6 Pay It Forward Ideas That Are So Simple
The phrase Pay It Forward is a pretty new term. It has been showing up in conversation over the past seven years. I think the first time I heard the phrase pay it forward was a radio station. They were encouraging people to pay for someone’s coffee in a drive through. This seemed to start the trend of giving without expectation of receiving anything in return. That is what got me thinking about other Pay It Forward Ideas.
There are so many Pay It Forward Ideas that are so simple. The most significant part of it is you need to be intentional and be aware of places you can impact and encourage others. I wanted to share some pay it forwards ideas that I have used and also some pay it forwards ideas that have blessed me.
6 Pay It Forward Ideas
#1 Buy a meal
This one bounces off the one I talked about in the opening. When you are in the drive through survey your cars behind you and see if you are lead to reach out. If you have a car behind you that you see a mom or dad with children or maybe a young college student in the car. Take a moment and pray for that family and then pay for their meal. You could be blessing a young mom that is struggling that day or a college student that lives on pennies.
When that person pull up, and they are told their meal was taken care of, they will be so blessed. I keep little cards in my car for the restaurant worker to give to the recipient. That way they know they have been prayed for. I don’t include my name because it is not about me. I just sign it “your friend.”
#2 Leave Quarters on the machines at a laundry mat
So think about it. Usually, people that use laundry mats are living in an apartment that doesn’t have laundry in their units, or it is a family that can not afford to purchase their laundry machines. Either way, it is taxing on a family budget to do laundry at a laundry mat. They are not cheap.
Save your quarters and stop by a laundry mat. Place the coins in an envelope with a note of encouragement. You will never know who you will bless. But be assured, this is a pay it forward idea that will speak volumes to someone.
#3 Parents Night Out
What a great way to love someone. Give a parent or parents a night out. Mark your calendar for once a month or once a quarter. Offer to keep a couple’s children for them to have a night out. I don’t think I could have made it without my mom and dad when my kids were little. At the drop of the hat, I could call them and Gregg, and I could have a date night. I didn’t realize how blessed I was.
There are so many couples out there that don’t have family near and hiring a babysitter is so expensive. Pick out a family each month or each quarter and offer to keep their kids for an evening to where they have a date night.
#4 Collect Umbrellas
This pay it forward idea is my one of my favorites, collect umbrellas. When I run across a good umbrella at a thrift store or a yard sale, I grab it. Rainy days are coming, and not everyone has an umbrella. It never fails that when I am driving down the street, and it is raining outside, I will see a person standing at the bus stop with no umbrella or covering. Or I will pull up to a stop, and a homeless person is standing there in the rain. If you have an extra umbrella, what a great way to bless someone and pay it forward.
This will cause you to have to get out of your car or pull over at least, but the person you are sharing it with will be shocked you cared enough to help them in this way. Each time they open that umbrella, they will know someone loved them enough to stop and share a piece of refuge.
#5 Host a clean up party
This one is so fun because you get to do it with others. Look around your neighborhood and find a park or a home that needs some help with clean up. It might be an elderly widow that has no support or a park that has no budget for clean up. Gather a group of friends, family members or a civic organization and clean up. This pay it forward idea doesn’t cost much money. Just a few garbage bags and maybe some yard tools are all that is needed to make a place look clean.
You can have people of all ages help with this pay it forward idea. What a great way to teach your children to give back.
#6 Set your Kindness Alarm
We are a society that is always on the go. We don’t stop until we drop. Sometimes, I make it through the day and wonder if I even stopped to pet the dog. Life just moves too fast. We have also become a society that has technology at our fingertips. Use that for good. This pay it forward ideas uses 20 seconds of our day to spread a little kindness.
Set your alarm on your phone for a time during the day that you know you are not as busy. When that alarm sounds, take a moment and text someone in your contacts a note of encouragement. Tell them they are loved and what you like the most about them. This will make their day so much better, and they will remember that you took time out of your day to send the text. Do you have 20 seconds to spare?
Pay it forward benefits so many but it also helps you as well. It takes the focus off of yourself and puts it on others. It allows you to look for ways to serve others and also give you the ability to impact other’s lives.
What is your Pay It Forward Idea?
This is just the tip of the iceberg of Pay it Forward Ideas. Please share with us some of the ideas you have to Pay it Forward in the comments below.
Here is an easy Chocolate Chip cookie idea to share with a shut-in or a college student.