Lurie employees share their stories of "paying it forward" to build stronger connections in our communities.
Helping a local food shelf
We decided to pay it forward to our local food shelf.
Gale Woods Farm
My donation was to Gale Woods Farm - part of Three Rivers Park District, a park system in the west suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. This working farm, with its many animals and acres of nature hikes, remained available and open during the pandemic. It suffered financially without school tours, weddings and its market unable to sell to the general public. I received calls and letters from GWF, thanking us for our donation that will go directly to sustaining operations through the winter months and, hopefully, reopening next Spring in full. This place was so critical to our sanity with wild toddlers during the widespread restrictions – we had a place to take them every other weekend where they could see farm animals, hike with us and run free! There were many families with young children here each weekend – so I know we weren’t the only ones who relied on this place.
A fun night for a family battling cancer
My daughter Emma went to school with 2 people whose dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer this February. He was a PGA golf pro and never smoked a day in his life. Very active and healthy. They moved to California after their kids graduated. His health has continued to decline and the cancer is in his bones and now brain. On Dec 9th they made the decision to start hospice care. I do not know the family (the kids were a year and 2 years above Emma) but the story is one we follow and it is very touching. Emma is especially heartbroken for what they are going through around the Holidays. We decided to "pay it forward" with this family and hope they can have a fun night together. We are sending this care package (our new favorite family game, some treats and the $100 bill from Lurie so they can order some dinner.
Chemo Care Kits
Every year I try to donate to a cancer non-profit and every year I choose a different organization nationwide. Cancer has affected my family in many ways and I try to make sure other families struggling with this disease don’t have to go through the same things my family did. This year, with the generous donation from Lurie I was able to buy six 24 packs of totes to Cancer Services Inc in Winston Salem, NC for their Chemo Care Kits. Cancer is a terrible disease no matter where you live and I’m very thankful for the opportunity Lurie provided for me to be able to help someone else’s community.
I donated the $100 pay it forward to 360 Communities, a Dakota County nonprofit that runs a food shelf, women’s shelter, and school reading programs.
Happy Tails Rescue
I contributed the $100 to a couple of animal rescue organizations: Happy Tails Rescue in Maple Grove and 2 Blondes All Breed Rescue in Denver. My daughters Kyla and Miranda foster rescue dogs for these organizations until a permanent home is found.
Neighbors helping neighbors
First, I want to say that I love this initiative so much. It gave me the flexibility to contribute to a cause that was close to my heart and close to my home without having to concern myself with whether or not it was being funneled through an organization or not. I am proud to say that I paid Luries’ $100 forward to a family in my neighborhood via direct donation. This family has been through the worst imaginable scenario this year. A quick synopsis: This family is made up of a father, mother, 3 daughters and a newborn son. 4 years ago the father was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. He underwent surgery, chemo and radiation and eventually was deemed to be in remission, despite the fact that remission was highly unlikely for this type of cancer. Remission continued and the father and mother gave birth to a surprise, but gratefully welcome baby boy. Shortly after the babys birth, the father began experiencing strange symptoms such as loss of feeling in one of his legs and constant pain. MRIs all showed that he was clear of brain cancer. A preliminary diagnosis pointed toward yet another very rare spinal condition. Treatment began, and yet, his condition continued to worsen. Many doctors, tests, evaluations and weeks later, Mayo clinic determined that the incredibly rare cancer that he had in his brain, was now in his spine. To top things off, his most recent MRI showed another cancerous growth in his brain. As of a couple week ago, his prognosis was a handful of month left of life. I don’t really know this family. I have met one of the daughters a couple times and I have met the mom once or twice. I have never met the dad. But they live just one block away from me and our community/neighborhood is so close knit, that I have been witnessing this unfold from afar for the last year. The neighborhood first organized a meal train, as the father is now out of work completely. Then, we started to realize that 4 kids and half the income would make for a difficult Christmas, so our neighborhood banded together. We timed it to take advantage of Targets seasonal 10% gift card promotion and were able to gift the family with almost $1,500 to help alleviate the pressure of the holiday season. Luries $100 is a part of that and I couldn’t have hoped it would go to a better cause than one literally one block away from me. I know this is a little difficult to read without names, but the family has been very hesitant and humble in accepting help and I would feel out of place naming them. Thank you Beth and the rest of the executive team for this generous gift.
Supporting healthcare workers
I used my $100 to contribute to the “Treat the Hospital Heroes” fund at Daily Dose Coffee in Maple Grove. This fund is for healthcare workers at the local Maple Grove hospital to come in and get a coffee or sandwich using these donated funds. Helping the healthcare workers and a small, local business at the same time!
