How to Pay It Forward

It’s simple, it’s powerful and it will change your life as well as the life of others.

Step 1: Open your eyes and your heart to what is happening around you. Simply make a conscious effort to look around you as you go about your day. Sometimes we get so focused on our own life and our own issues and our own problems that we lose track of what is going on around us.

Step 2: Once you start to notice people around you the opportunities to PAY IT FORWARD will be all over the place, many, many times throughout your day.

Step 3: As you see opportunities simply step up and act. Next time you open the door to walk into a building, take a quick look behind you before letting the door close to see if anyone is behind you, if so take 2 seconds and hold it open for them. Next time you are in stop and go traffic and someone wants to get in front of you, let them. Next time you see someone who looks like they are having a rough day, share a simple sincere compliment…the list goes on and on.

Below are some examples of very simple random acts of kindness you can perform for someone today!
( Have more ideas? Please share them with us and we will share them on the site as well as the facebook page).

Pay It Forward No Cost Examples

  • Return someone’s grocery cart while at the grocery store
  • Open a door for someone
  • Give someone a sincere compliment
  • Write a nice hand written note to someone letting them know what you like/love/respect about them
  • Stand at a door as people exit a mall or grocery store with an umbrella when it is raining and walk them to their car
  • Make a “Free Hugs” sign and offer free hugs to anyone who wants one
  • Smile at someone
  • Call a friend/loved one and tell them how much they mean to you and why
  • Take a neighbors trash out for them
  •  Let someone get in line ahead of you.
  • Give up that parking space, even though you were the first one there.
  • Leave an encouraging note for someone who has helped you
  • Stop to help someone with a flat tire or car troubles on the side of the road
  • Walk through a parking lot after a snowstorm and brush snow off of vehicle car windows
  • If you have a 4 wheel drive truck/suburban/jeep drive around during a snow storm and help vehicles who are stuck

Pay It Forward examples under $5

  • Pay for the meal / drink / coffee for the person behind you in line in the drive thru.
  • Pay for the toll for the car behind you at the booth.
  • Buy a dessert for a stranger at a restaurant
  • Mow a neighbors yard for them
  • Drop off treats at a nursing home
  • Put some change in someones parking meter
  • Leave a gift for your mail carrier or trash man
  • Leave an extra tip for your waiter / waitress
  • Pay for someone’s coffee in line behind you or in the drive through behind you

Pay It Forward examples $5-$25 or more

  • Pay for a meal for someone while at a restaurant.
  • Help pay for the gasoline for someone at the gas station.
  • Help someone with their groceries
  • Make a meal / dessert for someone, deliver it
  • Mow a neighbors yard for them
  • Send someone flowers
  • Leave a gift for your mail carrier.
  • Leave an extra tip for your waiter / waitress.
  • Buy an inspirational book and send it to a friend.
  • Send a gift for your child’s teacher.

Below are some more examples provided by a group of 5th graders at Wentworth School in Scarborough, Maine during a PAY IT FORWARD x 1 MILLION presentation.

49 ways YOU can PAY IT FORWARD specifically for kids

  1. Sit with someone who is sitting alone
  2. Invite people over who don’t usually have the opportunity to play at someone’s house
  3. Hold the door for a long line of people
  4. For your next birthday party, ask your guests to bring a donation for a charity rather than a birthday gift for you
  5. Donate clothes that don’t fit you any more
  6. Donate toys to an orphanage
  7. Donate animal toys to an animal shelter
  8. Set up a lemonade stand and give the money to charity
  9. Give someone something you really like that you know they need or will enjoy
  10. Read to someone who can’t read
  11. Send a card to a nursing home
  12. Help your parents by doing extra chores
  13. Babysit a younger brother or sister without expecting anything in return
  14. Help in the garden
  15. Pick up trash outside at places like the woods, beaches, or even along the side of the road
  16. Mow someone’s lawn for free
  17. Water someone’s plants,   garden, or flowers
  18. Shovel snow for people
  19. Clean and make a path to a fire hydrant after a snow storm
  20. Do yard work for another person- pick up sticks and branches or rake leaves
  21. Wash somebody’s car
  22. Clean snow off someone else’s car after a storm
  23. Walk someone’s dog
  24. Help someone load their groceries into their car or carry them into their house
  25. Make sweets and give them to someone
  26. Donate a few dollars to someone to buy food if they can’t afford it
  27. Give canned food to a food pantry
  28. Give people gift cards to food or clothes stores
  29. Make a “Birthday Box” for someone that would not otherwise get anything for their birthday.
  30. Send flowers to someone you don’t know in a nursing home.
  31. Give someone working outdoors a warm drink to keep them warm.
  32. Encourage adults to donate blood
  33. Encourage adults to register to donate organs
  34. Visit patients in a hospital
  35. Send a card to a soldier
  36. Give a helping hand when you see someone carrying a lot of stuff
  37. Train your pet to be a volunteer and visit hospitals and nursing homes
  38. Give up your seat for someone who needs it more
  39. Volunteer at a senior center
  40. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  41. Help in a soup kitchen
  42. Pay for someone’s food or drink
  43. Take time to teach someone a skill that you know
  44. Help an adult jump start someone’s car
  45. Put extra money in a vending machine
  46. Leave encouraging notes in a library book or somewhere unexpected
  47. Put a quarter in a parking meter that’s about to expire
  48. Let the person directly behind you in line you go before you
  49. Check on your neighbors during very hot weather, very cold weather, or after a storm.

When someone wants to repay you for something, ask them to instead PAY IT FORWARD!



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