Pay It Forward - We Love Lucy

8/1/2023 12:30:00 PM

Pay It Forward

“This was the first time I had gotten to meet Lucille. It meant so much to just get to see her personality and face in person. I could tell how sweet and how strong she was.”
– Karlie Foster, Bell Bank Employee


Bell Employee

Karlie Foster
Fargo, N.D.


Lucille Schik

The Need

Little Lucille Schik has endured more than most children her age. She’s battled tumors in her brain and spine since 2016, when she was three years old. For a time Lucille was cancer-free, but near the end of 2022, her family received heartbreaking news: the appearance of a new tumor, likely a side effect of having to give such strong radiation to such a young brain.

Throughout her treatments, Lucille’s gentle, kind personality keeps shining through, along with a strength and resilience that inspire her family and those she meets. “She loves animals,” relates her mom, Lacie Schick. “She loves to take care of things. She's strong. This girl's been through a lot. On Wednesday, she'll go through her 91st sedation. That's a lot that she’s endured in her little life.”

“Her resiliency is something else,” adds dad Jason Schick, telling a story from Lucille’s first year of treatment. Even though she was feeling very sick, she was determined to go to the playroom. “She had to feel terrible,” Jason says, “but she didn't let any of the stuff she was going through get her down.”

The Impact

As Lucille, Lacie and Jason were awaiting more information to help them decide the next steps in treatment, they were surprised with a Pay It Forward gift from Karlie Foster, a Bell employee in Fargo, N.D., and nearly 80 other Bell team members.

Karlie had known Lucille’s family throughout her growing-up years in her hometown of New York Mills. When Karlie noticed a Caring Bridge post about Lucille’s condition, she says, “I just knew that it was a great opportunity, now that I was at the bank and I had the capability of helping, that I wanted to use my Pay It Forward funds to help out their family.”

It turned out to be an even greater opportunity and gift than Karlie could have anticipated. After getting in touch with Lucille’s aunt, Karlie went to work at Bell Bank excited to get her Pay It Forward donation ready. Wondering if others wanted to help, Karlie put out a request and the pool began to grow. Her final gift, totaling more than $40,000, left Lacie and Jason speechless – and even considering a dream trip with Lucille.

For Karlie, it was equally special to meet Lucille for the first time. “She was so kind,” Karlie says. “She got up and gave me a hug after receiving the donation and the little gift that we had put together for her.”

Jason and Lacie say they can’t pay people back, but they hope to pay it forward in some way, lifting others as they’ve been lifted. They’re grateful not only for the Pay It Forward gift, but for all the kind words and gestures their daughter has received. “That community support means everything here,” says Jason.

Through the Pay It Forward program, Bell gives employees money each year to donate to people in need and causes they care about.

Lucille photo 1
Lucille photo 1