The Pay It Forward Concept

The “Pay It Forward” quilt began as a project of the Wildwood Mennonite Church Venture Club. Two months and twenty two children were involved in its creation, with help from others. We then held a raffle, with the intent of raising money to help the children in Sudan. Our efforts were surprisingly well rewarded and in January, 2005, the Venture Club donated $1,100 to MCC. The winner of our quilt was Joan.

A week later, we received a call from Joan, who said she would like to see the quilt continue to raise money for children around the world. And the idea was born for a “Pay It Forward” quilt.

So what is a “Pay it Forward” quilt?

The idea comes from a novel turned film called Pay It Forward. In it the teacher asks each of her students to develop an idea for world change, and put it into action.

The premise is one that any person can implement in his or her own life, at any time. It begins with doing a favor for another person-- without any expectation of being paid back. Indeed one would request that the recipient of that favor do the same for someone else: ideally for three other people. The unconditional favors can be large or small. As Trevor the student in the novel observes: it doesn't have to be a big thing. It can just seem that way, depending on whom you do it for. (

Pay It Forward

The Wildwood Mennonite Church Venture Club is implementing the Pay It Forward concept with the Venture Club Quilt.

In buying this quilt you are buying into the concept of Paying It Forward. You may wish to buy this quilt with a group of friends or as a service project. Within the next six months you must develop and actualize another idea on how this quilt can raise money to help children. We ask that you keep the concept going and please let the Wildwood Venture Club know what you have done with the quilt. We will keep a journal of where the quilt has gone and the corresponding stories.

The Pay It Forward concept, doing unselfish acts of kindness, and asking them to pay the kindness forward instead of paying it back, is a powerful idea.

This practice means being generous with your presence, your time, and your money. Give freely without expecting anything in return. Just do it.