WATCH: Jessica Helps Shock Minnesota Nonprofit With Huge Pay-It-Forward Surprise
You know those Pay-it-Forward surprises that you always see people talking about on social media. I was in on one of those...and it was way more than just paying for the person's coffee behind me at Caribou. It was bigger. Much, MUCH bigger!
HOW IT STARTED: A few weeks ago, I got pulled into the office of one of my co-workers at Townsquare Media. She started grilling me (in a nice way) about The Landing MN and wondered if I was on the board of directors. I am proud to say that I am and love being part of the behind-the-scenes of this organization that is doing so much for our neighbors experiencing homelessness in our community.
These are real people, some of whom I have met, chatted with, and learned a bit of their story, and they deserve to be treated with compassion. The Landing MN does exactly that and so much more. This place IS a safe place to land for those who are sometimes spit on and ignored in our community.
My co-worker, Nicole, got a call from Billie Packer at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in Rochester, Minnesota and they were wondering if I could help pull off a little surprise. Ok, a big surprise.
MY MISSION: I somehow had to get Dan and Holly Fifield, Founders of The Landing MN, and Jamie Bingner, Development Director at The Landing MN to Taco Jed. The Pay-It-Forward surprise would happen as soon we ordered food.
LET'S SEE IF WE CAN PULL THIS SURPRISE OFF!
Our team at Townsquare Media got a little bit sneaky as we tried our best to pull off this Pay-It-Forward. We had a hidden camera set up behind the register at Taco Jed, and we all secretly said "Action" in our heads as soon as we saw the crew from The Landing MN walk through the door.
There were hugs, some tears that were choked back, tacos, and queso...and a $15,000 Grant from Affinity Plus Foundation to The Landing MN.
Huge thanks to Affinity Plus Foundation for inviting our team to be part of this life-changing moment. I say "life-changing" because I know that those dollars are going to help some of the most amazing individuals in our community who many look down upon because they live in a tent or their car or sleep on a bench. When they come inside The Landing MN, they know that they are loved, that people care for them in that building, and that people are there to help them. With that $15,000 grant, it just shows that others love and care for them too.