We all get so wrapped up in our fast-paced lives that sometimes we forget to take time out to pay it forward and put a smile on someone else’s face.
This year for the first time, Executive Service Council and Peer Support joined hands to promote the concept of “Pay It Forward.” Over the course of one week, they were hoping to spread outward acts of kindness directly from one to another. The concept of Pay It Forward, Executive Service Council president Kaelan Cuozzo said, was “to respond to a person’s kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else.”
The “Pay It Forward” concept was adopted from a similar McDonald’s occurrence, which ESC and Peer Support wished to emulate.
Through three main acts featured during the week, students were able to break the technology barrier and display kindness face-to-face. If you saw your name on the compliment board, you should have taken the time to pay it forward and compliment someone else. If you received a compliment bracelet, you should pass on the bracelet and compliment someone else. If you got a free hug, you should spread the same love and joy.
Student Emma Blair Hall participated in Pay It Forward week by passing on her bracelet to another student and leaving a compliment on the board. “It was nice spending a few hours appreciating others in the present,” she said, “instead of focusing on the future all the time.”
Both Executive Service Council and Peer Support considered Pay It Forward week to be a great success. Cuozzo thought it was “well-timed” as it was a stressful time right before we headed off into Spring Break. Peer Support officer Caitlin Loi thought Pay It Forward turned out well since “the compliment boards in the foyer really filled up throughout the week and people seemed to be using the appreciation bracelets seriously.”
When asked what they would like to do differently next year, Loi said that she wanted to involve the students more, in more gestures like ‘the appreciation bracelet activity as it allowed people to spread kindness directly and in person.”
Cuozzo hopes to “promote the concept of Pay It Forward more as well as improve the advertisement in general.”
There are many ways to Pay It Forward, both agreed, and with ample planning time both organizations believe they can successfully involve more people and more kindness.