PayIt employees will be sharing their insights in a 2023 series of blogs. Each post in this series will be written by our teammates — showcasing the talent, expertise, and positive attitude that each PayIt employee brings to the company. Our first employee contribution is from one of PayIt’s product managers, Blanche Leon. Blanche has been part of the PayIt team for almost 2 years.
Within my first few weeks at PayIt I was introduced to an internal group called PayIt Forward. I was immediately hooked — community service is a passion of mine. And as a remote employee, it was really important to me to find additional ways to create relationships and bond with team members, so this was a win-win. As I became more involved, I was asked to help lead the group and take over planning and organizing volunteer opportunities.
As I reflect on this past year, I am incredibly grateful to work for PayIt, a company that supports and encourages employees to give back to the communities around us — and equally thankful to work with some of the finest people who also share that passion for helping others.
What is PayIt Forward?
In December 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, a handful of PayIt employees got together and volunteered at Harvesters, sorting food and filling backpacks with essentials for kids to take home. That handful of employees started what is now known within our organization as PayIt Forward, a group of PayIt employees who coordinate and participate in volunteer events. We donate our time, talents and resources to transform and give back to the communities around us. In some instances we have been able to witness first hand the impact of our efforts, and in others, we just know in our hearts that somewhere we made an impact on someone’s life.
Ways we give back
From designing and building adaptive costumes for children in wheelchairs, to donating blood, to collecting supplies to support local organizations who help people in need, PayIt Forward plans and coordinates volunteer opportunities and events that honor the people, pets, and communities that are important to PayIt employees. Many of our in-person volunteer events take place in our hubs of Kansas City, Toronto, and Austin, but our remote employees have also volunteered in their local communities as well.
One very involved and labor intensive example from 2021 was designing, building, and delivering adaptive costumes for two children (one in Austin, TX and the other in St. Louis, MO) through Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes. Employees broke into teams, some meeting the families to learn about what their child wanted to be for Halloween and about their specific needs for a costume, some hosting virtual brainstorming and design sessions, and others shopping and building prototypes. The end result: two happy families with excited children.
Our 2022 highlights
Here’s a quick look at some of what the the PayIt Forward group accomplished in 2022:
- Assembled and donated over 400 snack bags for kids at Operation Breakthrough.
- Assembled 8 bikes for kids through Operation Breakthrough.
- Polar plunge raised $2,245 for the Special Olympics Kansas.
- Collected over 60 toys for the Operation Breakthrough’s Holiday Store.
- In Q3 alone, there were over over 300 hours of community service logged, including:
- 44.5 total hours logged making around 30 lasagnas for families in need through Lasagna Love.
- 29 total hours logged for neighborhood trash pick up and cleaning local parks.
- Combined over 90 hours coaching youth sports.
- Packaged 7,000 diapers at the Austin Diaper Bank.
- Collected over 75 toys for Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin.
- Employees donated funds and participated in a Polar Plunge, supporting Special Olympics Kansas athletes.
Looking ahead to 2023
As the new year begins, I am excited for all of the volunteer suggestions and ideas that employees will bring to PayIt Forward. Next up on our list: We will be gearing up for MLK National Day of Service, as well as our next polar plunge, supporting Special Olympics Kansas athletes. We always try to remember that our community service brings people together — employees, organizations, and community members — to tackle challenges and brighten someone’s day. I encourage all who read this to think about how you can help your community or someone in need and “PayIt Forward.”