The Ohio State University at Marion and the United Way of Marion County partner to "Pay It Forward"

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Pictured from left, Heidi Jones, executive director, Marion Matters with English 2367.01 students Connie Varhidi and Drianna Rall and their $3000 Pay It Forward donation check.

Pictured from left, Tracey Rector, center director and Nikkie Hamm from The Ohio Heartland Community Action Commission's United Community Prescription Program with English 2367.01 students Erin Bland and Jessica Kersten holding their $1000 Pay It Foward donation check.

These are English 2367.01 students Nicholas Sampsel and Kaylee Johnson with Executive Director for Marion Goodwill Industries Robert Jordan with a Pay It Forward donation of $500.

Pictured from left is English 3304 student Andrew Pinkerton and Robert Jordan Executive Director of Marion Goodwill Industries with a Pay It Forward donation of $125.

Students and community attend campus based community wide celebration of philanthropy

The Pay It Forward Celebration held on April 22, 2014 marked the end of another year-long Ohio State Marion and United Way of Marion County’s Pay It Forward project for Ohio State Marion English students. 

This semester’s students in Amy Tibbals’ English 2367.01 course presented awards to three local non-profit organizations with the goal of impacting positive, long-term change in the areas of income and health in Marion, Ohio.  These students experienced philanthropy first hand for nearly the entire semester.  They participated in a competitive grant process in which they took organizations’ grant applications, made a first cut which narrowed down the finalists to three organizations, researched each organization and what it did to help the community, wrote papers arguing how the funding should be awarded, and participated in an hour-long debate to determine the final grant awards. 

The students decided to award Marion Matters $3000 to help fund their “Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting’-By World” program.  This program helps to end the cycle of generational poverty.  Next, they awarded the Ohio Heartland Community Action Commission’s United Community Prescription program $1000 to help those in need, receive free or reduced-rate medication. Finally, they gave Marion Goodwill Industries $500 which will support their Job Readiness and Computer Skills classes.

Additionally this semester, students in English 3304, Business and Professional Writing, worked on projects aimed at persuading students in the English 2367.01 course to grant the entire funding to one specific organization.  Andrew Pinkerton, Katelyn Hamilton, Stevie Evans, and Scott Shirk who worked on behalf of the Marion Goodwill Industries created the winning presentation.  As a result they were also able to award Goodwill with a check for $125.00. 

As Andrew Pinkerton explained, when the group was creating their video, “At first, we were going to focus on the thrift store aspect of Goodwill because we all like the song by Macklemore." 

"But, as we got to know more, we realized that Goodwill is so much more than a thrift store," added Pinkerton.  

"That’s why we decided to show how they have helped people learn computer skills, build resumes, practice interviewing, and ultimately, become employed, thanks to Goodwill,” he said.

Once again, Pay It Forward has made a valuable connection between Ohio State Marion students and the community of Marion. 

Summing it up, Tibbals said, “these English courses teach students far more than I can ever put on a lesson plan. 

"Yes, they become better researchers and writers," said Tibblals, "but they also become more caring and informed citizens."  

"It’s an experience that lasts far beyond the four walls of my classroom.,” she added.

For more information on future Pay It Forward English courses at Ohio State Marion, please contact Amy Tibbals at