SPRINGFIELD, NJ — Over the weekend, the generosity of Springfield residents was paid forward, as senior citizens in town received a delivery of free pre-paid bagels, thanks to a charitable project that has been ongoing for the last month.
The pay-it-forward project began this past December, when three businesses put up chalkboards, on which customers can leave extra money or specify an additional charge to their card on the purchase. With the extra money in hand, merchants will mark it out with sticky notes on a board in their restaurants, and then use the money to pay for charitable meals.
Now up to four businesses, the program has seen a number of customers paying it forward, and late last week, some of that money was used to pay for bagels for residents of the Springfield Senior Housing complex. 13 dozen of them in fact. Additionally, gift cards and notes were contributed by two girl scout troops.
For Toni Meyer-Graziano, who is heading up the program alongside Mylene Pinto, the outpouring of support from customers and residents has been a welcome reminder of Springfield's generosity.
"So many residents came through and really were eager to help anyone in town," she said. "We all have neighbors that have not worked in a long time and this shows them that our town is filled with amazing generous people. I am so proud of the turn out to help others, girl scout troop #40871 that took time to write so many letters to the seniors and girl scout troop #40756 for collecting money and giving ShopRite gift cards to give some seniors."
And for Patti Regal, the house manager, the donation was welcome, and a show of kindness appreciated by all those living and working in the facility.
"On behalf of the Springfield Seniors here at Springfield Housing they would like to thank [residents] for the generous donation of bagels. It was very thoughtful and kind of you to think of our seniors," Regal said.