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  • Amit Banerjee

Global Pay it Forward Day


This year my school, Heritage High School participated in the celebration of the global initiative: Pay It Forward.

So what is Pay It Forward? Pay it Forward is a movement that which inspires random acts of kindness worldwide. The mission of Pay it Forward is to inspire people to pay it forward with acts of kindness and create the world’s largest ripple effect of good deeds. My magazine Philanthropy Kids strives to inspire and promote philanthropy in kids. So I thought it would be great to run this program in my school and teach kids about Philanthropy. Just think what an impact kids can make if they start to think selflessly and start to Pay It Forwardthrough good deeds that make a difference in the lives of people around them.

Back at the TEDxSMU conference in December 2012, I was introduced to this idea when the head of the Pay It Forward Foundation and Movement, Charley Johnson, spoke about how this concept had changed his life and the lives of people around him. This had got me thinking and I researched it some more. What the Pay It Forward Foundation does is provide members of society with bracelets that have the words "PAY IT FORWARD" etched in it serving as a constant reminder to pass on that good deed, that good turn, that good act, to someone else. I came to learn that Global Pay it Forward Day is April 25, 2013. April 25th is a very special day for me, it is my birthday. I thought to myself "I can give myself a big birthday gift by bringing Pay It Forward Day to my high school".

I spoke with the principal, Mr. Mark Mimms, about the idea and he loved it. He saw that it could really impact the student body and make them think more about "Service to Others". I was then directed to one of the Assistant Principals, Ms. Jennifer Redden, and we discussed the logistics. We planned on showing videos and presentations to the students explaining to them what Pay It Forward is and scheduled a "discussion period" for the students to talk about when their experience and ideas on this concept.

Finally it was April 25th, Global Pay It Forward Day. The day started with regular classes but instead of the usual schedule, the students got pulled into their "Coyote Den". There they watched a video on Pay It Forward and also my TED Talk on Philanthropy. Once people warmed up to this idea, the students talked about the times when they did acts of kindness to help others. We made plans to come back two weeks from now and do something to pay it forward and make a difference in the world.

The idea is really simple. Just be on the lookout and try to help people in whatever way possible. Make it a point to live everyday by performing small acts of kindness that can help anyone feel a little better. Go Ahead...be philanthropic...and Pay It Forward