Act of Paying It Forward Leads to Founding of Organization That Helps Those in Need

When Shelley Kohut stepped forward along with 10 others to answer her pastor’s call to service, she had no idea he was going to hand each volunteer $100 and issue them a challenge to feed the money into God’s kingdom. Kohut used the $100 to organize Neighbors Helping Neighbors, an organization that auctions off donated household items via Facebook and uses the proceeds to fill a need in her Sundre, Alberta, Canada, community.

People in Sundre donate unwanted items in good condition to the organization by dropping them off to Kohut at her real estate office. In turn, Kohut and her volunteers host online auctions via Facebook twice a week. Most months, they are able to raise between $2,000 and $3,000.

The money raised is put toward helping people in the community when they fall into financial straits. In the past, the organization has helped with everything from gas money for people who were struggling from paycheck to paycheck to past due bills and food. When a member of the community had to be off from work due to having surgery, the organization adopted the family for Christmas, providing gifts and other needs.

The organization sees the money and the contributions it provides for people going through hard times as a “hand up” to people in need, not a handout. Organizers say the people they help are regular people who hit a hard spot in the road and need a little help to get past it. Oftentimes, the clients serviced are referred by schools, the local hospital, pharmacies and clinics. Neighbors Helping Neighbors says its efforts are a win-win for its community. Citizens can get rid of unwanted items to clear away clutter while doing something good for someone else, and those in need can depend on getting help in a crisis. Find out more about what you can do to help people in your community.

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