Paying it Forward with "You Matter" Bags

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

Today is #givingtuesday and today we handed out the first of our You Matter bags.

My children really deserve most of the credit for our 2nd Pay It Forward activity this November. It all started on Halloween when we returned from Trick'or'Treating and looked in amazement (well, mom may have looked more worried than amazed) at that enormous pile of treats they had collected.

I remember thinking out loud that "perhaps we should donate some of it?" fully expecting loud protest. Instead, my girls agreed, pondered the thought and ran with it. They came up with You Matter bags to hand out to the homeless people we see on a regular basis - on our way to school, the grocery store, my office.

Instead of going to the movies this month they suggested to use that money to purchase cereal bars, Twinkies, chips, crackers and warm socks to add to the donation of about half their Halloween candy. I only helped with supplying the actual bags, adding water bottles and printing out Happy Holiday cards for them to color and add to each bag. 

And today on #givingtuesday we handed out the first of their You Matter bags and the response we got had me in tears.

The whole idea was to let the homeless people that we see every week know that we notice them. And although we can't offer much, we at least wanted to tell them You Matter [they wrote just that, You Matter!, on the back of each card] and hopefully put a smile on their face - if just for a moment.

We got that smile and then some. Our very first You Matter bag was received warmly and graciously. It was beautiful beyond words and so very rewarding - in more ways than one.

Paying it Forward with Goody bags for the homeless

*This is my entry into Belinda Spillman's Third Annual Pay It Forward ActiveRain Challenge and I thank Belinda very much for hosting it. The You Matter bags would have happened with or without a contest but it's a great way to get inspired and to inspire. My girls would be thrilled if they could accomplish the latter.

Posted by







Thompson Company, REALTORS
16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860

Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD. She has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers since 2004 and focuses on residential Real Estate in  Montgomery and Howard County, MD. Andrea is a proud mom and hobby decorator with a vintage soul. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running and treasure hunting and is addicted to coffee.


 All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.




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Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Andrea, what a great idea, your children are precious, we can all learn from them. Thank you for sharing!

Nov 29, 2016 05:49 PM #1
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I love this idea and that your children are so invested in it. Several years ago instead of doing a gift exchange in my family, my mom suggested we buy for the homeless and take the gifts to the Rescue Mission on Christmas Day where they come for a meal. We had socks, gloves, underwear, scarves, hats and blankets. It felt good and we didn't miss getting a $25 gift at all.

Nov 29, 2016 08:10 PM #2
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Andrea

What a wonderful idea, and your daughters are learning such a valuable lesson from their sharing!


Nov 29, 2016 09:57 PM #3
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Andrea -- this is an entry that is too sweet(beyond the obvious reference).  It's so nice that your girls were such an important part of your Play-It-Forward effort...such a great learning experience.  

Nov 29, 2016 11:09 PM #4
Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Andrea, what a wonderful example of sharing love and neighborliness.

Nov 29, 2016 11:34 PM #5
Alan Gross
PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company, Equal Housing Lender - Bethesda, MD
Loan Consultant

Andrea Bedard  What a great thing to do. Your kids are fantastic and I know everyone who gets a "You Matter" bag will appreciate it.

Nov 30, 2016 05:33 AM #6
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such a wonderful gift from the heart, I am sure that you are so very proud of your daughters!  I am also certain that those bags and cards will make a lasting impression on the people that received them!

Nov 30, 2016 05:59 AM #7
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

That is such a great way to share the love and pay it forward in a very big way.  Great way to teach your children as well that others are in need.

Nov 30, 2016 08:55 AM #8
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Andrea - That a wonderful thing to do, and even more so with your children so deeply involved. Kudos to all of you!

Nov 30, 2016 11:33 AM #9
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Thank you Beth!

I love that Debbie and I can see us doing that, too, in a few years down the road.

They deserve the credit Jeff! They both have such a big heart, they love giving and making others happy.

Thank you Michael. I expected that they would not be too thrilled with my initial thought. They make me super proud!

I just wish we could do a bit more Michelle.

Thank you Alan! It's wonderful to see their faces light up, on both, the givers and the receivers.

I am extremely proud Brian! If we can make their day and put a smile on their faces, then it's mission accomplished. Of course, we wish that we could do so much more than that.

Thank you Belinda! My girls have already asked if we could do that again next year.

They are amazing Dick! They wanted to buy everything at the store and give it away.

Nov 30, 2016 04:32 PM #10
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I love reading about you and your amazing girls.What a role model you are! Thanks for sharing just what you do on a daily basis. You make us all so proud.

Dec 04, 2016 08:04 PM #11
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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