Parents who lose a child, often find it hard to move forward for fear they will forget their child’s sweet face, inquisitive eyes, their little voice, their scent, and laughter. Their lives may have been cut short but the impact they leave behind is felt by everyone they touched. Even complete strangers can feel love for a child they never met. It is hard to move forward, even more difficult is knowing how to honour that precious being who is never forgotten. Richard Specht and his wife lost their 22-month-old son Richard Edwin-Ehmer Specht (Rees) when he drowned in the backyard pond of their home, on October 27, 2012. Through the grief, the family wanted to honour Rees and make the world a better place in his name. They started the foundation ReesSpecht Life, a pay-it-forward movement of good deeds.They have set up a memorial scholarship in the boy’s name.
They initially printed 5,000 business cards. That number has increased to over 240,000 being handed out.
The former teacher also goes to high schools to promote his foundation and good deeds.
His bill came to $43.50, he left her a hefty tip of $3,000 but not before asking her to do three things for him. Thank you for your kindness and humility. My teacher in middle school had such a difficult experience a few years ago which has sparked me to do this. My only requirements are: 1.) Go to ReesSpechtLife.com and learn! 2.) Don’t let “Pay it forward” end with you. 3.) Since it’s about the idea and not about you, or me, if you decide to share this, don’t use either or our names! Thank you for being around for all of my shows on and off Broadway. I hope that someday someone gives as much love and happiness into the world as you do.
“This woman had been serving us for almost a year now. She’s a lovely individual, and she talked about how she was served an eviction notice last month,” he told ABC News. “I just had also been constantly thinking about for quite some time my teacher’s project and this foundation, and I thought it was an appropriate time.”
“I met Mr. Specht in eighth grade — I was his science student – and he’s an incredible human being. To see something so horrible happen to him … it doesn’t surprise me that he would start a foundation out of something so horrible that would juts continue to keep good around and to keep wonderful things going,” Mike said.
As it turns out, Mike also happens to be a thriving Broadway actor.
Specht took to Facebook to thank his former student. “The single most important thing you did was put a smile on my wife’s face. When you lose a child you always carry that pain, and she had that smile that I want to see all the time. I was just so happy to see it,” he wrote.
The hope is that “a chain reaction will ensue,” with the pay-it-forward cards and acts of kindness.