Sep 12, 2017

Pay It Forward Forges a Connection Across the World

Bell Bank’s Pay It Forward program is helping the company connect with like-minded social reformers across the world.

Julie Peterson Klein, Bell’s chief culture officer, recently met with Syed Mohammad Abu Daud (whose pen name is Badal Syed), a tax commissioner, motivational speaker, writer and social reformer in Bangladesh.

Badal started a program called Pay Back Society in 2005 to encourage people to spread kindness by helping others. After learning of Bell’s Pay It Forward program, which gives employees money to donate to people or organizations in need, Badal renamed the program Pay It Forward Bangladesh.

Both programs are making big impacts in their communities. Pay It Forward Bangladesh has more than 8,000 volunteers and donors. So far, Bell has contributed more than $10 million through Pay It Forward.

When he visited Fargo recently, Badal wanted to meet with Julie to learn more about Bell’s program and share ideas.

“We owe Bell Bank for spreading this idea of helping others,” he comments. “I learned a lot from the meeting. I’m very grateful for the time Julie gave me, and I hope our mutual sharing will continue.”

Julie says it was an honor to meet Badal in person.

“You could feel his pay-it-forward heart,” she remarks. “We plan to stay in touch on how we all can work together to make the world a better place. Badal believes, like I believe, that all of these random acts of kindness and Pay It Forward deeds can change the world.”

Pay It Forward Bangladesh scarf and statuetteChandana (Jolly) Lala, who works in information systems at Bell, is friends with Badal and helped connect him and Julie.

“Julie and Badal always amaze me with the tremendous amount of good, productive work they do,” she comments. “Both of them are my inspiration. I am sure connecting these two great leaders from two different countries, who have tremendous love for humanity, will bring positive effects in this world. Today’s world needs people like them. To me, it is similar ideas in different countries merged together to make this world better.”

Badal brought Julie gifts from Bangladesh – a scarf with ‘Pay It Forward Bangladesh’ stitched onto it and a statuette of a boat, symbolic of the country.