Pay It Forward
Many of you may be familiar with the concept of “pay-it-forward.” Oprah Winfrey and others have popularized it in recent years. Rather than pay someone back for a kindness, you simply show kindness to another person in the future in response to what was done for you in the past. View Oprah Winfrey here.
This past Thanksgiving our family started some pay-it-forward projects. Creativity abounded. One purchased toys for animals at a shelter. Several helped persons they knew who were in need. One paid for the postage to send care packages assembled by Walla Walla University students to student missionaries who would not be home for the holidays. One purchased books for a tutoring program. And there was more.
Upon hearing these stories on Christmas day, another family member not involved in the initial distribution of funds was so impressed with the initiative that he decided to start a pay-it-forward project himself. He spoke this past weekend for the senior recognition events at an Adventist academy where he distributed $100 to each senior and asked all 34 of them to pay-it-forward by graduation weekend.
The cool part of the story is this. His wife told a guy who came into her work place about the project just as a point of interest. This guy said to her, “You know, I’m a graduate of that academy. I know I haven’t been to church since then, but I’d like to contribute to that project. I wish someone back in the day when I was there had challenged us with such a great opportunity!”
And the pay-it-forward keeps rippling…
INNOVATIONewsletter, January 28, 2008, The Center for Creative Ministry