Paying it Forward: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Chinua Joi Ivey with students of the Fun Creative Writing Program

I wanted to share a quick note on why I love being involved in my community, and it's quite simple... In my greatest time of need, people sacrificed their time and resources to lift me up and I desire to pay it forward. I didn't become a foster child until I was in the 9th grade - that's high school. That's a long time in an abusive, violent, and neglectful environment.

Chinua Joi Ivey with the amazing youth of VOX ATL

There were some who opened their homes to me, others who went to grandparents day at my children's elementary school, and those who provided wise advise or a helping hand. There's no doubt that I am abundantly blessed with tons of family, friends, and support who want to see me succeed - personally and professionally. They loved me to life; how can I not pay that forward?

Chinua Joi Ivey serving with the The Plug Youth Ministry

As busy professionals, we can be so consumed in our work that entire quarters go by and we failed to volunteer or give back to the communities in which we live and work. I know, firsthand the benefits of volunteering my time and sharing from my skills and talents. Every minute counts when sharing hope with someone else. Your smile and words of encouragement can make a lasting difference. Be the light on someone else's path. Share heart-to-heart. I believe it's the best way we can grow and prosper in life.

Learn more about my advocacy work on Instagram @IRISadvocate or visit the IRIS Campaign.

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P.O. Box 1296 Hiram, Georgia 30141

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