For the eighth year in a row, nearly 40 students and chaperones from Revere Middle School’s (RMS) Rachel’s Challenge group, pictured above, surprised people in Montrose and Fairlawn by offering to pay for groceries and meals and handing out gift cards and cash June 2. In return, students asked the recipients to consider starting a chain reaction of kindness or paying it forward with another random act of kindness.
According to school officials, the group raised its largest amount to date to gift $4,000, and the following retailers helped in the effort: Acme Fresh Market, Aldi, Starbucks, The Eye Opener, Panera Bread, Great Clips, Pulp Juice and Smoothie Bar, Robeks, Orange Theory and Bob Evans.
One recipient is shown below hugging a student for her kindness.
School officials state Rachel’s Challenge is inspired by Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine school shooting in 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion, coupled with the contents of her six diaries, have become the foundation for the program, which exists “to inspire, equip and empower every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, business and community by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.”
“Our Pay It Forward Day is something the kids really look forward to,” said Jeanette Geer, a parent volunteer who ran Revere Middle School’s Rachel’s Challenge with fellow parent volunteer Debbie Higgins. “We spend the school year talking about kindness, inclusion, love for their classmates, the deep impact bullying can have on a person, and to be able to finish the year putting smiles on people’s faces through random acts of kindness is perfect. It is our hope they can take these experiences and carry them through life.”