About Us

PAYING IT FORWARD: To act generously without expectation of being paid back; in the hope the recipient pays it forward to someone else.

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” – Maya Angelou

Mission
We are a New Jersey-based, 100% non-profit foundation dedicated to lending a hand to families and individuals that are struggling and in need of assistance due to disasters, disabilities, homelessness, or any other hardships or special needs.  We are committed to assisting those in need through any acts of kindness and relief, where we will make a difference in someone’s life by providing them the talents of multiple volunteers who donate time and skills to bring relief to those most affected thus: “PAYING IT FORWARD”.

How We Got Started
When Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore in October 2012, Gina Cavallo of West Orange, NJ decided she had to find a way to help. Gina, a Certified Volunteer Advocate with the Sate of NJ Office of the Institutionalized Elderly, had spent her career in healthcare.  She took a disaster course with the American Red Cross and was immediately assigned to assist displaced homeowners at emergency shelters.

Gina was so struck by their plight that she decided she needed to do more.  She and her husband Peter, newlyweds married for just a few weeks, began to fill truckloads of clothes and bedding for those in need on the upper barrier island.  She also started walking the streets of Ortley Beach and Lavallette, NJ, cleaning homes.  From this work came Paying It Forward Relief.

Paying It Forward Relief does what it takes to help residents affected by Sandy get their lives back together.  They have distributed medical equipment, such as power scooters, motorized wheelchairs, walkers, canes, stair climbers, ramps, and hospital beds, to those in need.  They recently donated a car to a recovering stroke victim whose only transportation was destroyed by flood waters.  But the bulk of Paying It Forward’s efforts have been in helping residents restore their homes.

Paying It Forward Relief has cleaned, gutted, and provided free mold treatment to hundreds of homeowners on the barrier island.  While their focus has been on Lavallette, Ortley Beach, and Seaside, they have helped homeowners as far south as Manahawkin, NJ and as far north as Moonachie and Little Ferry, NJ and Staten Island and Newburgh, NY.  They prioritize the elderly, disabled, special needs, and those who serve our country, however, they are committed to helping individuals and families in need throughout the region.

Paying It Forward Relief is a grassroots effort to help rebuild communities wrecked by Hurricane Sandy.  Where relief have fallen short or been delayed, volunteers from Paying It Forward have stepped in to help return residents to their homes, their jobs, and their lives.  For their work, Gina and Paying It Forward have been selected for a Blue Claws Sandy Ovation, nominated for the Governor’s Jefferson Awards for Public Service and New Jersey Heroes, and named as one of 20 semi-finalists for the 2013 White House Champions of Change.

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