Pascagoula Church Challenges Kids To Bless The Needy

PASCAGOULA (WLOX) -- Many of you probably remember the movie "Pay it Forward" where a young boy comes up with an idea to improve mankind. The First Presbyterian Church in Pascagoula is teaching students how to "Bless it Forward." The kids are given money with the assignment to make a difference in the world.

"In 1999, almost one million kids died from Measles."

That staggering statistic encouraged College Park student Winston Roberts to donate his $50 to help African children get vaccinated against Measles.

"We have a personal goal to reduce Measle deaths by 90 percent," Roberts said.

He's even trying to rally his classmates to give by presenting them the facts in a vivid presentation. Teacher Sandi Wright says Winston's selfless giving is exactly what her church's new generosity program is all about.

"It's Lent, and the whole idea of Lent is to give of yourself to others. We came up with a Bless It Forward Program, and we gave each child $50," Wright said.

With that money, 40 young people came up with their own creative ideas on how to bless the less fortunate. Grant McCullough loves cats and dogs, so he donated his money to help the local animal shelter.

"I decided to have a fundraiser at my school and collect dog food, and cat food, and cat litter," McCullough said.

Thanks to 2nd grader Bailey Bass' $50, a Pascagoula doctor will have more aid money during his upcoming mission trip in Mexico.

Bass said she hopes her donation will, "help people get food, get some shots, and help build houses."

"The earlier you start children thinking of others, it is going to affect them in all areas," Wright said.

This program also teaches kids the importance of money management, and that every dollar counts.

"The kids, they knew immediately it was not their money to go blow at Wal-Mart," Wright said.

Instead, it's about giving blessings to people struggling, and that's a lesson these kids won't soon forget.

Sandi Wright says her church came up with this special program while brainstorming on how to get more young people to attend Sunday school. She says since creating the Bless It Forward Program, attendance has increased dramatically.