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{30} Ways to Pay It Forward

I am counting down the days to my 30th birthday, and I couldn’t be more excited! Truly! As I was brainstorming ways to celebrate here on the blog, I couldn’t help but think that 30 lists of {30} items would be just about perfect for my type-A, list-making self. Join me for the next month as I share the things I’ve learned in the past 30 years and my hopes for the future! See all 30 Days of {30} posts here.

Turn on the evening news, and chances are you’ll hear more than enough about how horrible society today has become — crime, greed, dishonesty, and more star most evenings. But the truth is there are still many good people living in our communities…and hopefully, you and I can be counted among them.

One way to make a positive difference, even as you go about your busy life, is to simply take a moment and pay it forward. Share a smile with a stranger, hold the door for the mom with a temper tantrum-throwing toddler, pay the toll for the person behind you. These simple random acts of kindness can turn someone’s bad day around, and if they choose to pay it forward as well, the ripple effect can be amazing!


Here are 30 ways you can pay it forward today:

1. Buy the person behind you a drink at Starbucks.

2. Pay the toll for the people behind you.

3. Smile at a stranger.

4. Help someone who needs it carry their bags to their car at the grocery store.

5. Make conversation while waiting in line.

6. Go to a car wash fundraiser and donate even if you don’t need your car washed.

7. Thoughtfully donate the things you declutter to people who really need them.

8. Take cookies to a firehouse or police station.

9. Add money to a meter that’s about to expire.

10. Say thank you — and mean it — to the cashier.

11. Give cold drinks to delivery drivers, meter readers, or other workers on a hot day.

12. Take fresh produce from your garden to a neighbor.

13. Show up with coffee for your coworkers or friends.

14. Tip generously.

15. Hold the door for the people behind you.

16. Run/walk a charity race.

17. Stop and thank a soldier for their sacrifice.

18. Carry lunch sacks or care packs in your car to hand out to homeless people.

19. Let someone go in front of you in line.

20. Stop and help someone change a flat tire.

21. Send a handwritten note to your children’s school or Sunday school teachers.

22. Rake or mow your neighbor’s yard.

23. Donate books to the library.

24. Send a letter to your favorite company thanking them for their product or service.

25. Visit a senior center or retirement home.

26. Buy from a local company instead of a large corporation.

27. Pick up trash along a local road, park or common area.

28. Buy Girl Scout cookies and give them to a friend or acquaintance.

29. Send flowers to let someone know you care.

30. Share a store coupon with the person behind you at checkout.

How else can you pay it forward?