12 Ways to Pay it Forward

Pay it Forward Wristbands

The last bit of my college sorority’s motto was “to make the world a better place in which to live.” Even though the sorority has since dissolved, and even though I don’t remember the first part of the motto a little help DPK sisters? I’ve still tried to do little things to make the world a better place, aka “Paying it Forward,” whenever I can.

As you probably know, “Paying it Forward” means that when you do something nice for for someone, instead of that person paying you back, they the pay it forward by doing something nice for someone else. Paying it Forward means that kindness is passed along and touches many, many, many people instead of just coming back to you.

This year Pay it Forward Day is April 26, 2012, and I thought it would be a good idea to think of ways to Pay it Forward now, instead of procrastinating like I usually do.

12 Ways to Pay it Forward

  1. Smile at everyone you meet; even if you feel grumpy.
  2. Pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks line, or on the tollway, or at Mc.Donalds, etc. This happened to Princess once and it made her happy all day.
  3. Let the other person have the “good” parking spot.
  4. Leave an extra-big tip for your server, your stylist, your everyone.
  5. Walk down a street or parking ramp, putting a quarter in each parking meter you pass.
  6. Hold the door open for someone, with a smile.
  7. Buy a bouquet of flowers and hand flowers to people you pass.
  8. Thank a member of the military for their service.
  9. Put a tip in a street musician’s jar.
  10. Offer to help the disabled person you see in the store.
  11. Write a Thank You note to your mail carrier.
  12. Buy a meal for the homeless person on the street.
  13. Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk and driveway when you’re done with your own. Or mow their lawn, if you don’t live in Wisconsin where it’s more likely we’ll have snow in April than grass.
  14. Spend some time visiting residents of a retirement home near you.

I know that’s more than 12, but once I got started it was so easy to think of ways to be nice to people that I couldn’t stop.

How many ways can YOU think of to Pay it Forward? Leave a comment below, and let’s see how big a list we can make! Hey, leaving a comment on someone’s blog post would be another way! See, it’s easy to think of ideas once you get started…

Amy Sue
Image credit: Pay it Forward Foundation


  1. My family received a gift in December that can be a pay it forward idea. It was a welcome to the community, we moved to a small town in August. The note apologized for not coming over with dinner while I was unpacking, and included a $100 and another $100 in gift certificates for the local grocery store. A major WOW for us and helped a great deal. I love the town we moved to!

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