Paying It Forward

If you’re just joining us, we’re in the middle of our Reason for the Season Winter fundraiser. This fundraiser means a lot to me because it is about giving back to people who have given so much to me and many many others…

I met Lori Hall Armstrong in the summer of 2005. I worked for her as a canvasser on a political campaign. She was a hard working campaign manager. She put in long hours at the office while also commuting back and forth to Westchester and amazingly juggling new motherhood to her now 6 year old son, Caleb. Soon after I started, she asked if I wanted to work at MTV for her husband, Mike.  Mike’s team was hiring an assistant and she thought it would be a great opportunity for a fresh out of college kid like me. I interviewed for the job and I was hired almost immediately. What I didn’t know was the decision to work for Mike would also be my open door to an amazing family- The Armstrong Family; including my favorite Yorkie, Hampton.

Lori and Michael Armstrong took me under their wings as their mentee and ‘little sister’. Over the years, I’ve also become “big friend” to their son Caleb, dogsitter to Hampton, and the ‘President of the Young People Committee’ when Lori can’t figure out what #lol means. After my days of working for Mike, he and Lori took an active role to support me and help me land a new  job. They continue to guide me through my career- and my (semi) adult life. They applaud me for my successes and scold me for my mistakes.  And they do all of this, well……just because. You see, Mike and Lori: Pay It Forward.

Paying It Forward means exhibiting unsolicited grace to others. Or another way to think of it, is instead of just accepting your fortune, you pass it on to someone else so they can be blessed as well. Lori didn’t know me from Eve when she hired me. Mike took a risk hiring a recent graduate to run his office. And my subsequent relationship with them both is nothing short of God-sent. To this day, I couldn’t tell you why either of them do what they do for me; except they just want to pay their blessings forward.

A few years into my relationship with The Armstrongs, we got news Lori was pregnant again. We were all were astounded! Not only was she having a baby, it was a girl! Lori always wanted a girl and Mike was ready to have a Princess to spoil. I spent hours thinking of baby names for them and I  proudly served as iDJ for the baby shower. I even got to sit the pooch a few times when she got on Lori’s nerves- #pregnancyhormones. After nine exciting months we were all over the moon about little Chloe Louise coming into the world. But the will of God decided the better place for Chloe was with Him in Heaven.

The days, weeks and months that followed Chloe’s death were rough. I watched with a heavy heart as the Armstrong family pushed through that painful time. I lent a hand where I could but I always felt there was more I could do to support them. Eight months after Chloe’s death, Mike and Lori announced they were starting a fund to commemorate Chloe’s life. The fund would be used towards the financial aid of a young girl at a school in Brooklyn- The Trey Whitfield School. Immediately, I knew this would be my way of giving back to two people who spend endless time paying forward in my life.

…A year later, here we are in the midst of the Friends of Ebonie Winter Fundraiser. This fundraiser is about financial donations, but it is also about showing gratitude in a way that will impact someone else’s life. Friends of Ebonie is paying it forward!

So please join this year’s Reason for the Season fundraiser by making a donation towards the Chloe’s Wish Fund. All donations can be made by clicking here: Chloe’s Wish. Please make sure to click the Chloe’s Wish button. All donations are tax-deductible.

Remember giving comes from the heart and there’s always a Reason For The Season…

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