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Pay it Forward: Facebook page spreads love, compassion


In a time when the Internet is known for hate tweets and Facebook wars, Timothy Phanco from Bend took to the Web to create a page to spread love and compassion.

“I’ve had a pretty dark past, and I wanted to find a way to give back,” said Phanco, who founded the Facebook page “Pay It Forward Bend” in November.

Phanco had many people in his life who helped him find a new path.

“I wouldn’t be here without the help,” Phanco said.

Now, he wanted to extend a helping hand to others in the community.

“So I was thinking, ‘Well, what do I do all the time? Well, Facebook,'” Phanco said. “So how can I utilize that to help people?”

Within a few months, the page gained 1,600 members. People from all over Central Oregon are helping one another– from free baby clothes, to a note about a free library in Redmond, to prayers offered in a tough time.

“Every story is a great story,” said Amber Bloom, who is an administrator of the Facebook page. “Literally, there are people who fight depression, who post that they need help — and in a minute there are 30 people, giving them hope and prayers and good, kind words and support.”

Many of the admins of the group have experienced just how far a small gesture of kindness can go.

“I was struggling this Christmas, and many of the people standing here helped me give my kids a holiday and I helped other people give their kids a holiday,” Bloom said.

Heather Enger, who lost her job in August and struggled financially,” said, “My kids had probably the best Christmas they’ve had in years, because again I wasn’t working.”

“They had an awesome Christmas. Most importantly, it taught them. Because I didn’t keep it from them. They knew it didn’t come from mom. They knew it came from Bend. And we provided Christmas for another family in return.”

After Phanco helped so many people through his Facebook page, Bloom, Enger and others decided it was time to give back to him.

“I totally want to pay it forward,” Bloom said while handing him $500, courtesy of Mid Oregon Credit Union and CoEnergy Propane. “Tim, this is for being an amazing person and helping hundreds of people.”

The special gift will help Phanco to keep paying it forward and making a difference.

“I’ve been blessed, and I just carry on those blessing to other people and they carry it on and so forth,” Pahnco said.

To learn more, visit their Pay it Forward Bend Facebook page at:

And to nominate another deserving group or individual to help through our Pay it Forward program, or to see past segments, visit the Pay it Forward page at KTVZ.COM.

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