Monday, January 6, 2014

Tiana's Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward!(Tiana, Rose May, Corinne, Alieha, Marla & Joyce of 8-16)

Part 1

What is "Pay it Forward" ?

Pay it forward; it’s an act of kindness, just ‘cause. Not because we want to look good, or seem as if we’re heroes. But we do it to feel good, no specific reason. We do an act of kindness, so that individual we paid it forward to, can pay it forward themselves. It’s basically like a ripple effect, when you do something nice, you feel good, others feel good and want to pass it on. Just like the lady at hospital said, “It’s not only good for that one person, but for everyone around you. It’s good karma”

Part 2

What was your Pay It Forward act of kindness?

My friends and I decided to go to the Children’s Hospital and donate toys and also give appreciation letters to the workers there. We all contributed and everybody had a great part in it. I personally wrote letters to the workers, expressing how I appreciate all of their hard work in helping others and to always keep a positive mindset especially in the New Year.

Why did you choose this activity? 

The reason why we chose this activity was because we wanted to start the new year with helping others, for the kids who are currently in the hospital, we wanted to give them something to help them enjoy their stay at the hospital. As for the appreciation letters, I feel as if sometimes the workers who help out at the hospital don’t get much recognition, such as the people who work at the front desk, we just say a simple “Thank You” and are on our way. I wanted to give them a letter saying that I really appreciate how much they work just to help others!

Who did you help?

We didn't necessarily “help” people, instead we decided to give back. To a few kids who go through a lot, we wanted to give them a little present just to give them the little joys in life! Whether it is small, or big toys, it’s the thought that counts and although this wasn't thoroughly planned, we put a lot of thought into it. I also decided to give back to the workers there, the letter may not be extremely long, but I put a lot of thought into and made sure that every single letter was different to express my feelings, instead of just being repetitive.

What did you do?

We went to the Children’s Hospital and talked to a few workers there about Pay It Forward and explained that we had toys to give to the kids, and letters as well. Because we couldn't give used toys, a few of us decided to buy inexpensive toys and wrap them up! As for a few others and I, we wrote letters to the staff at the hospital. On the letters I wrote, there was always a message about appreciation, keeping a positive mindset, and smiling every day. We also got to take a picture with the kind staff there!

When did you do you act of kindness?

January 4th, 2013 was when this act of kindness took place. Although it was a little last minute, we were glad to give in our thanks!

Part 3

How did your act of kindness go?

It actually turned out really well! I was a little worried in the beginning but once we talked to the lady who worked there, I was relieved. She was happy, the workers were happy and we all were as well. We had a little difficulty before actually going to the hospital because we found out last minute that old/used stuffed toys weren't allowed to be donated, but fortunately we came up with something to benefit everyone! In the end, all was well. 

What Happened?

We all met up at the Children's Hospital at around noon, and once everyone arrived we headed to the second floor where we could donate our things. We first chatted with the lady at the front desk, explaining the whole "Pay it Forward" concept, saying that we had things we would like to give and she explained that we weren't allowed to personally give the children the gifts due to confidential reasons, but they were kind enough to give the kids our gifts. Also, when I told her that we also had letters for her and the other workers, they were more than happy to receive them! We also took pictures with the workers there. 
How did you feel?

Before we even got to give our donations and letters, I was a little worried that something might go wrong and we weren't able to give anything. But I was relieved seeing the smiling faces of the workers, just with giving back I felt really great! It was a mixture of happiness and appreciation, because I wouldn't imagine myself doing that sort of thing, but having first-hand experience is a great feeling.

How did the person or people react?

The people were very ecstatic to receive donations for the kids; it’s not every day where you see kids donating to other kids. But something they didn’t expect was letters for themselves, they were very happy to receive them as well.  Some were very shocked as well, because once we gave them a batch of gifts and letters, there were more! Many gifts were given and they were filled with smiles by the end.  

Did you ask the person or people to "Pay It Forward"?

Yes, I explained the whole concept of “Pay It Forward” and they listened to everything I had to say and I was very happy about it.
How did they react to your request?

They understood everything and they even said that they would pay it forward; I felt that they were very touched by our request, even though it wasn't something huge, they were very thankful. They seemed a little surprised at the beginning that a group of students like us were participating in such activity. But they were very happy that we did and said they would definitely continue our act of kindness chain.

Part 4
Why is the idea of "Pay it Forward" important?

The whole idea of Pay it Forward is very simple, yet very important. You do an act of kindness, then that person does an act of kindness and keeps going on, a chain reaction. Because of that act of kindness you did, small or big, it'll create something even greater. Sure one person's act may be greater than yours, but by the end of the day, it's the amount of thought you put into it, the values that're all equal. It makes everyone feel great, inside and out, knowing that you're helping someone and they'll help someone else as well as the best feeling. It makes you become someone greater, and it helps you gain confidence in yourself, knowing that you can help create a great movement. 
Has your act of kindness made a difference?

I think my group and I made a difference, maybe not a huge one, but once the kids see those gifts, and the workers read those letters, it'll definitely brighten up their day. It was really a great experience to have and see everyone happy. They were surprised to see us students come by, but I could tell they were very thankful and that makes me happy knowing that we can help out. Whichever way they decide to Pay it Forward, will contribute to our growing ripple effect, if they do it with a positive mindset and great goals, the turn out will be amazing. 

*individual photos
This is how I Paid it Forward!

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