The Ripple Effect

We never know how our actions will ripple through our neighborhood or our community. My friend Jordan Schweiger, a realtor in Salem, Oregon has recently learned how wonderful the ripple effect can be when we set something into motion.

Jordan and his family had a life altering experience in August of 2009. He and his family were backpacking in the Eagle Camp Wilderness in Oregon, when his two children were riding a horse down a trail. It was raining and the horse slipped on a rock and threw both of Schweiger’s boys of it’s back. His son Jackson was bleeding from his head and his son Jamison had a broken thigh bone, a potentially life threatening emergency if not treated immediately. Their call from their rural location to 911 was cut off. Emergency personnel texted back. Eventually the emergency crew met up with Schweiger and his family and they were airlifted to safety. Jackson is now 8 and Jamison is 7.

Schweiger felt blessed and knew he could never repay the people who had helped save his children’s lives. But he wanted to pay it forward somehow.

Inspiration hit him recently and he set to work. Schweiger is a realtor in Salem, Oregon. Everyday he helps others find homes. He knows the value of home ownership and decided to start a project called the Good Well project. He wanted to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity in Nepal. In April, Schweiger stood in front of a group of leadership students at one area high school with a challenge. He told them it costs $590  to build a single home in Nepal. He wanted to raise enough money to build 20 homes. He asked the students to come up with half the funds and he would match the rest. He made the same pitch at a few other schools. Collectively he asked all the students to raise $5,900 that Schweiger promised to match.

The students set to work to raise the money. About 70 students throughout the area participated. Each one had their own way to do it. Some wrote letters and emails. Some cooked and sold tamales. Some knocked on doors and others sold donuts. They raised a lot of money. Close to $15,000. Schweiger watched in awe as the sums grew and he got nervous. The students raised the bar and more money than he’d expected them to and now he wasn’t sure what to do next. He panicked a little and then he regrouped. He contacted two local chapters of Habitat for Humanity and they agreed to add an additional $35,000 to match and increase the money the students raised. In all, this fundraiser has gathered more than $50,000.

Jordan never imagined this incredible possibility. This collection is possibly one of the largest student driven service projects in Oregon right now, raising and attracting $50,000+ dollars, all because of the students efforts. It’s been so successful that they are now sending one student ambassador and 14 other Habitat board members  and volunteers to Nepal in October to participate in the Global Village Build in Nepal.

So excited when Jordan shared his awesome story with me because it reiterates the amazing power of the ripple effect. “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams

Congrats to Jordan and all of the students who participated in this awesome service project.

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