Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sarah's Pay it Forward

Part 1-What is "Pay it Forward":

"Pay it Forward" is when you display kindness towards a person or a group of people just because. To pay it forward you must do something that will help someone and the only thing you ask for in return is for them to do the same, to “Pay it forward”. The main objective of doing this is that your act of kindness will move others to pass it on, to do something to keep the cycle flowing. You can start something huge with just a little inspiration that sparks a gesture and a good heart to follow it through.   

Part 2- What was your Pay It Forward act of kindness?:

My "Pay it Forward act of Kindness" is spreading a little warmth to ones who need it throughout Winnipeg. I gave out Tim Horton’s gift cards with enough money to buy a cup of coffee or tea and a doughnut. I handed them out with a little message inside telling them to "Pay it Forward". 

Why did you choose this activity?:

I chose this activity because I thought that even though it was simple, it could change someone’s day. While I was sitting inside the well known coffee shop, warmer than the frigid air outside, I was thinking about how awful it would be not to be able to get something hot in the cold cold days. I know how harsh a Winnipeg winter is first hand, and without my hot beverage from Tim Horton’s, my view on winter would be even more miserable than it already is. This card gives someone the chance to get into a warm place and have a reason to stay there for a while. It can initiate someone to have a purpose and interact with the society around them. Also what person doesn’t want to get a little bit warmer this winter?

Who did you help?:

I helped anyone who I thought would need it. People who are looking especially cold or someone who needs to be warmed up. The first person I had helped was standing on the side of the street on a terribly cold winter afternoon. Our family were driving when we saw the man and he caught my attention. His face was very red and even from the van I felt cold just looking at him. He stayed in my memory until after we were done our errands and we were driving back that way, he was still standing there, still cold, that's when I gave him the card. I helped a variety of people, most of which, like in this story, spoke to me. I knew that I should just help them. It was not planned that I would meet him there at noon, nor did I even know who he was or what he was doing. It was just that, a little random act of kindness to someone you know you could help.
What did you do?:

I gave out a little bit of warmth to ones who needed it more than I did. I gave out prepaid Tim cards with enough money to buy something hot (a coffee or tea) and a sweet treat (a doughnut). During my winter break I always kept these cards in my purse and gave them out to a random person who looked in need of some warmth.

When did you do you act of kindness?:

I did this act of kindness at random, I didn't know when I would run into a person who needed warmth, I just know that if I keep the cards in my purse for sure I will find someone. And I did. It was actually hard to find these people but with a but of determination my plan worked out. My little acts of kindness were all distributed throughout the break.


                                  (Writing in the Tim Horton's gift card envelopes to"Pay it Forward".)

Part 3-

How did your act of kindness go?:

My act of kindness went well. It had touched some hearts and spread a little bit warmth from me to them. Everyone seemed to react well to this. Most replyed "thank you" and it touched a few hearts. 

What Happened?:

For the first person I went out of the van to hand him this card. As soon I exited the van he seemed to keep walking away not noticing me. I had to stalk him for a couple of feet before I got his attention. Though, not expecting me to get out of a vehicle to hand him something caused him a startle to turn around and see me. When he did see me he screamed very loud that startled me very much so I just said, “Here you go, this is for you.” Handed it to him, and he replied, “thank you”. I Turned around and left a very startled but happy me.  
How did you feel?:

At first I was reluctant to get out and interact with a complete stranger. But after I was done I felt satisfied. I wondered who they would pay it forward to, and if they’ll use it, and if they actually needed it. I wondered how they would react to the message, and if they’ll take it to their hearts. But all in all I felt really good inside. I felt hopeful. I hope that they will pay it forward and that they won’t forget this little act of kindness and that the people they help will pass it on, to "pay it forward" and so on. 

How did the person or people react?:
At first they seemed surprised but they were surely grateful. The first person I had payed it forward to was really surprised, but he was happy. One person even knew what pay it forward was all about because they had watched the movie before.

Did you ask the person or people to "Pay It Forward"?:
Yes I did ask them to "pay it forward" either with a written or a verbal form of communication.  

How did they react to your request?:
They reacted to the request by acknowledging it and saying thank you. Inside the envelope where the card is held there is a note telling the person what to to with it and to pay it forward. Probably they will read it when they open it, but I don't know how they will react to the written request because I was not present while they were reading it. Though I hope that they will read it and take it to heart.When I said "pay it Forward" some knew the movie and what it was all about.

If you did not ask the person to "Pay It Forward" how come?:

For the first person I did forget to say "Pay it Forward" only because he had startled me (as explained in Part 3, question 2) making me lose my train of thought. Though he will still probably know to pay it forward because it is written both on the inside and on the opening side of the card.

Part 4-

Why is the idea of "Pay it Forward" important?:

The idea of "Pay it Forward" is important because it motivates you to get up and try to start thinking about other people than yourself. It helps us think about other people and their situations, be it better or worse than yours. "Pay it Forward" is important because it could be a global movement if we all try it out. With just a small but powerful act of kindness you can change the whole outlook of the world we live in, changing other people’s lives one by one helping us all live in a happier world. A world where people think about how to benefit other people's lives other than their own. To start thinking that other people might too need things and you might have the power to help. I learned a very important lesson when I was younger that really helps me out when I think about my life and other peoples' in general. It is that no matter what situation you are in it can always be worse. And that for every person that is better off than you are, there is someone who dreams of being you. So share what you have, even if it is small, with the ones who lack it.

Has your act of kindness made a difference?:

I don’t know whether it will make a difference yet. I guess that is the power of "Pay it Forward", you really don’t find out what becomes of the person you have helped. They just become a part of your past and you of theirs. There is a lot of hope involved, hoping that maybe it can start a chain reaction. This act of kindness though, may not have made a ripple in the lives I’ve met (though I hope it did) but it made a difference in my life. I talked a lot about this topic with my parents and they were very enthusiastic about it. We might even keep this as a yearly tradition.  

*You may have already noticed that I did not add very many pictures of the people who recived the card. This is only because I do not want to risk the privacy of these people.* 

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