Just about a week after Thanksgiving last year, I walked into a coffee shop to get myself a drink with hopes of warding off the biting cold of New York in the winter. When I got to the counter, I ordered and took our my wallet to pay. The cashier stopped me before I could give him my credit card and said, “Don’t worry about it. The guy ahead of you already paid for your drink.” He gave me a quick smile and ushered for the next person in line. What the cashier didn’t realize was how genuinely happy I felt, and how shocked I was by how much of an impact this small act of kindness had on me. I walked up to the man who had stood in front of me in line to thank him. It was nothing, he said. He simply asked that I would take his act of kindness and pay it forward whenever I had the opportunity.
While I had seen this act in movies tons of times, I was never actually able to grasp how meaningful it can be. I’ve since paid it forward, some deeds small, some much larger, on multiple occasions and I can honestly say there isn’t a better feeling in the world than putting a smile on a stranger’s face! What starts at that moment as a small flutter in my stomach turns into a slight grin that I walk away with and wear on my face for the rest of the day.
For the past few months, Rudi’s has been doing “Pay it Forward Friday” where we ask our FANS what they’ve done to pay it forward over the past week. We’ve also done some pay it forward activities ourselves, like driving through Boulder in our Loafswagon van and handing out free product coupons (we also handed out a couple loaves of our bread to the two girl in the photo above)! When asking our fans what they’ve done to help around their community, we’ve come across some pretty spectacular responses! But for those of you who have yet to partake in Pay if Forward Friday, here are some ideas to get you started!
10 Simple Ways to Pay it Forward
- Clean out your closet and donate all the clothes you no longer wear to someone in need. Your old is someone else’s new!
- Donate blood. A single pint of blood can save up to 3 lives!
- Share your umbrella with a stranger on a rainy day.
- Redirect gifts. Instead of having people give you birthday and holiday gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a good cause.
- When you’re purchasing food, buy an extra meal or item for someone else.
- Unexpectedly complement people around you. You have no idea how much a simple compliment can mean something to someone!
- Pay for a coffee or a toll for the person in the car behind you.
- Pin vouchers or coupons that you don’t need on a community notice board.
- Use extra coins to pay for nearly expired parking meters.
- When someone wants to repay you for something, ask them to pay it forward!