Pay it Forward Challenge By: Leah Swain, Sales Director, Certum Solutions
You have heard of the challenge to “Pay it Forward” before, I am sure. Here at Certum Solutions, we have compiled a handy list of our favorite ways to pay it forward. We challenge you to try it and hope that you find it as rewarding as we have and continue on doing so far beyond the holidays! First, let me explain how this began.
Several years ago, at a friend’s Christmas party, I was gifted one of the best gifts I was ever given. It was simple (or so it seemed). They handed me an envelope with a heart on it and told me not to open it until the next morning. Kind of odd, but the party was starting to get in full swing with games and food, so I stuck it in my purse and enjoyed the evening.
The next morning as I was running out the door to go to breakfast I came across the envelope. I had forgotten all about it. As I opened it I found quite a bit of cash and a simple note:
“This money is for you. You can keep and use it on yourself, your family, friends, or pay it forward to a complete stranger. It is yours to use as you like. We hope one day you do this for another”
So, there I sat in my car, staring at this handful of cash, and immediately my brain flooded with ideas, plans, and excitement! Already I felt the joy of paying it forward, but how? When it was all said and done, I paid for an elderly couple’s breakfast on the sly, surprised a woman and her son (strangers) with money to replace the donut tire on their car, and made a donation to a local charity. But it didn’t stop there! The ball was rolling! Over the next few days/weeks, I cleared out my closet, donating the clothes to our local clothing center, gaving gently used blankets and towels to the animal shelter, and even scheduling time to get the dogs out for walks around town.
Once I began to “pay it forward” and I felt the love and joy that came with it, it became a habit! I have shared the opportunity with another friend in the same way that it was presented to me and it was received with the same excitement I had. So feel free to do that or pick from the ideas below. We are including 52 ways. Try doing one a week for the next year. Some are big, some are small, but all provide you with feelings of love and warmth and makes our world a little brighter! Happy forwarding!
- Pay for the person behind you in the drive through
- Donate blankets or towels to your local animal shelter
- Leave some cash under a stranger’s wiper
- Leave an encouraging post it note to someone
- Call a friend and listen to their story, let them know you are always there
- Make some cookies for a family member or friend
- Set up a bird feeder
- Offer to babysit so friends can have a date on Valentine’s Day
- Let someone cut you in the grocery line
- Clean up a local park or roadside
- Smile at everyone you meet
- Plant a tree for Spring
- Visit with a neighbor
- Pray for someone
- Send a thinking of you card to a friend or neighbor
- Donate unused Items for a free garage sale or to local meeting the needs
- Offer to help with a local egg hunt or pack eggs for a local daycare
- Give positive feedback on a person who gave you customer service
- Leave the closest parking spot open
- Make someone’s Mother’s Day memorable
- Thank a veteran
- Leave a note on a stranger’s car telling them they rock at parking (mean it)
- Place some flags around town
- Give a father a memorable day or tell a father he is doing a great job!
- Unplug and enjoy your family/friends/yourself
- Buy some kids popsicles (your own/neighbors/daycare)
- Send treats to local first responders
- Learn the names of people you see every day (gas station attendant, doorman, ect)
- Tell yourself you are doing great, treat yourself this week!
- Reach out to a teacher that you loved and tell them thank you
- Share a coupon or recipe on a community board
- Give a compliment to a stranger
- Leave a bigger tip
- Donate School supplies
- Give wildflowers to a friend
- Donate some books to a place in need
- Help someone to their car with groceries
- Pay for a/some happy meals (you can just buy some for them to give away later)
- Take a walk
- Donate Blood
- Hold the door for any and everyone
- Pay off some late fees at the library
- Tell every child their costume is the best you’ve seen!
- Leave some goodies in your mailbox for the Carrier
- Spend 30 minutes doing something you love
- Make a list of things/people you are thankful for and let them know they are on the list
- Buy a coffee for a coworker
- Collect supplies to donate to a homeless shelter
- Order a pizza and send to a local business you frequent
- Offer to help someone wrap gifts
- Say thank you to a colleague or coworker who has helped you