Payson is filled with good-hearted citizens of all kinds. Some come forward when a family loses everything in a fire, others drop off cans at the food bank and some construct homes with Habitat for Humanity.
Ray Kinsman is just one of those generous donors.
Kinsman, who organizes and runs the annual Salvation Army bell ringers and donates consistently to the food bank, recently made a generous contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Gila County.
In October, a thief broke into a BBBS storage locker and stole nearly a $1,000 worth of supplies. A commercial grade heavy-duty shade tent, lockable cash box and 10 foldable camp chairs with the BBBSAZ logo on the back used as prizes for pledges were taken.
Within a few days of the theft, Robert Henley of BBBS got a call from Kinsman.
“He asked, ‘what are you going to do to replace it?’” Henley said. “I said I didn’t know, and he said if it does not turn up, I will write you a check for $700.”
Henley called police to verify none of the stuff was found and they said they had no leads on the theft.
Henley called Kinsman back and he agreed to write a check.
“I was surprised anyone stepped forward (to donate),” Henley said. “There are acts of kindness, I was just not prepared for it.”
It would have been difficult to replace the supplies with their limited budget, Henley said. BBBS’s budget is tighter this year especially after the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake fund-raiser in August brought in $5,000 less than the previous year.
“I am very grateful to Ray for doing this,” Henley said.
To repay Kinsman, Henley is asking all BBBS volunteers and Payson residents to donate their time this holiday season and ring a bell.
Kinsman has 555, two-hour slots to fill for the bell-ringing season, which starts the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through Christmas Eve.
To help Kinsman continue to help others, give him a call at (928) 474-6577.