The Horizon Unlimited Food Shelf
I was searching the Internet for a Food Shelf. A friend of mine’s wife was in a commercial for 2nd Harvest and there was one in my community. However, I also noticed the Division of Indian Works on Lake Street a block off of Chicago Ave. also ran a food shelf, The Horizon Unlimited Food Shelf. Therefore, I drove over there to present the $100 bill to the manager of the food shelf, Sandra Rivera. It was interesting seeing a boarded up building due to the riots, however I saw two women enter. I followed, but did not realize one needed to enter a code on the keypad to unlock the door. Fortunately, there were two “security” personnel at the entrance of what looked like a garage. I asked for Sandra and they had no idea who she was, but they directed me to a woman inside, so I entered. I said I was looking for someone named Sandra and the woman said she was she and then told me to leave. I quickly abided by her directive, but first asked if she would please come outside with me because I need to talk with her. She was a bit apprehensive to say the least, but followed. When I gave her the $100 bill and thanked her for what she was doing for the community, she was shocked and very thankful. (According to their website, it would provide a lot of food). They were about to open the food shelf to the residents of south Minneapolis within an hour of my arrival. The fear and apprehension was appropriate, but her joy made it all worthwhile. Thank you Lurie.
My $100 Pay It Forward is going to one of my favorite animal rescue charities.
Meals for the holidays
My church provides meals or gift cards for meals over the holidays. This money went to purchase cards for 4 additional families.
Story: One Good Turn
This summer the rear-end of my truck started making unfortunate noises. Upon taking it in to get it checked out, I was told that it would be anywhere from $2,800.00 to $5,000.00 to get it fixed. So, during the debate whether to fix it or not, we talked to my wife’s nephew who repairs cars. We decided he could bring it down to Iowa to fix it, sell it, and we would split the money over the repair cost. After a couple of weeks he brought the truck back and said it was all fixed and we should keep it. But, he didn’t just repair the rear-end. He also replaced the front brake calipers, rotors, and pads, the spark plugs, ignition coils, fuel pump, and everything else he saw that was needing to be replaced! He even cleaned the interior, put on seat covers, floor mats, bug deflector, buffed the paint, painted the grill, and put on fender skirts to cover the rust that had begun forming. He said that he had put $2,100.00 into it for parts and we could pay him for that. Of course we gave him a wee bit more, especially since there was also a scented tree hanging from the rear-view mirror. I figured everything he had done would have easily cost over $6,000.00! As we thanked him and asked why he did so much, he said: “As I was growing up, I saw how much you guys did for our family by taking care of them as they needed it with their medical conditions and into their passing days. I always told myself, that one day I would like to show my appreciation for all you guys did.” Since that time his life went into an unfortunate tail-spin. Without going into all the things that happened to him, he ended up homeless. Upon getting the pay it forward fund, my wife and I instantly thought of him. When we called him up he said: he had just found an apartment he could afford, but, he couldn’t bring his dog in unless it’s shots and records were up to date. He had just got off the phone with the vet about the cost and was wondering how he could manage to get the money for it. We asked how much the Vet wanted and he said $100.00…."
Lake Street Council’s Rebuilding Fund
"Following Lurie’s generous contribution from earlier this summer, I donated my $100 to the Lake Street Council’s Rebuilding Fund."
Second Harvest Food Bank
"I wanted to focus my donation to an organization that helps those in the communities in which I live and work. Since I was donating around Thanksgiving, it seemed especially important that I donate to an organization that helps feed people who need it most."
Waite House/Pillsbury United Communities
"I wanted to share that I used the $100 cash from Lurie to purchase a fresh turkey and full Thanksgiving meal for a family in need. I delivered the meal to Waite House/Pillsbury United on 11th Ave S today. Based on the amount of adults and children who were lined up outside the building, it was clear that there is a real need to keep our food shelves stocked this year. I am grateful to Lurie for giving me this opportunity to give back to our community."
Family Pathways Cambridge & NAACP Legal Defense Fund
"$100 to Family Pathways Cambridge. Because a gift card was also in the envelope... $50 to NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Thank the partners for me!"
'We're devastated': Trailer, 30 bikes stolen from nonprofit Pedal Power MN
"I donated to this organization. I love biking and feel bad for what they are going through with the theft of their trailer."
Center for Economic Inclusion
"I contributed my $100 to the Center for Economic Inclusion. I chose this organization because I believe they are helping our community address our disparity challenges in a new way that will change outcomes for BIPOC residents and our overall economy."