BANGOR, Maine — Leaders of several Bangor service organizations, laptops and iPads in hand, gathered Tuesday at Bagel Central to take part in launching the new Pay it Forward Facebook page. Rick Bernstein, an advocate for the Pay it Forward movement in Bangor, organized the event.
Bernstein pushed the necessary laptop keys at 11:45 a.m. to launch the page, and those at the gathering immediately began to share the page with friends in their own online communities. By 12:10 p.m., 21 people had responded with “likes.” By 12:20 p.m. the page received its first post announcing a fundraising effort in Ellsworth to benefit those with cancer. By 1 p.m. the page had 43 likes.
“Kindness runs invisibly through the community,” Bernstein said. “The Pay it Forward Facebook page will allow viewers to share their stories about acts of kindness they receive.”
The page provides links to Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, the Bangor Y, Hope House, United Way of Eastern Maine, Spruce Run and All Souls Congregational Church, and that list is expanding, Bernstein said.
“Hope House wants to implement more of the Pay it Forward philosophy,” said Bruce Hews, shift supervisor at Hope House. “Helping others gives a sense of purpose and makes people feel better about themselves.”
Taking part in the launch were Bruce Hews, shift supervisor at Hope House; Cathleen Neslusan, resource development coordinator at Spruce Run; Mary Lyon, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Bangor; Marie Stewart, Bangor Y membership and marketing director; Mike Seile, Bangor Y chief executive officer; Wayne Walker, formerly of Bangor Community Health and Counseling and now retired; John Kuropchak, president of United Way of Eastern Maine; and Tammy Kallel of the Brewer School Department.
The Facebook page will raise awareness of the Pay it Forward movement in the community, said Stewart.
“It will unite the community for one common purpose,” she said. “It’s important because it will strengthen the community.”
Stewart said that the Bangor Y Facebook page, launched a year ago, now has 2,300 “friends.” When users are queried about how they find out about Bangor Y events, the majority mention the Facebook page, she said.
“It’s the No. 1 way that people get Y information,” Stewart said.
Bernstein said, “I try to encourage people to look for the positives in everyday life. If you want to look for the good, it’s there.”
Visit the page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pay-it-Forward-The-Maine-Way/262253746835.