Bellingham students dispensing $1,000 in goodwill

BELLINGHAM — A panel of local business people surprised a group of about 30 Bellingham High School students by giving them $1,000 — and the students plan to use it to conduct some surprise good cheer of their own.

The business people served as judges for a recent marketing class exercise in which students presented ideas for a new product, including logos, business plans and requests for startup money, The Bellingham Herald reported.

The judges were so impressed, they gave the students $1,000 to dispense in a way that would benefit the most people. The caveat was that the students had to agree unanimously on how to spend it.

“The kids’ mouths just dropped,” said teacher Jamie O’Brien.

Last week, the class spent an hour considering 18 proposals for how to spend the money. They decided to take an approach similar to the 2000 movie “Pay It Forward,” in which a boy decides to do a good deed for three people, with the idea that they, in turn, will each do good deeds for three others.

So on Wednesday, the students plan to canvass downtown Bellingham, each with $30 to dispense. Ideas include buying coffee for other people and handing out free snacks.

Some of the money will be used to print cards explaining what the students are doing and encouraging the recipients to “pay it forward” themselves.

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