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A Forgotten Kindness Returned

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

He offered a kindness to two struggling young men … and it was returned in a way he couldn’t have anticipated.

Many years ago two boys were working their way through Stanford University. Their funds got desperately low, and the idea came to them to engage Ignacy Paderewski for a piano recital. They would use the funds to help pay their board and tuition.


The great pianist’s manager asked for a guarantee of $2,000. The guarantee was a lot of money in those days, but the boys agreed and proceeded to promote the concert. They worked hard, only to find that they had grossed only $1,600.

After the concert the two boys told the great artist the bad news. They gave him the entire $1,600, along with a promissory note for $400, explaining that they would earn the amount at the earliest possible moment and send the money to him. It looked like the end of their college careers.

“No, boys,” replied Paderewski, “that won’t do.” Then, tearing the note in two, he returned the money to them as well. “Now,” he told him, “take out of this $1,600 all of your expenses, and keep for each of you 10% of the balance for your work. Let me have the rest.”

The years rolled by – World War I came and went. Paderewski, now premier of Poland, was striving to feed thousands of starving people in his native land. The only person in the world who could help him was Herbert Hoover, who was in charge of the US Food and Relief Bureau. Hoover responded and soon thousands of tons of food were sent to Poland.

Herbert Hoover

“That’s all right, Mr. Paderewski,” was Hoover‘s reply. “Besides, you don’t remember it, but you helped me once when I was a student at college, and I was in trouble.” – from Bits & Pieces

In 1883 here in Portland, our Adventist predecessors faced an education problem, too.

      How to educate Adventist children and young people so that they would one day lead in their church and communities?

      The solution? An Adventist school to help lead young people to Jesus Christ, to train and educate young students according to Adventist Christian principles.

      Today, PAA’s mission remains the same: to guide and educate young people to become followers of Jesus Christ so that they might transform the world.

It is because of supporters like you that today young people are receiving an Adventist Christian education. Alumni have become distinguished in the fields of medicine, science, engineering, the arts and film, academia, aviation and others – and have served the church professionally or as lay leaders.

      Your gift today will help young people to become the leaders of tomorrow – of our church, communities and the world.

      One of the greatest ways you can help today is by supporting student financial aid. Students and their families today are facing tough challenges.

When you help support today’s students, you are helping to provide the leaders of tomorrow for the Adventist Church and the communities they serve.

The goal for student financial aid for this school year is $200,000. Generous donors like you have given $85,568 so far, which means $114,432 remains to be raised by June 30. Failing to close this gap means we begin the new school year with a deficit, hampering our ability to fully serve our students.

      Will you consider giving generously and investing in the eternal future of these young men and women?

The comments from students and parents in recent surveys about the school, classes and teachers give witness to PAA’s eternal mission. Here are only two examples:

“She really cares about all her students … encourages us to be better people … brings Jesus into the classroom.” – Student

“We have chosen PAA due to the emphasis and encouragement of spiritual growth as being at least equally important as academic excellence. We feel PAA provides them the opportunity for building friendships and being mentored by teachers who will strengthen their love for God.” – Parent

Your generous support makes it possible for students’ lives to be transformed for eternity because they were at PAA, guided by loving and caring teachers and staff.

You may give by visiting our secure online donation page at > Give a Gift or calling us at 503-255-8372.

If you have any questions or need more information, you may contact me at 503-438-0920 or, or Development Director Sam Vigil Jr. at 971-351-9028 or

Thank you for your prayerful consideration of how you might support PAA’s students.


Mechelle Peinado, Principal

Mechelle Peinado Principal

Sam Vigil Jr., CFRE Director of Development/Alumni

P.S. Your generous gift today may be forgotten by you in the future. However, like Herbert Hoover, our students will not forget what you did for them. You may give with the enclosed envelope or securely online at

If you’re in a position to do so, you might consider giving from your required minimum distribution (RMD) from a retirement or other investment account.

Giving monthly is another way to serve PAA students. Perhaps you’re in a position to give a smaller gift every month that adds up over time. Details here:

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