Pay It Forward application period open for 2023 project

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Pay It Forward is heading into a milestone year and it’s now open to receive applications for the 2023 remodel.

This year’s project, slated for the week of March 13, will mark 10 years that Pay It Forward has been breathing new life into bathrooms and homes for the benefit of homeowners in need.

And the program has come a long way since that first project.

“Our first project was between $24,000 and $25,000 (in value) and this last one was $115,000,” said Pay It Forward organizer Gina Grundmeier. 

What started as a bathroom model, with materials and labor donated from a large variety of contractors and businesses, has expanded into other areas of the house including kitchens and bedrooms.

Last year’s project, the organization’s largest to date, included roof work.

The newly revealed remodel of the Burkey’s home which was the 2021 project. Herald file photo

Grundmeier said that the efforts that have made past projects so successful isn’t because of large donors, but rather because of people coming together to make the projects work.

“We’re not corporate sponsored, we don’t get massive donors,” she said. “It’s all this little stuff coming together. It’s little things that make this happen.”

Like past years, the project will take just a week to get everything done with the final reveal slated for later in the afternoon on that Friday in the week of March 13.

While it’s a lot to ask those putting in the work, the fact that it’s for such a good cause tends to make the entire effort well worth it and shows what can happen when people come together.

READ MORE: ‘This is amazing’: Family of Chol Opiew gets to see the final results of Pay It Forward

“These people are all strangers to everybody (at the home),” Grundmeier said. “When we can come together and show them that community love and community support they need … I feel it gives me a sense of purpose.”

The application process is open through Jan. 31. People can either submit a 1,200-word essay explaining the situation for themselves or nominating someone else. People can either fill out the form online or mail in the application.

The home must be homeowner occupied and two photos showing the bathroom must be submitted with the essay.

In years past, Grundmeier said that they’ve seen on average of around 90 applications.

Grundmeier, along with others, will go through the applications and hope to have a project selected by Feb. 6.

Grundmeier added that Pay It Forward is always looking for volunteers or donations to help with the project. For more information on how to apply or to volunteer or donate, visit: https://payitforwardtng.org/