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Spirit of Acadiana: Gueydan's 'Double-Pay-It-Forward'

Spirit of Acadiana - Gueydan's 'Double-Pay-It-Forwad'.jpg
Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 12, 2021

GUEYDAN, La. — The Brazda definition of the word 'philanthropist' is someone who gives of his or her time, talents, money... to help other people, without expecting anything back, just trusting that the recipient will do some good stuff with whatever you gave them. The good folks here at Gueydan High? They made a donation to a church in Houston during the freeze, and they did get something back. Something that's got to be called a 'gift from heaven'.

We all remember our not-so-long ago deep freeze, right? And how it not only caused problems here, but also in Houston? Well, the staff at Gueydan High sure did.

"One of my teachers called me,” recalls Gueydan Principal Brandy Broussard, “and she said, 'Miss Brandy, isn't that where Pastor August is from?' And I said, 'Yes, ma'am.’ And she said, 'Don't you think we could do a little something?' and I said, 'Sure'."

The aforementioned Pastor Walter August is originally from the Abbeville area, and even though he relocated to Bethel's Family Church in Houston, he still returns to Vermilion for various causes, one of which was overseeing the Pathways to Success program for young people.

So as you heard, when Houston was damaged by freezing temps, it was only natural his friends at Gueydan High wanted to help Pastor August and his congregation. And a couple weeks ago, in just two days , the faculty raised just over $600. It was a gift---a thank you--with no strings attached.

“No, not at all,” says Broussard. ”We just thought we were paying it forward for everything he had done for us in the past."

But that wasn't all. The superintendent called, and he passed on a message from Pastor August.

“[August] said, 'If you give with a good heart, an open heart, you'll be repaid tenfold’, and he's coming Monday to give you a check."

And then earlier this week…

“Sure enough, Pastor August drove down Monday, and he presented us with a $10,000 donation. I was truly blown away, because that was never our intention, we just wanted to give back because he's been so great to us."

August’s return of the generosity was about setting an example for young people, and showing them the importance of giving and helping and selflessly being… philanthropic. The $10,000 pay-it-forward manna from heaven will be used to purchase Promethean boards at the school, and according to Broussard, the double pay-it-forward message here is:

“The only thing we can say is that God is good. Someone said, ‘You can't out-give God,’ and I thought, that was pretty impressive.”

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