‘Pay It Forward’ Today

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Pay It Forward DayToday, April 25, is the 7th annual Pay It Forward Day, when people around the world are asked to perform kind deeds for up to three people, and in turn encouraging each recipient of the deed to “pay it forward” to up to three more people, and so on. The hope is to spread a wave of 5 million acts of kindness around the world in one day.

The Pay It Forward website includes downloadable and printable cards to pass out to the receivers of the good deeds. The cards themselves are then passed on to the next recipients. On the back of each card are check boxes, so that as they travel recipients can see how many people have already been a part of the chain of kindness.

“You have received a ‘Pay It Forward’ card. This means that someone has completed a good deed for you and they wish for nothing in return. All they want is that you pass on this card, along with a good deed to someone else in need,” the card reads. The deeds, it says, can be big or small; there are suggestions on the back of the card, including returning someone’s shopping cart, paying for someone’s bus fare, or giving a homeless person a food voucher.

“You can ‘Pay It Forward’ anytime you like. If you decide not to ‘Pay It Forward’ then no one will know but you. Thank you for your support, and we hope your day has been made that little bit brighter by someone’s heartfelt gesture.”

The day, celebrated on the last Thursday of every April, was started in 2007 in Australia by speaker and author Blake Beattie, who was inspired by Catherine Ryan Hyde, who wrote the popular novel Pay It Forward, published in 2000. The book was turned into a movie starring Haley Joel Osment that same year. Every year since Beattie launched the day, it has spread to more and more countries. The Pay It Forward website estimates that more than 500,000 in 60 countries will participate today.

You can follow Pay It Forward updates on Facebook.

Are you going to “Pay It Forward”? Let me know about it!

For kindness ideas, see our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas Page.