Thanksgiving is this week, and it’s the ideal time to count our blessings, being grateful for everything we have. But another way to show gratitude is by helping others. I came up with this DIY Pay It Forward Jar in hopes that it will inspire me to help others in some way this holiday season, even in some small way.
DIY PAY IT FORWARD JAR
YOU WILL NEED
- a jar
- several small items that are the same (i.e. caps, popsicle sticks)
- paint (optional)
- permanent marker
- paper and pen to make a list of pay it forward deeds
Paint each small item if you wish, to make them look uniform. (My plastic caps were different colors, so I opted to do this, but it’s totally up to you!)
Using the permanent marker, write a numeral on each cap (or on the item you have chosen) until you have numbered all the items.
Place the caps in the jar.
Whenever you are feeling inspired to pay it forward, randomly select a cap from your jar and check to see which item on the list it corresponds to.
Get out there and pay it forward!
Here are some examples of good deeds, ranging from easy to…not-so-easy:
- Help an elderly or disabled person carry purchases to their car
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Pay the bill for the customer behind you at the drive-thru
- Pay the grocery bill for the family behind you in line at the supermarket
- Leave your server at a restaurant a 30% tip (or more, if you’re feeling adventurous!)
- Offer to watch your friend’s children so she can have an afternoon to herself
- Donate $100 (or any amount that is a bit of a sacrifice) to a charity that you can relate to
- Offer to clean up an elderly neighbor’s yard or garden
Mix up or add to your list whenever you get a new idea to pay it forward. That way the numbers won’t always correspond to the same things each time (element of surprise!).
As you can see, not all good deeds need to involve money. There are so many ways to spread positive energy and put a smile on someone’s face. Be as creative as you wish and have fun!
What would you add to this list? Have you done something spontaneously or anonymously to pay it forward to someone who never expected it?