Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward

Caring for the Connors

After the Connor family of West Fargo lost their home to a fire, the community surrounded them with love and support.

“It’s still very hard for me to accept that we’re worthy of that. It’s just been such an outpouring of love. I’ve had more hugs than you can imagine.” – Heidi Connor, Pay It Forward recipient

Bell Employees

Jonathan Skauge


Jonathan Skauge, retirement services coordinator, Fargo

Stephanie Strand


Stephanie Strand, trust officer, Fargo


Shad and Heidi Connor and family

The Need

It was about noon on a summer day when a neighbor called Heidi Connor at work with the news that her house was on fire, and someone had kicked in the door to try and rescue their pets.

“When I got there, there were so many people,” Heidi remarks. “I just remember people and firetrucks everywhere. That’s when it hit that our home really was on fire.”

The home was a total loss, and investigators were unable to determine the fire’s cause.

The Impact

Jonathan Skauge saw the home’s address in news reports and realized it belonged to one of his neighbors. As he drove past the home and saw the charred remains, he knew he wanted to donate his Pay It Forward funds to the Connor family. Four more employees joined him to give a group donation.

The Connors’ neighbors also threw a block party to raise money for the family.

Back to Giving Stories