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How Much Does it Really Cost to Pay It Forward?

“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.” – Malcom Bane… I’m a big believer in giving back. I donate regularly to support the amazing work that Heifer International does for families and communities around the world. I’m excited to have recently been chosen as a year-long ambassador for one of my favorite charities supporting US families – and can’t wait to announce who that is very soon. And, I give back to my own local communities… Food drives, helping with our local Eagles club kids events, and other events. It doesn’t matter how little time you have, or how small your budget or resources are – everyone has something they can do to make their world around them a little brighter. So, with back to school season here, I was incredibly excited to join an awesome #payitforward event, and fill a backpack up with some fun supplies for a kiddo in need.

Pay it Forward for back to school

Back to School Pay It Forward Event – How it works

I teamed up with Madame Deals MediaCampus Book Rentals, and an amazing group of good-hearted bloggers during this Back to School season for a fun challenge that gives back – see how many school supplies each of us could purchase for $25 or less, including a backpack – to donate to a child in need, or a great organization. Each blogger received $25 to spend – but we didn’t get any compensation for our posts. It’s all worth it for a great cause!

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

As a little girl, my family went through some very tough times. My mom was a full time college student, with 4 kids under the age of 6, when my dad lost his job. Looking back now, I’m amazed at how strong she was, and how well she managed it all. I know that we were very lucky to have a few community programs to rely on during those few hard years – so it’s extremely important to me now to donate supplies regularly to those same programs – to pay back the help we got years ago. I know first-hand how very scary it can be as a mom, and not knowing how to pay for things your kids need… I lost my own job while I was a full time student a few years ago, right after Abby was born! It makes me happy knowing that a small gift like this might really make someone’s day – the little girl who receives it, and the mom who is wondering how to afford it all.

Make back to school pretty with fun school supplies!

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali

I chose to donate my stuffed-full backpack to a group that’s near to my heart – our local YWCA Crisis Shelter for women and children. I donate there at the holidays every year – and knew there’d be someone there who would be in serious need of this set of supplies. Many of the families who show up here arrive with nothing but the clothes on their back – so not only are they financially in a bind, the kids are also suffering from a pretty emotional experience too. So, I used the $25 I was given to buy a great set of basic supplies – notebooks, crayons, glue sticks – then used some of my own money to add a few extra fun pieces too, like sparkly bracelets, Disney Princess products, and a Minnie Mouse school accessory set. {And is the Hello Kitty backpack from Target the cutest thing ever, or what?? Makes me want to be a little girl going back to school too!} My mom works with developmentally challenged adults at a local state-run school, and they were doing a drive for filled backpacks – making it an even more perfect fit to donate to – She’ll find a girl on the list that this will be perfect for :)

Back to School

You can join in too!

Why not take a minute the next time your shopping at your favorite store – Walmart, Target, Kmart, the Dollar Store, or Safeway – and add a handful of supplies to your cart. I got things so cheap – notebooks for .10 cents each, glue and crayons for .25-.50 cents, and the cute set of Minnie Mouse supplies was only $3 bucks in the bargain bins at Target. For the price of a Starbucks latte, you could buy a set of basic supplies that can make a difference. Donate to your favorite school or teacher, an organization like a family shelter or Salvation Army, or other favorite charity in your town. Small acts add up – imagine if everyone in your city donated a set of supplies? Teachers spend a TON of money out of pocket, and this would help so much!

campus book rentals

Big thank you’s to our sponsor – Campus Book Rentals is a company that offers students up to 90% off their textbooks! It not only allows students to save money, it helps students make money by providing services for students to rent out their textbooks to other students. Campus Book Rentals has been around since 2007, and continues to help students live a more affordable life. Campus Book Rentals is proud to sponsor such an amazing pay it forward event!




  1. So many stores have rock bottom prices on school supplies this time of year- such as .50 boxes of crayons or .99 markers, .25 notebooks, etc. $25 can get tons of basic supplies that can really help those in need. It’s also a good idea to just buy extras to donate to the teacher so that if part way through the year a child loses or uses up their products, she has some to pass out.

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