Bell State and Dawson’s Journey pay it forwardPublished 11:38am Thursday, July 24, 2014 Updated 11:40am Thursday, July 24, 2014
By Tesa Rude
For the Journal
This year, my son Dawson Rude, with the help of Bell State Bank’s Pay it Forward: Community Connect program, will be giving back to the Dough 4 Joe organization that helped the Rude family in 2008.
Each year since 2008, every full-time Bell State employee has received $1,000 and every part-time employee $500 to “pay it forward” to those in need as they see fit. Since the program’s inception, the pay it forward gifts are nearing $5 million.
In 2013, we made an addition to Pay It Forward that doubled its impact. Through the Pay It Forward: Community Connect component, each employee selected a customer, vendor or community member who themselves had the chance to pay it forward to an individual, family or organization in need.
We are so happy to share this program because we know these gifts change the lives not only of those who receive them, but of the givers.
Dawson was diagnosed at birth with Chronic Renal Failure and has had health problems throughout his life. But he underwent a kidney transplant in 2006 and is still alive today at 15.
Dawson was one of the recipients of Dough 4 Joe money in 2008, which afforded him the chance to go to a NASCAR race in Kansas City.
I began to discuss with Dawson three potential donors that we could give to, but we wanted to keep it local. We laid out three options and discussed them with Dawson.
Without hesitation, Dawson picked “Dough 4 Joe.”
“Mom, this is the one that let me see Kyle Busch,” he said.
Dawson’s love for racing made it a natural fit to give back to Dough 4 Joe, as local resident Joe Sampson, who died of cancer, loved all of these same things. So we put our application in, developed a short video and presented our story.
Within a few days they allowed us to give the Bell State Bank Pay it Forward: Community Connect to Dough 4 Joe.
We can’t thank Bell State Bank and employee Paula Swanson enough for helping us give back. Like a race track, it is a complete circle, with pit stops along the way to put our mind back into perspective of what life is all about.