Bedford Rotary Plans Town-Wide Pay It Forward Initiative Concludes with 10,000-Meal Packaging Event

Submitted by the Rotary Club of Bedford

pay it forwardIn preparation for global Pay It Forward Day, which is Thursday, April 25, 2013, the Rotary Club of Bedford is launching a town-wide initiative to encourage residents and businesses to make an active effort to simply be nice to other people.  Pay It Forward is a global movement, based on the simple idea that if each of us looked for ways to help others, the world would be a better place.   A launch event will be held on Saturday, April 6th, and a celebratory capstone event where the town will package 10,000 meals for children in developing countries is planned for Thursday, April 25th.

“At its core, Pay It Forward is not an activity; it’s a way of thinking and living.” said Pete Colgan, President of the Bedford Rotary.  “We felt that the idea meshed perfectly with Rotary’s 2012-13 theme of Peace Through Service, and are excited to be introducing the idea to Bedford.”

The Pay It Forward idea will be introduced throughout the Bedford Public School system in early April, and it will be introduced to others in town at a launch party being held on Saturday April 6thbetween 3:00 and 5:00 PM in the Town Center’s Shawsheen room.  Rotary will be providing bracelets, Pay It Forward cards, and curriculum support materials.  At the Launch Party, people will receive Pay It Forward cards and bracelets, and they will have the opportunity to learn a little about the book, the movie, the movement, and to get ideas by hearing how others have chosen to Pay It Forward.  Food and snacks will be provided, and Flatbread will be serving free slices of their delicious, organic pizzas.

“We’ll bring all who are interested together on Thursday evening, April 25th in the JGMS gym between 6:00 and 8:00 PM to celebrate how students and adults alike have benefited from their Pay It Forward experience.” said Rotarian Diana Jarvis, one of several club members who have embraced and helped fund the idea.   “We plan to film interviews of people sharing their stories and to combine them with others that have been uploaded to our Bedford Rotary Pay It Forward Facebook page to make a feel-good remembrance of the event that we’ll distribute to each participant.”

On April 25th, Bedford residents will also have the opportunity to participate in a food packaging event, where participants will help package 10,000 meals for children in developing countries.  The food packaging event is being coordinated through Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger-relief agency that distributes meals primarily through school lunch programs in developing countries.  Linda Cargiuolo, Bedford Rotary’s Stop Hunger Now champion, sees this initial food packaging event as just the beginning of a much larger effort to package one million meals.  “We are excited to be partnering with Stop Hunger Now,” said Cargiuolo.  “This event gives students and adults alike the opportunity to Pay It Forward to someone in need in another part of the world.  It will also help us learn how to do an effective meal packaging event, which we will expand upon throughout the year.”

About Pay It Forward

The Pay It Forward movement was sparked by an old idea, brought to life most recently in Pay It Forward, a 1999 novel by Cather Ryan Hyde, in which a twelve-year-old boy creates a plan to change the world by doing a good deed for three people and asking them to “pay it forward” to three others who need help.  The book was made into a movie starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt in 2000.  Additional information can be found at and

About the Rotary Club of Bedford

The Rotary Club of Bedford is a service organization comprised of local professionals committed to the ideal of Service Above Self.  The Club meets weekly on Tuesdays at noon at the Doubletree Boston-Bedford Glen Hotel for fellowship, lunch and an informative presentation.  Additional information is available at

About Stop Hunger Now

Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 13 years. Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of over 90 million meals and other lifesaving aid to children and families in 76 countries.  Stop Hunger Now works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals in-country. Stop Hunger Now’s meals primarily support school lunch programs. This process of distribution through school feeding programs in hunger-stricken regions is seen as a practical means to end hunger.  Additional information is available at


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