Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward
May 02, 2019

Seize the Day

After the Halvorson family lost their wife and mother, Jaynie, in a car accident, two Bell employees created a pooling fund to help the family help rebuild their lives.

Seize the Day
Seize the Day
Seize the Day
Seize the Day

“She’s touched so many people’s lives. We all know she is with everybody and she’s reminding everybody to go out and make a difference – go out and do good.” – Vikki Nielsen, VP/trust officer

Bell Employees

Julie Ahmann, business systems analyst

Fargo

Vikki Nielsen, VP/trust officer

Fargo

Recipient

The Halvorson family

The Need

On a cold, January morning, Jaynie Halvorson and her husband, Justin, fed and bathed their son, Hoyt. Just as on any ordinary day, Jaynie left for work and Justin stayed home to watch Hoyt.

But it wasn’t long after Jaynie left the house that Justin’s phone rang. It was his sister’s fiancé, crying and telling him to get in the car. When Justin arrived at the scene of the accident, he was told Jaynie didn’t survive the crash.

“It changed our lives,” he says.

The Impact

News traveled fast, and when business systems analyst Julie Ahmann heard, she knew she had to help. Teaming up with other Bell employees, Julie and coworkers created a pooling fund which 45 people contributed to.

Justin, unaware of Bell’s Pay It Forward program, was surprised when Julie and VP/trust officer

Vikki Nielsen paid a visit to drop off a check and let him know his family was in their thoughts.

“They gave me an unbelievable check – definitely good-hearted people,” Justin says, recalling. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Jaynie’s legacy continues to live on, reminding those who knew her to “seize the day.”

“She’s touched so many people’s lives. We all know she is with everybody, and she’s reminding everybody to go out and make a difference – go out and do good,” Vikki remarks.