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

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 our very own Connecticut town of Newington, 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? 

    Jaimie Cura April 24, 2014 at 11:24 AM
    Thanks for spreading a little bit of love, Michelle! I just came back from a funeral and was looking forward to seeing some kindness in the comments of this article, so thank you for posting the heart!
    Amanda K Hill April 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM
    Love the concept of Pay It Forward Day, however, it should be incorporated into every day life, not limited to one day.....
    Grumpy Old Man April 25, 2014 at 09:07 AM
    I'm planning on taking down lost dog signs left in place from Who's Your Doggy . Still all over town almost a week after the mutt was found ! ! ! Lets all start calling the numbers until they get the point !
    MAC April 25, 2014 at 05:11 PM
    Great article, event and ideas! The best and most impactful "pay it forward" thing parents can do is to love their children, and TEACH them to serve others, to have soft hearts, be kind and treat others as they would want to be treated (the "Golden Rule"). And I agree with Amanda that "it should be incorporated into every day life, not limited to one day."
    Robert J. Noonan April 26, 2014 at 09:54 PM
    we can improve our society a little at a time practicing compassion and kindness in all matters


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