A Facebook post calls to pay it forward

Andrew Dimino ’15, who resides in Thailand, was recently in a serious motorbike accident causing severe injuries to his face and head.

After the accident, he was moved from two local hospitals that could not provide the proper treatment. Finally, Dimino arrived at a larger hospital and prepared for the six-hour-long surgery to tend his injuries.

Prior to Dimino’s surgery, he posted on Facebook, “While I hope and pray for my upcoming surgery I am thinking of the communities here as well as at home and how much better we can all be doing to improve the imbalances in the world… Today I ask you to think of a way you can contribute to someone in your community who has less opportunity than you… This is something that will make me smile in the two weeks when I can’t open my mouth. Thank you everyone, please pay it forward!”

In response to Dimino’s post, a handful of Rider’s organizations came together on March 7 to “pay it forward” by making as many sandwiches as possible for a local homeless shelter.

About 50 students, some of who knew Dimino and others just wanted to help, made 555 sandwiches that were donated to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. Students attending this event also made cards of encouragement that are being sent to Dimino in Thailand.

“Service at Rider allows students to use their time and talents to help others in the community,” says Joan Liptrot, assistant director for service learning campus & community engagement. “College students often don’t have cash to donate to a cause, and the service initiatives at Rider are designed to help them see how they can contribute to help others.”

Dimino was first introduced to Thailand in the Fall of 2013 by Rider’s study abroad program, which is where he fell in love with the adventurous lifestyle in “The Land of a Thousand Smiles.” Once graduated, Dimino returned to Thailand with the knowledge and skills he had gained from his education at Rider.