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My Dream for ‘National Pay It Forward Day’ AND WHY I’D CREATE A HOLIDAY AROUND KINDNESS
Did you know that Monday, March 26, is “Create Your Own Holiday Day?” I’d never heard of it until a friend mentioned the idea to me, but since then, I haven’t been able to stop daydreaming about the holiday I’d make if I had the power. There are a lot of great things out there to base a holiday on — cute shoes are definitely worth celebrating, and so is a delicious plate of lobster — but in the end, my mind kept going back to my grandmother and the lessons I learned from her as a little girl. My grandmother Elizabeth was one of the most generous, kind-hearted people I’ve ever known. When I was growing up in Gloversville, New York, she lived just two blocks away from me, so we spent a lot of time together doing one of her favorite things: helping others. I used to go with her to deliver washing machines and dryers to people in need, and I knew she'd give someone the shirt off her back if they wanted it. Even though I was really young back then, her lessons in generosity stuck with me, and as an adult I love to pay it forward. That’s why if I could make up a holiday, I’d dedicate it to my grandmother Elizabeth, and call it National Pay It Forward Day. National Pay It Forward Day would be all about highlighting and encouraging
little acts of kindness, like those chains that get started sometimes in Starbucks drive-thrus where one car pays for the coffee for the person behind them, the next person does the same, and on and on. I love those positive domino effects! We don’t have thruways here in Naples, but when I lived up north, I’d always start chains in the toll line by paying for the person behind me. Half of the fun was wondering how far back the streak went. On my holiday, paying it forward like that at coffee shops, in toll lines, and even in grocery stores, would be encouraged. Those stories of people buying groceries for the people behind them in line are so inspiring, and I’d love to see more of us with the means help out our neighbors that way. If I had the choice, I think I’d make National Pay It Forward Day fall right on Create Your Own Holiday Day at the end of May. It’s the perfect time of year because it’s far enough away from Christmas and New Year's that people won’t still be stuck in holiday burnout, but it’s also late enough to be spring-like enough up north. Good weather always puts people in a better mood — which is why I always say that here in Naples, where it’s pretty much 70 degrees and sunny year-round, we have no excuse not to be nice!
I know National Pay It Forward Day probably won’t become a thing anytime soon, but for now, I’m going to do my best to keep living it myself. In the past, I’ve paid it forward by working with a local charity that provides food for hungry, at-risk kids and teens, and I hope to work with them more in the future. Plus, I’ll always be the type of person to start a chain of positivity when I drive through Starbucks for my latte — so line up behind me if you can! This month, I’m going to get started on a little Pay It Forward Day magic, and I’d love for you to join me! Here’s how it works: In the next few weeks, take 10 $1 bills, or 10 $10 bills, or 10 $100 bills, whatever you can afford, and use them to pay it forward. You can pass them on all at once, or spread them out to multiple people, but the goal is to share what you have and watch how the positivity spreads. If you take me up on the challenge, I’d love to hear how it goes! You can email me your story at email@example.com, and I’ll share some of the most heartwarming
responses in a future newsletter. Let’s make the world a better place!
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