NeighborWorks Pocatello hosted its 6th annual Pay-It-Forward BBQ on Saturday, June 1st at the NeighborWorks Pavilion at Caldwell Park. The event included live music performed by Scott Balsai, a tasty BBQ cooked up by NeighborWorks very own Sean Hargraves and Brian Nice, and the opportunity for those in the community to sign up for a pay-it-forward pledge to receive a free potted plant. Also on site were representatives from NeighborWorks six neighborhood associations, where residents could find out more information about the associations, and how to get involved.
In preparation for the Pay-It-Forward BBQ, NeighborWorks collected planter and garden pots donated by local residents. The Resource Development committee volunteers then replanted them with vibrant flowers and herbs to gift to residents that filled out a pay-it-forward pledge card. The pledge cards allowed residents the opportunity to pledge to do something to give back to their community. Over 200 residents attended, enjoying the BBQ, music and filling out pay-it-forward pledge cards.
The Pay-It-Forward BBQ is an annual event to celebrate national NeighborWorks week. NeighborWorks America and its local affiliates, rally tens of thousands of volunteers each June to facilitate neighborhood change and awareness. Since its foundation in 1983, the NeighborWorks network has helped to strengthen communities and celebrates this communal effect each June.
“I think it was very gratifying to see so many people from our neighborhoods and different sectors of the community there,” said Mark Dahlquist, Executive Director of NeighborWorks Pocatello. “I think the most satisfying thing is that people were really enthused to fill out the pay-it-forward pledge cards. There is a lot of caring people in the community and just for a token flower pot, so many could return the favor in such a big way. People really do care about the cause and it’s great to see. And kudos to the Resource Development Committee and the NeighborWorks staff for being there and giving their time. They really made it run smoothly and we couldn’t have pulled it off without them.”
Here are some of the Pay-It-Forward pledges that were gathered:
“I will pick up litter at the parks” –Jace H.
“I will help my neighbor pull weeds” –Caleb H.
“I will pick up trash in my neighborhood” –Kim B.
“I will recycle” –Kaye C.
“I will go to the community garden” –Sofia V.
Be sure to look for NeighborWorks 7th annual Pay-It-Forward BBQ in June 2020!