By Tina Musial
“The end of November and early December brought a lot of random acts of kindness to the mid-Michigan area. Actually, the acts were not really random, but performed by a community that was in mourning for one little boy who affected them more than they realized. They only learned how much he meant to them when he passed away on November 27, 2012 from cancer.
“Jayden Lamb lived in Midland, Michigan and he liked to help other kids. Even though he was suffering from a terrible disease, he was still considerate of others and wanted to take care of their needs too. Donating toys to the Toys For Tot drive was one important activity for him because Christmas was his favorite holiday and he wanted to make sure other children had toys to play with.
“Tom and Nicole Lamb, his parents, were devastated by his loss and searched for a way to honor his memory and find a way to get through their grief. They decided to go to a department store and ask to pay off someone’s layaway that had toys in it in memory of their son. Tom posted the story on the Facebook page, Keep on Truckin’ Team Jayden and asked the followers to keep Jayden’s memory alive by paying it forward in ways that were considerate of each other.
“The movement spread like wildfire. The Facebook page that had 4,000 members jumped. The local news caught on and reported the actions of the people “Paying It Forward Jayden Style” all over the county. Then more Facebook fans jumped on board and people wrote letters to the national news channels, famous people and other media outlets to inform them of the movement.
“CBS news came out to Midland on what would have been Jayden’s 9 birthday in December and joined in the birthday party to heaven. Hundreds of lanterns were lit and released in to the sky, floating gently on a breeze up to heaven so Jayden could see them. The story played on the national news and inspired more people to pay it forward in memory of Jayden. The Facebook page now claims over 38,000 fans with dozens of stories of people paying it forward each and every day being posted.
“Tom, Nicole and the new administrator of the page are delighted to see the stories even as they continue to grieve. They are amazed their little boy has touched people around the world enough that they are paying it forward in his memory in many states across the country and even around the world.
“Some of the ways people are paying it forward include covering meals for people behind them in a drive-thru line, paying for toy layaway purchases at the department stores, picking up a person’s tab at a restaurant, paying someone’s dry cleaning bill, paying for the gas at the person at the pump next to them and many, many more.
“One little boy touched the lives of thousands of people simply because he was kind and considerate of others, even though he was in the midst of a disease that should have made him sad. Payin’ It Forward Jayden Style is an action that just might make you feel a little bit better too, so why not try it?