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Pay It Forward Day: How Will You Spread Kindness?

How do you plan on paying it forward?

You are beautiful. (Pass it along.) Photo Credit: SweetOnVeg, via flickr creative commons
You are beautiful. (Pass it along.) Photo Credit: SweetOnVeg, via flickr creative commons
By Jaimie Cura

We’ve all heard these wonderful stories about how one person pays for coffee for the person behind them at the drive-thru.

Then that person does the same for the person behind them and the chain of kindness continues. In Newington, Conn., more than 1,000 customers paid for someone else’s coffee in December 2013.

Today — Thursday, April 24 — is Pay It Forward Day. As a huge coffee fan, I would be thrilled to either give or receive that particular gift of kindness but if you’re looking for other inspiring ideas, check these out!

  • Pay for someone’s gas at the pump.
  • Post notes for people on bathroom mirrors or in random places that say things like “You are beautiful” or “Thanks for being you!”
  • Visit someone who’s lonely or homebound.
  • Write nice statements on the sidewalk in chalk.
  • Leave flowers on someone’s doorstep with a note explaining Pay It Forward Day.
  • Send flowers to a random room at your local hospital.
  • When you receive great customer service, tell that person’s manager/boss how awesome they are.
  • Bring a bunch of bubbles to a local playground.
  • Rescue an animal from a shelter and if you can’t do that, consider donating money to one or bringing much-needed items.
  • Scared of spiders? Instead of squishing one, usher the eight-legged critter outside!
  • Do an impromptu can drive at work and bring collected items to the local food bank.
  • Build a bat house or adopt a beehive.

Kindness Continues

Kindness doesn’t have to stop when the sun sets on Pay it Forward Day! Some of these ideas may require some planning or special circumstances, like this first suggestion:

  • On a rainy day, buy a handful of inexpensive umbrellas and hand them out to people who get caught in the rain without one.
  • Find a local museum or attraction you’ve always wanted to visit and ask them if they need any volunteers.
  • Go to a used bookstore or library and tuck sentimental notes in the books. Kindness Girl suggests some good ones:
    • You are meant for adventure!
    • Everything is going to be great!
    • The magic is in you!

    How do you plan on paying it forward? 

    Were you a Pay It Forward Day recipient? What kindness did you experience? 

    Francis Kilinsky April 25, 2014 at 10:39 AM
    You don't spread kindness by buying or paying for material things for someone else! You spread kindness by doing unto others as you would have others do unto you!
    Andrew Goutman April 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM
    I love to read my newspaper when I eat lunch in Center City Philly, or anywhere. When I'm finished, I leave my newspaper at the table instead of throwing it away. It's not just a small token of kindness; it passes knowledge to the next person. I've done this all my life, my father before.

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