Highgate woman ‘pays it forward’

More than 3,500 help others through social media

By Elaine Ezerins

Staff Writer

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‘When you get back on your feet, pay it forward.’

- Crystal Hemingway

HIGHGATE — “Pay it forward” is what Crystal Hemingway, the founder of local Facebook group ‘Helping Others,’ asks of the people she supports by giving them clothing, food, gifts and her time and energy.

“There’s no need to thank me,” said Hemingway, a home care provider in Highgate. “When you get back on your feet, pay it forward.”

With more than 3,500 members, Helping Others began only a couple of months ago, when Hemingway got the idea to do something positive in her community from her boyfriend, Billy Pfaff.

Pfaff, the founder of the non-profit volunteer organization, Opioid Warrior, which supports addicts and aims to break the stigma around drug abuse, urged Hemingway to help the people struggling in her area.

Observing the great lengths Pfaff went in order to help people, Hemingway said, inspired her to do the same. So she formed a Facebook group, to reach out and help her neighbors in need.

Hemingway uses her home as a drop off location for donations, posts what she has available on the group page and gets the supplies to whoever needs them as quickly as possible. Since the group began, other community members have asked to help, offering their homes in Swanton, Enosburg, Richford and St. Albans up as other drop off locations.

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