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How to Celebrate Pay it Forward Day 2012

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by Cristina Dimen (subscribe)
Cristina crafts pieces on travel, parenting and lifestyle. Connect with her at or and @CristinaDimen on Twitter. WN mentor link:
On Thursday, April 26, 2012, you may notice that throughout the day everyone engages in more than their average number of good deeds. On this particular day, you may witness more people eagerly helping their friends, as well as complete strangers. On the 26th, citizens of the world will take part in the annual international movement known as Pay it Forward Day.

Pay it Forward Day spreads around the world on April 26, 2012. Photo courtesy of

Inspired by the novel, "Pay it Forward" which was authored by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and the 2000 movie starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment—Pay it Forward Day began in Australia in 2007. The day's concept is to help others. And instead of expecting something in return, you ask the recipients to pass the kindness on to more folks—to pay it forward.

Envision a world, where one person helps another individual, who then does something good for three others, who are each kind to three more folks, and so on. Soon, the ripple effect spreads all over the globe.

Last year, individuals in 35 nations, including Australia, the U.S., Italy and more participated in Pay it Forward Day 2011. Some even helped institute official proclamations in seven U.S. states and 15 cities. This year, nearly 50 countries will be involved, including newbies—Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and Ethiopia.

While individuals can certainly take on big projects, such as supporting a charity or a cause that means most to them, simple acts of kindness are recommended.

Charity walk participants help raise funds.

Below are examples of things you can do. Check the site for more ideas on how you can participate.

You may find it helpful to download and print out some cards, which you can hand out to those you've helped along the way. The cards explain the concept of paying it forward.

After helping someone, ask him to pay it forward and give him one of these cards. Photo courtesy of

Why not call or meet up with a friend you know is going through a rough patch, and offer your emotional support?

Help cheer up a friend.

Or perhaps your kids have gently-used books they no longer read. Ask your kids to go through them with you, and contact schools, churches, daycare centers or other nonprofit organizations who may need them. Bring your children along when you donate the books so they see firsthand where the books are going. Can you imagine how happy they'd feel when they understand the books will entertain other children for many years to come?

Foster a love for reading with your children's gently-used books.

Help a co-worker start her day by treating her to a cup of coffee.

A simple cup of caffeine may be just what your co-worker needs.

Offer your seat to another passenger. Your compassionate gesture will brighten her day—inspiring her to pay it forward.

Help someone rest their soles by giving up your seat.

As you go about assisting those in need, enjoy the strong flow of positive energy coming from your home, neighborhood, state, country and yes—the world. How rewarding to know that when everyone opts to reach out and pay it forward, many lives are enriched. And your acts of kindness will consequently put you in a happy mood.

Here's to a beautiful and life-altering Pay it Forward Day. Have fun, and thanks for spreading some cheer and goodwill—on the 26th and beyond. After all, it's great to practice paying it forward any day—every day, but most especially on Pay it Forward Day.

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Why? It's always great practice to pay it forward.
When: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Where: Taking place all over the world.
Cost: Good deeds can be free. Unless you're donating funds or buying things for others.
Your Comment
"Pay it forward" should not be used for addictive drugs like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol etc. It is great for general acts of courtesy, which should be natural actions that take place without being dependent on prior reception of courtesy. Everybody should be aware of courtesy & deliver it without gain. That is the foundation of a good society. It appears to have been lost over the years due to failing to educate children of respect & courtesy at school age. It is disgraceful to see things like at a train station, boarding passengers failing to give way to exiting passengers due to lack of knowledge of "common courtesy". I guess it is no longer "common".
by Elect (score: 0|2) 3716 days ago
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