Today, April 25, is Pay it Forward Day in B.C., but there is no reason people can’t practice acts of kindness any day of the year, says Darlene Doskoch, Canadian co-ordinator for the Pay it Forward Day movement.
“Pay It Forward is encouraged every day,” Doskoch says. “Pay It Forward Day is just a reminder to start each year with a new level of giving.”
The vision for Pay it Forward International is to give people the opportunity to give to others — particularly those less fortunate than themselves.
One good deed might not seem like much, but if everyone did something good for someone else, then the chain of generosity would uplift our society into a whole new echelon of caring.
“There is no limit to the different kinds of acts that can happen,” Doskoch says.
“It does not have to cost you anything, it can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. There are never limitations on acts of kindness!”
Doskoch says there have been lots of examples of paying it forward in Williams Lake.
“Buying coffee for the person behind them in the Tim Hortons line up, raking peoples yards, sweeping their carports, handing out flowers to strangers, letting a person go ahead of them in the line, holding the door open for someone, bringing fruit platters to an office building, handing out gifts on the street,” Doskoch says. “These are all things that have actually happened in Williams Lake.”
In February, Doskoch says word was received that for the second year in a row, April 25 has been proclaimed as Pay it Forward Day, a day inspired by Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel and the Warner Brothers’ movie by the same name, which involves people doing three good deeds for others without expecting anything in return in order to foster an increased sense of community.
Recipients of a good deed are encouraged to Pay It Forward to someone else.
Pay It Forward Day was started in Australia in 2007 by Blake Beattie and has now spread to over 70 countries including Canada.
Doskoch founded Pay It Forward Day Canada in 2009 after being contacted by Beattie to join as a national co-ordinator for Canada.
Her name was put forward as the Canadian co-ordinator as the result of her work to bring Challenge Day, anti-bulling events to Williams Lake students.
Doskoch says nine provinces are hosting Pay It Forward Day events this year. In Williams Lake she says they will have an information booth set up at Save-On-Foods today from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and free hot dogs and water, and likely free hugs for those who need one, something Doskoch also believes in.
“It has been an amazing journey,” Doskoch says of becoming the Pay It Forward co-ordinator for Canada. “When I started volunteering with Pay It Forward Day International, I never dreamed that it would grow as fast and as vast as it has.
“Kindness has no barriers, it’s just about the selfless act of doing something for someone without the expectation of something in return. The reality is, that it really feels good!”
For more information on Pay it Forward Day, visit www.payitforwardday.com.