I LOVE the movie "Pay it Forward"! It's such a great idea that if you do something good for someone, without expecting anything in return, that they some day will do the same for another. That will start a chain reaction of kindness! I often look for ways that I can pay it forward. And I strongly encourage my kids to do the same.
Not everything needs to cost money. It can be as simple as giving credit where it is due. I have many times sought out a manager at a retail store or restaurant to let them know what a great job their employee is doing. It doesn't cost me anything but a little extra time to do this and it makes a huge difference! I often chuckle at the dread on the managers face as they walk toward me to figure out why I requested to speak to them. Oh - the joy when they realize it is for a great reason!
I also remember a time that I was waiting to pay a bridge toll only to find out that the car in front of me had already taken care of my charges! I have no idea who they were or why they did this good deed. I had the money to pay so that wasn't the issue... What I do know is that little gesture of $3.25 made my day! Every time I am in line waiting to pay a toll I remember that moment, so many years ago, and look to figure out ways I can pay it forward.
During our past vacation my children were introduced to the fact that there are homeless people. There are some in the city that we live in but my children are rarely exposed to them. It really broke my daughters heart to see all the people that live on the streets without shelter or food. So, to help her (and my son) realize how we can help, we put together these care packages to give to those that need it. They cost me about $15 each but they will hopefully brighten someones day!
There are many other things that I could have added (like warm socks, shoes, more food, ....) but I also have to stay in the reality of my budget. I just know that if I were homeless I would love to get one of these packets!! Hopefully some day the recipients of these care packages will pay it forward!