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Pay It Forward Special: Boise's Got Faith becomes 1st, two time winner

Families that have received help from Boise's Got Faith gather on stage at a recent fundraiser.

At the annual fundraiser for Boise’s Got Faith in Julia Davis Park, kids line up for a race. This race, though, is not necessarily about competition. It has more to do with support, lifting those who need help, making sure everyone can get across the finish line.

In a sense, that’s the guiding principle of Boise’s Got Faith and the essence of pay it forward.

We first met Ryan Stearns, the founder of Boise’s Got Faith, three years ago. The charity was among the first recipients of a Pay It Forward from Mountain America Credit Union. He explained how the group gives financial and emotional help to families with children diagnosed with cancer.

"The money that's raised, seems like it's always just enough for these families to get through the fight. It's been beautiful," said Ryan at the time.

Also three years ago, we met Brynlee and her family. She was going through treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Today Brynlee is cancer free.

"She had her last medication on the last day of 2016," said Stephanie Nebeker, Brynlee’s mom.

And yet, the family continues coming to events with Boise's Got Faith. Now, instead of receiving help, they’re giving it.

Stephanie explained, "It's nice to be in a position like this where we can now let them lean on us, just like we were leaning on other people."

That's how pool of volunteers with Boise's Got Faith is expanding. “As new kids are diagnosed,” said Ryan, “They immediately have this family that has walked the walk that they're going on. They're just surrounding them and saying, 'Here's what to expect. Here's what we experienced."

Boise’s got Faith is now in its 7th year. It is a homegrown charity run entirely by volunteers with a founding donor who covers what little operating cost there are. That means 100% of donations from the public go to helping the families.

So many good people who have caught the spirit and are living their lives paying it forward.

That’s why Boise Got Faith is the first non-profit in the Treasure Valley to receive a 2nd Pay It Forward.

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