say awesome contest and stories!

#11 cinderella

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 01:50 AM

I got married in the spring of 2005. After we were married a side of my husband emerged I never expected to see. He would suddenly begin throwing things around our apartment for no reason. He would rape me savagely if I refused sex. I soon was pregnant after he began flushing my birth control pills. He became jealous, following me and calling me whenever I was out of sight. He would follow me to the library or gas station just to make sure that’s really where I was going. He insisted that I quit my job and then repeatedly put his job at risk to keep tabs on me under the pretense of protecting me. He began threatening to kill me if I left him, then threatened to kill me if I even thought about or looked at another man. He began to abuse prescription drugs and anti-depressants. I became trapped in my own home.

I was terrified for my life as well as my child's, terrified that day would be my last. I reached out to everyone I could think of, one of which was an online friend I'd known for several years but never met. She lived 1100 miles away. I began sharing what I was going through with her daily and made her record them so that if anything happened to me, she could go to the police. She was there to listen, and as things got worse, we began to talk on the phone. She began urging me to leave him and I tried twice. At one point he put his foot in front of the tire of my car and threatened to have me thrown in jail if I ran over his foot.

I was terrified, pregnant, sick, and broke. I felt I had nowhere to go and had no idea where to turn. Then my friend suggested I move to where she was and I could stay with her. She even volunteered to come pick me up if needed or send me a plane ticket. I decided instead to sell the jewelry my husband had bought me and to work temporarily to get the money I needed. I drained our mutual accounts, and eventually was able to leave.

He began stalking me. He moved within six hours of where I'd moved and would call constantly, looking for me. My friend stood beside me, supported me through the whole horrible ordeal and even went to a restraining order hearing with me, ready to testify if needed.

I began to fight back against him. I found out about legal issues pending against him, one for a malicious wounding case where he’d stabbed another woman eight times in the throat. I contacted the prosecuting attorney and volunteered to testify as well as help in any way I could. In October of that year, I found out about another woman that he had been living with and then attacked. She was hospitalized with a concussion and fractured spine. I shared that information with the authorities and volunteered to testify in that case as well.

He eventually served a year for his crimes and is on probation. I still am careful and under an address confidentiality program to protect my identity but after two and a half years, I am making positive strides in my life and moving past it. Every day gets better but I couldn't have done it without her help, love, and support. During this process, I went through almost a year of therapy for three hours a week to deal with the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder I experienced from being a survivor of domestic violence. The program was free because I couldn't afford to pay for my therapy. I would love nothing more than to be able to give them a check so that they can help someone else that desperately needs help as badly as I did then. Their website is http://www.womensbureau.com/ and they are a part of the United Way. I am a survivor of domestic violence and I have never been able to tell this story before. Thank you for the opportunity to get this out.


Thank God you left the loser, with you and your kid's sake.

I lived in a particular shelter when I was about 14 or 15, and this lady, with two small kids was one of the families we shared the apartment. I knew she was there after leaving her abusive husband, and you could tell this woman had been broken down from the onset of her arrival.

I always thought she was one of the most courgageus women I've seen. Leave a completely abusive situation with little to no money, little to no skills with regards to work experience/college to save her sanity/self along with her kids. I always liked her.

#12 adventurer07

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 06:40 AM

Thanks Cinderella for the encouragement. I learned "that which doesn't kill us only makes us stronger" and I'm a better, more compassionate, smarter person as a result of the circumstances. It changed my life forever but I made sure it changed my life for the better.

(I hope it's ok to post a response, if not, that's fine too)




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