Paying it forward

by David Rhode

Pitch In For Baseball is built generally on the “pay it forward” principle.  Paying it forward refers generally to the idea of  repaying a debt by doing something good for another person instead of repaying the person who helped you.  It’s not that we in a strict sense owe anyone a debt, it’s more a feeling that we should not take for granted the good things in our life and be ever mindful of those who may need a hand from time to time.  The concept of pay it forward was popularized in the 2000 movie by the same name where a young boy played by  Haley Joel Osment tries to make the world a better place by doing things to help others. 

One of our previous equipment recipients surprised us the other day with a true act of Paying it Forward.  This week marked the 1 year anniversary of the tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan.  Just the other day, Pitch In For Baseball sent out an appeal for equipment and financial support to assist the community of Henryville, Indiana that was devastated by tornadoes.  One of the largest financial donations we recieved was from the coordinator of the Little League program we helped in Japan.  This gentleman then went a step further.  He asked his colleagues in the Tokyo area to also support Pitch In For Baseball.

I liked the movie Pay It Forward and was kind of sad to see our hero not make it at the end of the movie (sorry if I’m spoiling the ending for anyone 12 years later).  The concept of generating good karma by helping others and the hope that your act would then create an environment where more people had a desire to do the same inspired me.  Maybe it even inspired me to take the plunge and start Pitch In For Baseball in 2005.

What’s nice is to see how people all around the world want to make a difference and at least in Pitch In For Baseball’s situation to make sure that kids everywhere get a chance to play.  The financial support we received this week from Japan is a special reminder of the power of paying it forward and I hope it never stops.

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