Neighbor to Neighbor: Infectious Layaway Philanthropy

December 18, 2011; Source: Sault Ste. Marie Evening News | NPQ covered this story about community-based philanthropy when it first began last week. In Nebraska, Montana, Ohio, Idaho, and elsewhere over this past week, the wave of people paying off the Christmas K-Mart layaway accounts of their neighbors continued. Those wishing to pay off the accounts often ask those of families with small children.

The grandmother of five who was the first beneficiary of the anonymous gift says she will be heading to K-Mart with her paycheck anyway—to “pay it forward” to someone else.—Ruth McCambridge


Ruth McCambridge

Ruth is Editor in Chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly. Her background includes forty-five years of experience in nonprofits, primarily in organizations that mix grassroots community work with policy change. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ruth spent a decade at the Boston Foundation, developing and implementing capacity building programs and advocating for grantmaking attention to constituent involvement.