What does it mean to pay it forward?


The term is often used to describe the concept of asking that a good deed be repaid by bestowing it to others. With the holiday season upon us, there is truly no time like the present to “pay it forward,” both personally and professionally. 

Though 2010 has been an economically challenging year for most, there is always room to give back to the community – and it doesn’t have to come from your check book.

On a personal level, the holiday season always puts me in the giving spirit and I have a lot to be thankful for this year. So in order to “pay it forward,” I’ve elected to volunteer with Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP), a non-profit organization that provides shelter, adoption, foster care, rescue and other vital services to animals in need. A dog lover myself and the wife of a want- to-be veterinarian, there is no better organization to get involved in so I can do my part to save animals in need. 

On a professional level, Pierpont sets an example to other Houston-area businesses by giving back year after year. One organization we support believes in a cause that seems to be more important than ever in recent years. The San José Clinic is one of the oldest charity clinics in the U.S. and has provided healthcare to the uninsured since 1922. 

While Pierpont is devoted to supporting the San José Clinic year round, the holiday season is a time for our staff to give back in a way that is more meaningful. In December of 2007 I joined two of my colleagues at the San José Clinic’s Annual Children’s Christmas celebration and got to see first-hand the smiles on children’s faces as we painted their cheeks with festive holiday-themed designs. The 2010 Children’s Christmas Celebration took place earlier this month where once again, our younger staff members got out there to lend a helping hand and brighten the season for kids in need. Additionally, Pierpont generously provides support by donating to the clinic to ensure that toys and more importantly, food are provided to children and their families during the holiday season.

I’m continually amazed at the compassion and support my own company provides to the less fortunate in our community and the inspiration it gives my colleagues and I to give back on our own time. 

So when you are wondering how you or your company can “pay it forward” this holiday season, remember that there are so many ways to reach out and help those in need. Does your company have a cause? If so, ask how you can participate. 

Happy holidays!