Pay It Forward: Billie's Story - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Pay It Forward: Billie's Story

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"Let the life that I live speak for me."

Would you be willing to do that? And if so, what would your life say about you? The answer for one local family is pretty powerful and it is the reason we are featuring them in our “Pay It Forward” feature.

Julia Bell Bailey passed away last October.

“What I remember most about my grandmother was she was a giver," said Tyreese Bailey. "She loved people."

“Even if she didn't know you, she always treated you like you were one of her own,” said Qaeem Garner, Bailey’s grandson by marriage.

“She did exactly what Jesus told us to do, to be servants at heart,” said her daughter, Daneen Malloy.

“Bless you mom for passing that on to us,” said Sandralyn Starling. “We got your spirit, and rest assured, you will never ever die as long as we are alive in this world.”

And never have truer words been spoken. It's fair to say she is still very much here.

“Her nickname was Billie and giving back was her life story and we wanted to make sure everyone knew her life story,” said Nadia Garner, Billie’s granddaughter.

The narrators of Billie's story are many. In total, Billie had eight children, 23 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren. Each and every one of them inheriting -- let's just call it -- Billie's Pay It Forward gene.

“She always instilled in us to give back, to love unconditionally, and if it's your last and you don't need it, make sure someone else has it,” said Nadia.

It is why the family officially started a non-profit called Billie's Story.

Their first project is feeding the homeless. 150 in need received food bought, cooked, and delivered all by Billie's family.

On this day, they're assembling gift bags for families dealing with sick children at the Ronald McDonald House in Northeast D.C. Crayons, coloring books, snacks, notepads -- everything purchased out of their own pockets. But that's only part of what they're giving.

“It's easy to go out and write a check for someone and there is nothing wrong with that,” said Nadia. “But what we try to do is give of ourselves. Not just the money, but we try to give our time, our energy.”

On a Saturday this spring, they took their bags to the Ronald McDonald House and then spent the day there working.

“They came in with enthusiasm and excitement,” said Dean Cavanno, volunteer coordinator at the Ronald McDonald House. “They tackled the tasks. They did a great job -- fantastic. They went above and beyond.”

Just like Billie taught them. And whether they are on site doing or at home preparing, it's fair to say Billie is ever-present.

“We want to do good by everybody else,” said Tyreese Bailey. “We want to serve our community and our family, and we want to make sure we meet the needs of people because that's what Billie did.”

Billie's Story is busy coordinating their next big event, which will be sometime this summer. It is going to be a back-to-school bash for children.

They are going to stuff backpacks with school supplies as well as provide free haircuts by a master barber. They will also have games and face painting for the children at the bash too.

The goal is to help at least 150 children get ready to head back to school in August.

Also, if you know of someone who is paying it forward, please let us know. Go to our Pay It Forward page and fill out the nomination form and we'll do our best to get the story on our air.

Remember, it is all about someone doing something nice for somebody that then inspires that somebody to do something nice for someone else.

Holly Morris on Instagram: @HollyLiveFOX5

  • Pay It Forward Nomination Form

    Nominate someone you know!  Fill out this form and tell why they deserve to be recognized.

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for submitting a nomination!  If we decide to feature your story, a member of the FOX 5 team will contact you.


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