Gratitude Project-Quad Cities Paying Generosity Forward - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Gratitude Project-Quad Cities Paying Generosity Forward

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A Davenport woman is sharing an attitude of gratitude this holiday season, launching a movement on Facebook and rallying community members to raise money for dozens of charities.

This "Gratitude Project-Quad Cities" all started with an anonymous gift in the mail.

Emily Pries, the woman behind the project, says she received a hundred dollar bill in the mail on November 20th. It came in a gold envelope addressed to her, but there was no return address and no instructions. There was only a note card with the simple message: "Merry Christmas"

"I think it's amazing," Pries said. "Obviously someone is very generous if they're sending out anonymous hundred dollar bills."

Pries says that generosity inspired her to pay it forward and give back.

She decided to pick a different charity every day through Christmas and send at least a dollar to each one.

"I like giving and I like charity work and things like that," she explained.

But, Pries says she wanted to spread the spirit of generosity even further.

So, the same night she got the money in the mail, she launched the Facebook page "Gratitude Project-Quad Cities" to raise awareness of the charities she's choosing to donate to each day, and to invite others to send at least a dollar a day, too.

"I just kind of hatched this project and decided to see how big it can get," she said.

Within a couple of hours of launching the Facebook page, Pries says it had a hundred likes. Less than a week later, it was up to around 600 and counting.

"I'm really grateful that people are participating," Pries said.

"I just want people to participate in a way that's meaningful to them," she added.

Every charity Pries picks means something to her and her family, from Jason's Box for Our Troops in honor of her husband's service in the Iowa National Guard to the Women's Choice Center in Bettendorf in gratitude for her two adopted children.

"Even since starting this project, I feel like my mood has gotten better because I'm just more aware of what I'm grateful for," Pries said.

And, thanks to social media and growing community support that attitude is spreading this holiday season.

Pries says she has heard from several people who also received hundred dollar bills in the mail, all from that same anonymous sender.

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