Pay It Forward

So... I've got a personal style blog and I take lots of pictures of myself. I write/talk about clothes, shoes, accessories, make-up, food, etc.; a lot of superficial stuff. And for a while I struggled with two seemingly very different  parts of myself. The part that loved that meaningless crap, and the part of me that cares (very deeply) about shit that matters. I was (mistakenly) under the impression that those things couldn't co-exist in the same person to the extent that I wanted them to... that somehow caring about things that don't "matter" delegitimizes the rest. That was a naive way of thinking. We (especially women) can care about all sorts of things, and the belief that you have to be one thing or the other only perpetuates a really crappy marginalized view of women. I will spare you the feminist rant I could go on right now, but I do want to take this "style" blog over tonight to showcase something other than shoes and accessories (and my mug). Let's discuss a pretty awesome concept: Pay It Forward. The holidays tend to bring out the best in most people; we greet strangers more readily, give more to charities, help those less fortunate than ourselves, etc. So... I thought that it would be cool to throw out some ideas/ little ways to brighten up someone's day; and if everyone who read this did just one of these in the next few days, that would be pretty rad. 

  • Open the door for someone.
  • Give a helping hand when you see someone carrying a lot of stuff.
  • Give a homeless person your leftovers from a restaurant you just ate from.
  • Purchase a couple of umbrellas, blankets, ponchos at a dollar store and keep it in your trunk – when it’s a rainy/cold day, find a person who needs it and give them one.
  • Give a lottery ticket to a stranger.
  • Leave anonymous thank you notes.
  • Put change in a vending machine.
  • Drop off a toy or game at a homeless shelter.
  • Pay for a  toll for the person behind you.
  • Send someone a small gift anonymously.
  • Drop off flowers at your friend or neighbor’s house.
  • Buy a meal for a homeless person.
  • Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you in line.
  • Pay for someone’s meal behind you at a fast-food drive-thru.
  • Write an inspirational note to someone who needs inspiration.
  • Send a card to someone in the military overseas.
  • Put something you no longer need on craigslist.org for free.
  • Drop off a toy or game at a hospital.
  • At the post office, leave some extra stamps at the stamp machine.
  • Buy a phone card and give to a homeless shelter for them to give to someone.
  • Take flowers to a hospital ward and give them to someone who hasn’t had any visitors.
  • Drop off teddy bear to police department to give to traumatized children.
  • Write letters of appreciation to groups who are helping the community, the environment, etc.
  • Go to a tourist spot and offer couples/families to take their pictures with their camera.
  • If you know someone who is having a hard time financially, pop $5, $10 or $20 in an envelope, disguise your writing or type the envelope, and mail it to them.
  • Write anonymous, loving post-its for strangers to find.
  • At a restaurant, pay for a table’s lunch or dinner anonymously.
  • Pay for someone’s groceries.
  • Volunteer your time at a non-profit organization.
  • Smile!
  • Acknowledge the cashier who’s helping you and genuinely ask them how they’re doing.
  • Wave back to children who wave at you.
  • Say hello.
  • Reach an item off a high shelf for someone.
  • Give up your seat to someone who needs it more.
  • Remove debris or other obstacles from a road or path.
  • If you arrive at a stop sign at the same time as another driver, let them go first.
  • Pay someone a compliment.
  • Help someone with their groceries or bags.
  • Offer to help an elderly neighbor with their household chores.
  • Call a friend randomly and let them know you’re thinking of them.


  1. I loved this. We need to think of these things daily.


  2. This is awesome, Melissa. Thanks so much for posting!!

  3. Thank you, guys! And thanks for reading!!! MUUUUUCH love all the way around, Mamacitas!

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