Kids Can Pay It Forward

blackboyglobe Mamas loved the book and the movie, but the concept is what it’s about. We recently came across a fantastic web site for the Pay It Forward Foundation and wanted to share it with you. It begins with doing a favor for another person– without any expectation of being paid back. Indeed one would request that the recipient of that favor do the same for someone else: ideally for three other people. The unconditional favors can be large or small. As the fictional 12-year-old Trevor observes, “It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can just seem that way, depending who you do it for.”

This mass of good deeds grows geometrically, transforming lives, neighborhoods, and communities. For example, check out the note written by children at T. L. Pink Elementary School and enclosed in the “Birthday Boxes” containing gifts and decorations they made for inner-city kids whose parents couldn’t afford birthday celebrations:

Happy Birthday Friend!!!

You have received this very special birthday surprise because you are a very special person. We hope that you enjoy all the goodies for your birthday party. We at Pink Elementary are learning the concept of “Pay It Forward.” This is when you do something nice for someone else while expecting nothing back in return. Rather than paying the favor back, one is supposed to pay the favor forward. In this box there are materials to make birthday cards for other children. For every birthday card that you make, we promise to make another “Birthday Party in a Box” to brighten another child’s birthday. When you finish the cards, you can return them to Ms. Vina Gray or the RA office, and she will return them to us. Again, we hope you enjoy your “Birthday Party in a Box” and we hope that you will Pay It Forward to another child. Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

~ T. L. Pink Elementary Student Council ~

With a bit of creativity the concept can be applied to kids of all ages, so check out the Foundation and ask your little ones how they’d like to pay it forward.

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.


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