Pay it Forward: Ms. J’s Giveaways

A Rock Island teacher is making sure students are never empty handed.

Rashanda Johnson is giving back to kids in need throughout the Rock Island, Milan school district during her Ms. J’s Giveaways.

Johnson, better known as “Ms. J” uses the own hard-earned money she earns as a teacher at Rock Island Academy to give back to the community she grew up in by purchasing shoes for students in need.

“The kids self-esteem shoots right up and all the other kids are walking around like ‘look at those shoes,” said Johnson.

But her generosity doesn’t end with shoes. During the winter, Rashanda holds another giveaway to make sure students are ready for the cold with scarves, boots and coats.

Her friend, Rita Jett, nominated her for a Pay It Forward to say thank you for her dedication to students.

“Some years ago, she saw a need in the community because of the diverse community that has migrated to the U.S. she came up with Ms. J’s giveaways,” said Jett.

In the summer time, Johnson also gives the kids flip flops and can be found throughout neighborhoods in Rock Island handing out popsicles to keep kids cool.

If you know of someone doing great things in their community and want to nominate them for a pay it forward, click here.