April 30 is International Pay It Forward Day.
On this day, you are encouraged to do between one and three good deeds for others without asking for anything in return. The recipient of these good deeds is then instructed to pay it forward to someone else in need. Pretty simple, right?
From its humble beginnings in Australia in 2007, Pay It Forward Day has become a global phenomenon. This year, the benchmark has been set at over 3 million random acts of kindness in just 24 hours.
If you’re looking to get your Mr. Deeds on, here are 13 of the best ways to pay it forward:
7:00am – Prepare lunch for a homeless person
Spare a thought for the homeless person you pass everyday on the way to work by preparing two packed lunches and offering them one. It’s the perfect way to start your day of selfless giving.
8:00am – Give up your seat on public transport
On the crowded morning commute to work, pay it forward by offering a stranger your seat. Make sure you pay special attention to fellow commuters who are elderly, pregnant or have any mobility issues.
9:00am – Use less energy
Help Mother Nature by simply turning off electrical applications when they are not being used, carpooling to work or installing energy-saving light bulbs. Not only will you be paying it forward to future generations, the money you save could be put towards your next good deed. For more energy saving tips, visit Mozo’s energy hub here.
10:00am – Give a (sincere) compliment
Pay it forward to a relative, employee or even a total stranger by giving a compliment. While it may only take you 30 seconds, remember a compliment, sincerely given, could go a tremendously long way in making the person who receives it feel appreciated.
11:00am – Shout a coffee
Before the afternoon energy drain rolls in, offer to buy a colleague a pick me up in the form of a large skim capp. You might even start your own chain of coffee-kindness at your local café as one Starbucks in Florida experienced last year, with nearly 400 people opting to pay for the coffee of the person behind them in the queue.
12:00pm – Donate clothes to charity
If you have some good quality clothing collecting dust in the back of your closet, donate them to charity and pay it forward to struggling families in your local community. This, too, goes for any kids clothes that your children no longer fit. GiveNow.com.au has compiled a list of organisations across Australia where you can donate your unwanted clothes.
1:00pm – Give blood
Australia needs over 27,000 blood donations every week, however currently only 1 in 30 Australians regularly give blood. When you consider every time you make a donation you’ll save three lives, giving blood is a sure way to pay it forward. You can find a donor centre by entering your postcode here.
2:00pm – Volunteer
With National Volunteer Week running from the 11-17 May next month, give up your time for a worthy cause. Volunteering Australia offers a database where you can search for volunteering opportunities based on your interests and location. Opportunities vary from helping with weeding and regeneration in native bushlands to fundraising for the Black Dog Institute.
3:00pm – Offer to pick up a neighbour’s child from school
Show some neighbourly love by assuming 3pm school pick up duty. Not only will you be helping out your time-strapped neighbour, you will also be spreading the pay it forward message in your local community.
4:00pm – Donate money to disaster relief
Help disaster-stricken countries with relief efforts by donating to charities that are working on the ground. This year alone Vanuatu was devastated by Cyclone Pam, Nepal was struck with a powerful earthquake and closer to home NSW residents were affected by severe flooding. There are a range of charities that you can donate to including CARE Australia and the Australian Red Cross to help provide food, clothing, hygiene items and medicine.
5:00pm – Put others before you
Even waiting in the line at the supermarket or the traffic lights on the way home from work could be an opportunity to pay it forward. If someone appears in a rush, and you are not in any hurry, let them cut in front of you. Hopefully they will remember to pass the favour sometime in the future.
6:00pm – Write a positive review
Give a local business you like some well deserved street cred by hopping online and posting a positive review on Yelp. You could even extend this act of kindness to your bank or insurance provider by rating them on Mozo whilst also helping thousands of Aussies make better decisions about their financial products.
7:00pm – Reject negative energy
Give the flick to any negative thoughts and self-doubt. After a day of giving, you deserve some kindness too!
What good deeds do you have planned this Pay It Forward Day?