Pay it Forward
(Corinne, Alieha, RoseMay, Marla, Tiana, & Joyce)
Part 1What is 'Pay it Forward?'
Pay it forward is when you do one act of kindness to a person or people (specifically 3) without anything in return, hoping that they will continue it and help even more people. It's when one person decides to change someone's life and that person doesn't pay them back, but instead pays it forward. One act of kindness that starts with one person continues and becomes something bigger than what was expected.
What was your Pay it Forward act of kindness?
My pay it forward act of kindness was buying toys and books and donating them to the children's hospital. We also wrote thank you cards to the staff working at the hospital.
Why did you choose this activity?
At first we thought of giving them as Christmas gifts, but we didn't get enough toys. So we decided to wait until after Christmas and we used the money we got for Christmas to buy presents. This was our way of giving the kids new toys to start off the new year. Since we all got lots of presents, we decided to give presents for the kids who might have not gotten any. We also decided to make the 'Thank you' cards to show how much we appreciate their work and what they do and did for us, and everyone else. It's also amazing how they really enjoy their work because they know that they're helping other people so it makes them feel good. In other words, we were acknowledging them for paying it forward.
Who did you help?
We didn't really 'help' them, but we made the workers happy and hopefully the kids as well. It was more of a way of giving back because we already have so much, and I hope that this will let them forget their problems and just be happy, even for a little while.
What did you do?
We either bought some toys and donated them or made 'Thank you' cards to the staff at the Children's hospital. All 6 of us contributed and together, we had alot of things to give to the hospital. We told them that we were donating the toys we bought as well as giving them the thank you cards we made and they really appreciated it. We also explained to them what we were doing and what 'paying it forward' means.
When did you do your act of kindness?
We did our act of kindness at the Children's hospital on January 4, 2014.
How did your act of kindness go?
It went pretty well even if we went kind of last minute, but the workers there were very supportive and super nice. It went better than I expected even if we weren't able to give the presents to the children face to face.
We met up at the place of the hospital where we could donate, but they said that it was closed on weekends. So we went to the Children's hospital and we went to the 3rd floor to donate the toys. Luckily, the lady at the front desk helped us out and we donated the presents and cards there. We told her about 'pay it forward' and what we were doing. She was amazed to see that we wanted to give them the gifts, but we weren't allowed to actually hand it to the kids, so the staff were able to hand it to them for us. Oh and we also got to take a picture with the staff there! They also thanked us before we left.
How did you feel?
Before we went, I was worried that we wouldn't be able to donate because things would go wrong but after giving them the toys and cards and just seeing the workers smile to see what we did, it felt great to know that they were happy that we did that for them. Especially since they weren't the most expensive toys, or cards that came from a store. They were something that personally came from us.
How did the person or people react?
They were shocked to see us giving things that came from us and it wasn't something that they would expect, especially not from kids.When they saw all the toys and cards together, they were amazed to see that just a couple of eighth-graders were able to do this sort of thing just to pay it forward. They really appreciated what we did, but even if we weren't able to see the kids reactions, we hope that they were happy when they got the presents they deserve.
Did you ask the person or people to 'Pay it Forward'?
Yes, we told the staff there that what we did was an act of kindness to continue the ripple effect, and that we think that they should help continue it as well.
How did they react to your request?
They were amazed about the concept of 'Pay it Forward' and they were glad to do it as well. They saw that we tried to do something to give back, and they were grateful to see that we were doing something to not completely make a difference, but just start a chain of kindness that will hopefully lead into it.
Why is the idea of 'Pay it Forward' important?
It's important because if we looked around us, we notice that some people are hungry, some people are homeless, and some people struggle to live everyday. That's not the kind of world that we want to see. Paying it forward shows others that we can live in a better world if we tried. Just a small act of kindness that continues and grows into something much bigger. If one less person struggles or one more person has a smile on their face, it really shows that someone has made a difference, big or small.
Has your act of kindness made a difference?
Well I'm not completely sure. If anything it made a couple smile and that's the start of it. So even if we didn't save a life, we were able to appreciate the ones who do. It wasn't a big act of kindness but it did feel really good. Giving back didn't only lift up their moods, but it also lifted up mine just seeing their reactions. Knowing that they were glad to continue where we left off, is amazing because who knows what they'll do to help. So I guess we did make a difference, a small difference, but maybe it will continue and will make a bigger difference someday, if not today.