Pay It Forward named United Way Community Partner of the Year

The United Way of Marion County awarded The Ohio State University at Marion’s Pay It Forward Program with its Community Partner Award at the organization’s Annual Meeting and Celebration, held Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

Through Pay It Forward, students in Ohio State Marion English courses learn about the needs in Marion County, but also go a step further through financial support of United Way, Ohio State Marion, and crowd funding efforts by students in the courses.  The students seek grant proposals from non-profit organizations in Marion County, assess these proposals, and grants funds for projects or needs identified by local organizations.

“The program is a great example of Ohio State Marion students giving back to the community and learning about the power of philanthropy,” said Ohio State Marion Dean & Director Gregory S. Rose.

English lecturer Amy Tibbals, who coordinates the program for Ohio State Marion, explained that the Pay It Forward greatly values their relationship with the United Way and the unique opportunity the partnership provides students.

“The award validates the good work our students do in the community, the value of the program itself, and their (the United Way’s) continued support,” said Tibbals.  “It is the culmination of what we have been working for over the past six years.”

According to Tibbals, United Way has been a partner in the Pay It Forward program since day one.  More recently, they have stepped up their financial contributions because of their belief in the program.  Because of the program’s success, the United Way has increased its monetary commitment to $5,000 annually, up from $2,000.

“United Way is proud to support a program that offers students a chance to learn about philanthropy and how important giving back is to the local community,” said United Way of Marion County Executive Director Amber Wertman.

“It is exciting to see how engaged and passionate the students become throughout the course, she added.  “They leave with real world experience that they will take with them no matter what field they go into.  Plus, Amy is an amazing instructor who has made Pay It Forward a program that other United Way (organizations) are asking about.  “She has a true passion for teaching and giving back,” said Wertman.

“We are grateful for the many years of support United Way has provided for our “Pay It Forward” program,” added Rose.

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