I always try to do something nice for people. Some may say I’m a sucker. I probably am, but I feel like I’m doing some good. I partnered up with two teachers I had in High School and told them I wanted to donate a Senior session to one student who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford pictures. I had told them both that I wanted this to stay between us three so it was something I could do every year. It was my way of giving back. Our scheme was to tell the kid I was building my Senior portfolio and he won the session. Both teachers raved praised for this kid. We met one day after school right after a snow. It was cold, it was wet and windy. But we got some really nice pictures. My deal with him was he’d receive a 30 minute session and 40 wallets for free! That’s aro
und a $200 deal. The whole time we were taking his pictures I got the feeling he wanted me to feel sorry for him since his mother has breast cancer. My mother is a NINE YEAR breast cancer SURVIVOR and I never once used her illness to my benefit. I wasn’t owed anything because my mother had cancer. I finished editing his pictures put them on my smugmug website and told him to pick a few pictures he wanted me to print for his 40 wallets. That was in January and I hadn’t heard from him until last Wednesday. He wanted me to RUSH those wallets to him because “graduation is this weekend” (last Sunday). I told him he’s had this whole time to tell me the pictures he wanted and there was no way I was going to pay the extra money for them to be rushed to me. He goes well you know I haven’t had time since my mom has cancer. Wrong answer buddy! Well he never got around to giving me the pictures he wanted printed. So I’m writing him off. I also decided that was it for being nice and “Paying it Forward.”
I’m changing the subject now, but it’ll all come back together at the end! Back in January there was a FB page set up by a teacher, Miss Kay, in Council Grove, KS. The assignment for the class was to have a person from each of the 648 towns in Kansas to post on their wall. I became a fan of it and I worked pretty hard getting people to post their towns. I’ve always been a proud Kansan, but this project really jumped it up a notch. Towards the end they would post the towns that they still needed. Some towns only had 20 or so people living there so it was a chore to get comments. If I knew anyone living in that area I would email them and tell them to comment. Well they got someone from each town to comment and over 6,000 likes. How cool is that! The next assignment was for the students to come up with a new state motto. The teacher picked 4 finalists and the other teachers and staff at their school v
oted. The teacher also asked FB what their winner would be. Since I started out being a landscape photographer I have many pictures so I volunteered to help announce the winner by putting the motto on one of my landscape pictures. The student selected a picture he liked and it was announced. Miss Kay and even the boy’s mother thanked me for helping them with this project. To me it wasn’t much because I enjoyed doing it. I then took the remaining finalists and placed their motto’s on three other landscape pictures. I ordered those prints one for each kid and then each picture for the classroom. It cost me around $30 to have them printed and shipped to me so I wasn’t out that much money, but I wanted to do something nice for these students since they brought a new sense of Kansas pride to me. Plus I felt the students should be rewarded for their hard work.
Here’s the winning motto and the Kansas landscape picture the winner picked.
I dealt with the kid from the above paragraph last Wednesday and decided I was done being nice. Then on Friday I returned from work and Miss Kay left this post on my facebook wall:
Carrie-I wanted to take a minute to say thanks! I just got our pictures today and the note and they are absolutely beautiful. I sent home one with each kid and I’m going to get some frames so that we can display them in our hallway at school. I would LOVE to be selfish and keep them in my room — but then ALL the kids/parents/visitors won’t get to enjoy them as well. WE have LOVED all the photos and you’re a “REAL LIVE” reason for me to explain to kids how a stranger can be our friend and do nice things for us even when we have never met that person! Kids need real examples of just humans being nice to other humans — and you knocked that concept out of the park! Thank you for being a wonderful example of mankind for us! You have given a gift that we can enjoy for many years!!! I truly cannot say thanks enough!!! Thank you for being a KANSAS Supporter!!!
I didn’t do any of this for the recognition. I did it because I wanted to be nice and help. After Miss Kay’s kind words I had to take a step back and remember not to let a few bad eggs ruin the experience for others. So next year I will again donate a Senior session to a deserving kid. And that is the real reward for Pay it Forward!
Here are the other 3 finalists.
oops!! It should be prevailing. I did print the right one for the student though!
And I may have put my own twist on this motto I should mention that Council Grove is located in K-State Wildcat country so I’m guess that’s not what the student was going for.