We are all familiar with the phrase ‘Pay it Forward,’ whether because you read the book, watched the movie, or have just paid attention.
I encourage you to join millions of people around the world to celebrate International Pay it Forward Day – Friday, April 28th. This day is recognized by over 70 countries and over 50 state and city proclamations, it is a celebration of creating a huge ripple of kindness throughout the world through small, sometimes random, acts of kindness to strangers.
By paying it forward, one person and one seemingly small act can make a meaningful impact in the lives of many. The sum is greater than the parts. You can’t do everything, but you can do something.
Below is a list of ideas. Please use them throughout the year to spread a little joy. Most cost nothing, but could mean the world to someone.
- Hold the door open for the person behind you.
- Clean out all your old clothes and donate them to someone in need. Your old is someone else’s new.
- Donate blood. One pint of blood can save up to three lives. Locate your nearest blood drive.
- Share your umbrella with a stranger on a rainy day.
- Check up on someone who looks lonely.
- Let someone with only a few items cut you in line at the grocery store.
- Stop and buy a drink from a kid’s lemonade stand.
- If you shop online, make your purchase through Give Back America or Amazon Smile.
- Drop off your old eye glasses at your local LensCrafters as a donation to the OneSight
- Redirect gifts. Instead of having people give you birthday and holiday gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a good cause.
- Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left. (You can’t always see pain.)
- Hug a friend. Just because.
- Send a nice email or handwritten card to someone you know, unexpectedly.
- Leave encouraging post-it notes in library books and other random places.
- If you see a couple taking a self-pic, offer to take the picture for them.
- Donate cat and dog food to an animal shelter, as well as old towels or blankets.
- If there’s been an accident or a potentially hazardous situation presents itself on the road, report it to the local authorities. Your phone call could save a life.
- When you’re getting fast food, buy an extra meal for a homeless person.
- Compliment the first three people you talk to today.
- Send a positive text message to five people right now.
- Leave quarters at the laundromat.
- Leave unused coupons next to the corresponding products in the grocery store.
- Leave a great server the biggest tip you can afford.
- Stand up for someone. Lend your voice.
- When someone wants to repay you for something, ask them to pay it forward.
Have you ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness? Feel free to share your stories and ideas to pay it forward.