Lloyd and Rae Marquis have a lot of reading to do while they ride out the pandemic in their Dallas home. Their mailbox has been filling up with thank-you notes.
"And some people decorated their cards," Rae Marquis said thumbing through a stack of notes on her lap. "Happy 5oth! We love your 5o pay it forward idea."
Instead of throwing a party, which is problematic during a pandemic, the Dallas couple decided to send money to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Their idea was to send $50 to 50 family and friends, but they had a hard time paring down the list, so 73 people got letters which had one request...pay it forward. Their total gift was $3,650.
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"And our money will affect more lives than anything we could have done otherwise," Rae Marquis said. "You can't take it with you. Might as well spend it on something good."
The thank-you notes they've received detail how the money has been spent across the country; on groceries for strangers, Eagle Scout projects, and lunches for medical staff.
"Makes it worthwhile," Lloyd Marquis said.
The couple met five decades ago when they lived in the same Dallas apartment complex. "We met at the garbage cans," Rae Marquis laughed. "A really trashy romance."
All these years later, they are writing their own love story... their way.
"50-years used to sound like a long time," Lloyd Marquis said. "But then you live through it, it's short!"