Tuerff’s ‘Pay It Forward’ Plan Catches On

DALLAS An ad agency has enlisted new businesses willing to “Pay It Forward” through a charitable campaign born of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Kevin Tuerff, president of Tuerff-Davis EnviroMedia, Austin, Texas, started the project two years ago to thank the people of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, for taking care of him and other airline passengers diverted there when flights were halted on 9/11.

“During this stressful time, a small town of 9,000 residents cared for, housed and fed more than 6,595 stranded airline passengers including my partner and me,” Tuerff said. “I’ll never forget their kindness, and I wanted to do something to continue that spirit of generosity.”

Modeled after the book and movie titled Pay It Forward, the campaign encourages people to help out three strangers on Sept. 11.

At EnviroMedia, employees are divided into teams of three and given $100 each to use to help other people.

“Last year, one team took their money to a tire repair center to pay for people who needed their tires repaired,” said EnviroMedia spokeswoman Erica Hess. “It went a long way because each tire repair only cost about $5.”

Another Austin ad agency, Liaison Resources, with 90 employees, will also participate. Joining the campaign this year are Dell, American Bank and the American Cancer Society, the company said.

Tuerff-Davis EnviroMedia is a full-service public relations and advertising agency dedicated to improving public health and the environment, the company said.