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‘Paying it forward’ through sunflowers and acts of kindness in the community

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- Sunflowers have popped up around the Wausau area for the second year in a row, with the purpose to "pay it forward" and give back to the community.

Members from REI Engineering, Inc. and Northwest Petroleum Services, Inc. planted a field of sunflowers. They partner with area organizations like Be Amazing, Boys & Girls Club, the Community Foundation of Northcentral Wisconsin, Village of Maine Lions Club, and Woodson YMCA to distribute bouquets of sunflowers to local businesses, neighbors, and community members to spread happiness and positivity during these challenging times.

"In today's world of a lot of negativity, it's great to have a project like this that we can team up with some other local non-profits, and we can pay forward some happiness and joy into the community," REI Engineering, Inc. President Jeny Nieuwenhuis said.

Community members are encouraged to attend a team service day at 5 pm on Wednesday to take pictures and create bouquets — in return doing acts of kindness for people in the area. Bouquets for nursing homes, fire and police departments, and other non-profits will be created for distribution on Wednesday.

"Just surprisingly getting a delivery of flowers I think can brighten anybody's day," Nieuwenhuis said. "Especially sunflowers since they're so reminiscent of what our short summers are about."

REI and NPS will also be collecting donations of canned goods from visitors to benefit Peyton's Promise, a local organization that helps in the fight against hunger in the community. Peyton's Promise helps distribute food to over 30 food pantries in Marathon County.

The sunflower field is located at 4080 N 20th Avenue, Wausau, Wisconsin, 54401. Follow the marked signs located at the north end of the field.

Rashad Williams

News 9 Reporter

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