April 28 is International Pay it Forward Day with organizers hoping to inspire more than 10 million acts of kindness around the world and start the ‘world’s biggest ripple effect of giving.’ With more than 80 countries involved and over 100 state and city proclamations, it is a number that could easily grow a lot bigger. Finland, Romania, and Ghana are the latest 3 countries to join in the global kindness effort.
The theme for this year’s Pay it Forward Day is ‘I stand for kindness’ which encourages people from all walks of life to make a stand and help someone else out in need.
Founder of Pay it Forward Day, Sydney resident Blake Beattie, is excited about what the day may bring. ‘There are so many ways to pay kindness forward and the great thing about it is anyone, of any age, religion or social status can do their part. Even the smallest kindness act can create a lasting impact.’
The organizers agree that kindness acts should be a daily ritual but they are hopeful that people do something extra special on the day and spark some wonderful kindness ripples around the world.
Pay it Forward Day has had a huge impact since inception with some amazing acts of selfless giving. Schyler High School put together 30,000 meals for the needy in Malaysia. Mobile Mini’s 134 branches reached out to local food banks donating over 5000 items to foodbanks across USA. Holiday Inn donated hundreds of baseball tickets to disadvantaged teenagers so they could attend a Major League baseball game. In NYC, a waitress was left a 7000% ($3000) tip and one company (Xero) had more than 1000 staff paying kindness forward in all parts of Australia. One lady in Australia received a $10,000 donation from a complete stranger so she could afford a liver operation. Another person donated their unused flight credits enabling a family to be united at the bedside of a very ill relative.
Each good deed carries with it a special Pay it Forward card which is free to download from the Pay it Forward Day website.
So how can you get involved this year?
- Buy a stranger or homeless person a cup of coffee or meal
- Give away a favourite book
- Do something nice for someone who has been having a tough time
- Put on a fundraiser at work to raise money and awareness for a worthwhile charity
- Give blood (which can save someone’s life)
- Put your skills to good use by donating your services