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Paying Off Layaway Goes Viral After a Father’s Holiday Tradition Gets Shared
Tis the season to be of service, pay it forward, and give back; thus goes the lesson that Kent Clothier and his wife Seema give to their children each year when they go to Toys R Us and ask to pay off the layaway plans of needy families.
Clothier, an entrepreneur, educator and philanthropist by nature, has long been teaching others about the importance of giving back; not only his own family, but also those with whom he does business, his students, and and those he coaches.
Normally an anonymous tradition carried on by the Clothier family, this year friend and business partner Brad Costanzo accompanied Clothier and his 8 year old daughter, did his part too, and subsequently shared the story on his personal Facebook page.
“This is where it gets real” posted Costanzo, “one lady was just in the store one hour prior (to our visit) in tears because her husband left her with nothing but she wanted to give her child a few presents.” Posting a picture of the philanthropic outing, Costanzo shared how good the project felt and encouraged others to give it a shot if they’d never done it before. It worked.
The idea, and the inspiration to give back that followed, began to spread like wildfire. Comment after comment, likes and shares piled up by others who had been moved to do the same. As reports poured in, one commenter shared that he went to the same Toys R Us store as Kent and his family and the clerk relayed the story of the same woman from Costanzo’s post, who had the entire staff in tears when she stopped in to pick up her items.
One of the items Clothier had paid off was an XBox that included a $50 gift certificate. This woman, who could only afford layaway for her children’s parents promptly gave the $50 certificate to another store patron, thus “paying it forward” to and hopefully inspiring more giving this Christmas season.
Clothier’s daughter, for whom this has been a family tradition for the past five years, said “I’d rather that a boy or girl get a present they really want instead of me getting something I just kind of want. They deserve a great Christmas too.”
Always feeling that anonymity was the best policy, Clothier had never before considered sharing his family's tradition with others, nor had he ever found out anything about his recipient’s lives. As a result of the profound effect this social sharing had, he was inspired to take it a step further and reach out to his massive following and the real estate investing community, to encourage them to take part in this tradition for themselves. He decided to start a new program to prompt others to give back and make a difference.
Still at its inception, The Time is Now Foundation will be dedicated to impacting the lives of those in need, and the philosophy will be based in the fact that we have little time to make a difference and that the moment to start is giving back now.
It is hard to know just how many families will be affected by Clothier’s efforts this season as a result of Costanzo’s social sharing; we can be certain though, that as we move into the future, and The Time is Now Foundation grows, more friends and future generations will be inspired to reflect with gratitude on the lives they have, give back, and try to make a difference for those in need.
From value lessons for the young to social inspiration for the old, good will spreads, thereby creating a little more joyful energy and peace in a world that is wanting; and who says social media is a waste of time?
Visit KentClothier.com for more information on Kent and the Time Is Now Foundation