DuBOIS — Brady Street Florist Owner Jennifer Jackson had no idea when she posted a simple “pay-it-forward” video on the business’ Facebook page, that it would spiral into a kindness movement, impacting people everywhere during COVID-19.
For nearly 35 years, BSF in DuBois has been creating flower arrangements for just about every occasion — holidays, birthdays, parties, weddings and seasonal happenings.
“I’m concerned about some of these newer businesses here in DuBois,” Jackson said. “I just wanted to do something. These people are my friends.”
Jackson started by buying a gift card from a local business, giving the community the chance to “like” and share the Facebook post to win it, as well as a $20 gift card to buy flowers from BSF.
“They are to use those flowers to ‘pay it forward’ to someone else during this time,” Jackson said. “We need some positive right now. People are willing to do something for others, especially in times of need.”
Jackson picks a computer-generated number for the winner, she says, and mails them the certificates.
“This shows what this community is really like,” she said. “I have had so many phone calls about this. I am blown away.”
What she did not expect, Jackson says, is 19,000 video views on Facebook, reaching people in places like Florida and New Mexico wanting to support the cause.
Other local businesses, families and individuals are calling, too, wanting to give away gift certificates or donate funds.
“It’s not about me — it’s about ‘we,’” Jackson says. “We’re all in this together. I believe there is unity in community. I believe that wholeheartedly.”
During a time of such uncertainty, it’s easy to be negative, Jackson said, but the community support has been incredible.
“I knew DuBois was a good community — I was born and raised here,” Jackson said. “But to this extent? It’s overwhelming, and it has changed me as a person.”
The pay-it-forward effort has supported nearly 20 local businesses.
“These businesses still need an audience,” Jackson said. “Go and ‘like’ their page. Give them a recommendation. Small businesses need this more than anything right now.”