30+ Ways to Pay it Forward


As a YoGetter, Stonyfield sent me some money to perform a random act of kindness or way to pay it forward to the community. In our family, we do this all the time in toy drives, food drives, paying for the person behind us, giving to causes through UMCOR, tithing and more. We have an extra line item in our budget to make sure we give additionally to other causes as we are moved every month.

30+ Ways to pay it forward

But, I thought instead of tooting my own horn and talking all about where we gave or how we gave, I would come up with a list of 30 ways that you can perform a random act of kindness or pay it forward. 

30 ways to pay it forward

1. Pay a compliment to a stranger

2. Collect change throughout the year, and cash it in at the end of the year and gift it to a struggling family

3. Place a quarter on a gumbull machine for the next person to use

4. Adopt a family or an angel from an angle tree

5. Purchase new toys for MUST or Toys for Tots

6. Collect food items for a week’s worth of meals for a family in need

7. Buy groceries for the person in front of you

8. Purchase a drink for the person behind you in line

9. Pay for dinner for a family out

10. Volunteer at a shelter

11. Serve a meal to the less fortunate

12. Pack sack lunches for the homeless

13. Pay off a student’s lunch account at a local school

14. Let somebody in front of you in line at the store

15. Wash a neighbor’s car

16. Clean a neighbor’s gutters

17. Donate to your local food pantry

18. Write a note to somebody

19. Volunteer at a local school

20. Volunteer at a local library

21. Donate various balls to a school’s PE program

22. Bring in copy paper for a teacher

23. Leave your server an extra generous tip

24. Collect blankets for a blanket drive

25. Watch a friend or neighbor’s children so they can have a date night without having to pay for a sitter.

26. Refer somebody for work when they’ve done a great job.

27. Write a linkedin recommendation.

28. Donate toys that are no longer being used to a friend.

29. Prepare a meal for a friend who has just had a new baby.

30. Give your tickets to a stranger at an arcade so they can get a bigger prize.

31. Make a donation to UMCOR or other favorite charity.

32. Donate a new set of ZUMBA skirts to a ZUMBA instructor that helped you have fun dancing again.

30 ways to pay it forward

Yes, I did something a little different. I bought new skirts for our ZUMBA class and instructor. Hers were getting old and starting to fall apart, not to mention that there were never enough. The class really had their extra moves on and I felt like the community at the YMCA really appreciated and enjoyed them. 

ZUMBA has inspired me to move and dance more and get outside of my comfort zone, so I thought this was a fun and unique way to pay it forward to the instructor and the community.

30 ways to pay it forward

 What are some of your favorite ways to pay it forward?


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  1. What a perfect use!! I love that you passed it forward so the skirts keep on giving fun! I can’t wait to see them in action.

  2. I love these ideas! One of mine is to give somebody else the good parking space. It takes a lot of deep breathing ?

  3. Sara Phillips says:

    I LOVE this list of ideas! And, even more, I love the line item for giving above and beyond! On trash and/or recycle day, we will take a neighbor’s can back up to its space. It’s a cheap and easy way to teach my kids to be nice to others.

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