Looking for an inexpensive, different and better way to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day?
Try breaking away from candy and flowers. Try doing a random act of kindness this Valentine’s Day!
Three students from Globe University-Eau Claire were inspired to share their love for the community by encouraging others to “pay it forward” with random acts of kindness. Students Jessica Abramczak, Darren Mertens and Amber Wajda took over the bulletin board outside their classroom to encourage the entire campus to pay it forward.
The bulletin board, decorated in a Valentine’s Day theme complete with hearts, has a section for ideas and suggestions of how to pay it forward. The other half of the board is dedicated to encouraging faculty, staff and students to share ways they have already paid it forward. Some of the students’ suggestions included:
- Give Valentine cards anonymously
- Volunteer at a local charity
- Visit the elderly
- Hug or call a family member
- Thank a teacher or student
- Shovel snow for a neighbor
- Leave treats in the yard for rabbits, squirrels and birds
- Donate soda tabs or cans to a local organization
- Make nutritional treats for dogs and cats of neighbors, friends or animal shelter
- Donate blood
“Many groups of people have worked to promote work like this,” Jessica said. “Some of the ideas of it started with the movie that came out in 2000 called ‘Pay it Forward,’ and a more recent occurrence happened with the events of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting where afterwards people started to pay it forward on Facebook. I hope with my project I am able to show people that the smallest thing may mean the most to someone else and that everyone is capable of making a difference in some way.”
Darren is enthusiastic about the project.
“The need for paying it forward is huge! The whole world needs it and it isn’t just locally,” he said. “We really believe in paying it forward and making sure that we can give back instead of always just receiving and expecting everything to always just happen for us.”
Amber added: “It is a good feeling to know that you make a difference in someone’s life. There’s so many different things out there that we can be a part of. If one thing doesn’t seem like it would work out, there are many other options. There are so many ways to help and it’s up to us to put our foot forward, and do what we can to make a difference.”
What will you do to pay it forward this Valentine’s Day, or from this day forward?