Paying It Forward

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Paying It Forward


Beth Graf








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Succasunna, New Jersey

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We are from NJ. Once we settled into our new lifestyle with one of us working from home, one of us attending college at home, and myself, filing for unemployment due to my job as a dental assistant being furloughed indefinitely to prevent the spread of Covid19 via aerosols, we were craving pizza. We hadn’t had fresh NJ pizza in 2 weeks, and anyone who knows anything about NJ knows we are serious about our pizza and bagels! They are the best around! We decided to support one of our locals pizzerias, Luigi’s, because many of the restaurants were struggling with the new government orders put in place for take-out service only and the general public unsure if it was safe to order food due to hygiene concerns. I called and ordered the pizza, salads, and some soda because I wanted to boost my bill a bit.
Right before I left to pick up the order, I made a few monetary donations to some local charities online, even though my heart kind of tugged in the opposite direction with being out of work and tightening things up, because I knew there were going to be many in much more need than us and charities would be struggling to provide.
I walked into the restaurant to pick up our food and the owner told me that my pizza was free- it had been donated by a local company called Fireondack Chairs that was trying to bring some peace and joy at this time in our community! Apparently, lots of companies were doing the same, with donations going to local hospitals and essential businesses to cheer the workers.
As we shared our experience further, we soon found out that the company that donated our pizza, is owned by two local firefighters/EMTs. Ironically, we had made a donation that same week to our fire department of N95 masks, that we had obtained, to keep them protected from the virus. We were protecting the same people that provided our lunch! It was amazing how this whole experience of paying it forward had come full circle in so many ways!




Beth Graf, “Paying It Forward,” Shippensburg University Community Response to COVID-19, accessed February 7, 2023,