I consider myself to be very fortunate to have a good job with supportive co-workers, a warm home and a wonderful family to celebrate the holiday season with. Working in the Exchange District downtown, I run into all kinds of people on my travels around the neighborhood. I am well aware of the diversity of the people in the area and am reminded daily of how I should be grateful for all that I have – which of course I am!
I have always supported programs in December that are responsible for bringing together the less fortunate because it gives me a good sense of satisfaction when I contribute. But this year the time got away from me and I did not give of myself as I wanted to, leaving me with a twinge of guilt; so much so that I have created a new challenge for the New Year that would give me that sense of satisfaction not only during December but also throughout the year.
My own personal mission – my “Pay It Forward” – goes like this:
- My goal is to spend $200 in 2019 on gift cards to give away. That cost is equivalent to lunch out once a month – not much of a sacrifice, when I really think of it.
- We are just coming into our coldest months of the year, and so for the first leg of my Pay It Forward, I will hand out at least two $10 Tim Horton gift cards in each of January, February and March to any person who asks me for spare change. I’ve already got the gift cards and keep one in my jacket pocket, so I’m ready to lift someone’s spirits any time – and mine as well. My hope is that that person will be able to get themselves something warm and yummy and not have to wait in line at a soup kitchen, at least for one meal.
- I will decide in March where the next batch of gift cards will come from and will hand out at least one $10 card monthly from April to September.
- With the colder weather, in October, November and December I will spend anything left of the $200 toward cards to be handed out in those months.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all paid it forward – whatever “it” is. It could be shoveling the sidewalk for the single lady next door, making a meal for the widowed man down the street or giving our time to a local soup kitchen. The possibilities are endless.
I am challenging my Team here at Lazer Grant to Pay It Forward as well. And maybe we’ll be able to share our stories during our monthly team meetings, because I am convinced that something bigger than ourselves will come out of this.
Care to take up this challenge, too? 2019 could turn out to be the best year ever – for you and for the people you choose to Pay it Forward to.