Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Paying it forward

Posted February 10, 2009

With our economy continuing to spiral downward, it is clear that many people are in need.  WRAL is doing what it can to help steer people in the right direction, as well as help them get back on their feet.

This made me think about not just the people who need help out there, but the people who are actually doing the helping.  I think when we face what seem to be insurmountable obstacles in our lives, like the financial crisis, it is very easy for us to retreat into our own little world and concentrate on our personal woes.  But I also believe the biggest measure of our resilience as Americans is our collective desire to reach out to others even when we ourselves are facing troubled times. 

I've seen it after every tragedy I've ever covered-most specifically in the wake of catastrophic hurricanes.  I can't tell you how many times people who have lost everything have offered me a cold drink, a place to sit and rest for a moment, and even a hot meal.  It is in these moments when I am truly humbled, and vow to be one of those people one day if I ever get the chance.

So here's my idea-I know there are people out there "paying it forward."  These are people who may have offered you a job when you had no experience, gave you a bed when you had no furniture, or fixed your leaking roof when you had no money to pay for it yourself.  Even in the most difficult times, I know these people exist.  These are people who ask for nothing in return, only that you appreciate the gift you have been given, and that you in turn pass it on.  I want to tell their stories.  Help me shine some light on the silver lining of hard times. 

If you know someone who is an example of "paying it forward" please fill out this form and be clear you're submitting it for a Pay It Forward story.

I look forward to reading your ideas!

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.