Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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You can Pay It Forward to the Pay It Forward Foundation

Catherine Ryan Hyde

Most of you know that Simon & Schuster has released a “Young Readers’ Edition” of my 1999 novel Pay It Forward. It’s been edited down to a solid G rating (by yours truly) and is suitable for kids as young as eight.

Of course, now the challenge is to get these books into the classroom. That would be easier if schools had lots of money for books. They don’t. Teachers are all too often buying books for their classrooms with their own money. And they don’t exactly have money coming out of their ears.

So a few weeks ago, the Pay It Forward Foundation and I launched a project. I donated $1,000 to the Foundation for the purchase of paperback copies of the Young Readers’ Edition. Simon & Schuster was kind enough to offer us a special discount, so we were able to get 325 books to give away. Thing is, half of them are gone already. And I haven’t even announced that the program exists. These were just teachers who had already contacted us in hopes of getting help acquiring some.

The Foundation board (of which I am a part) was kind enough to vote to match my donation with Foundation funds. So another 325 books are now on order. If you’re a teacher, you can learn how to apply for them HERE. And if you know a teacher, you can pass this info on. 

But here’s where we need your help. If you simply pass along the info that free books are available, they will be gone in a matter of days. If they even last that long. Then the program will be over. 

Here’s how you can keep it growing strong: You can pass along this blog post to everyone you know. With enough donations to this fund, we can keep this program going almost indefinitely. They don’t have to be big donations. Even $5 and $10 donations will go a long way if we can just get enough of them. 

And here’s how we get enough of them: You know how the concept of Pay It Forward works, right? It uses exponential math to plant roots. It starts with one, like this post. Then it goes to three, then nine. Then 27. Then 81.  Then 243. Then 729. Then 2,187. The bigger it gets, the bigger it gets. What if you shared this appeal for donations with three people and asked them each to share it with three more? It could be in thousands of hands in no time. Books would flow into middle schools. Kids would be inspired to try kindness. The world would change. Maybe not entirely, but enough to make this worth doing. 

So, please. Spread the word that there are books to give away. But please also spread the word that we need help to keep the supply strong. You can help change the world. 

Information on how to donate to the Pay It Forward Foundation can be found HERE. And please note that your donation is for the Young Reader Book Program.

Thank you for Paying It Forward!