Pay it Forward

This part of my day was outstanding, so I want to share it:

This morning I was alerted to the fact that today was IHOP’s “Free Pancake” day. It just so happened (Don’t you love it when it does?) that it was down right convenient for Trevor, Sadie and me to meet up and have a pancake lunch together. Well! There was this older couple–like grandparent age… as in my grandparent age–at the table over from us. I heard them remarking on Sadie, saying something, I think, about how she looked like her baby doll. It’s a fact, and I was so engaged in keeping Sadie entertained that I didn’t get a chance to do much more than give them the, “Yes, I know, she IS fantastically cute, isn’t she?” smile and nod. Anyway, they got up, and I didn’t think a thing more about it. But then, our server came back and told us that the couple had just taken care of our lunch and that we were ready to go. What a treat! I mean, we wouldn’t have been paying much for it, because we’d not ordered much more than the pancakes, but it was such a nice gesture. Looks like Sadie is starting to earn her keep!

I’ve been thinking about it most of the day, and I want to do something to pay it forward. I was holding doors open for people even more than I already usually do, and I let someone merge in front of me in traffic a bit above and beyond what was required of me. But I want to do something more meaningful.

Here’s what I’m thinking. The whole point of the free pancakes is that it’s to raise money for local children’s hospitals. I had mistakenly thought that we were just going to be able to add our donation to our bill, but it turned out to be a cash donation thing, and we didn’t have any cash at all. So, I’m going to donate at least what the meal would have cost us–pancakes included to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

And I want to take it one step further, to get everyone involved. I’ll donate $25 to the charity or cause that gets the most nominations in the comments section*. I know $25 isn’t much, but money is in short supply while I’m still a temp. So this is more about the pay it forward gesture and about making this a team effort. Because if you donate $25 (A reasonable sum for most, wouldn’t you say?), too, it’ll add on up!

*My caveat. I reserve the right to veto a cause or charity, despite the number of nominations, if I consider it nefarious. If it’s something I’m just not that into, like joint surgery for horse race jockeys (okay, I totally made that up), I’m still happy to give. But I’m not giving my money to something that goes against what I stand for as a person–not that I’m all that worried that you’ll band together and try to get me to give $25 to a group trying to have all pit bulls put down or something.

Oh, and I also am not comfortable giving to a group that is inherently religious. Did you see how I put that in a new paragraph? I am in no way making a relationship between religion and dog killers. But I am not into “picking teams” when it comes to religion.

Anything else, I figure we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But first you have to chime in and tell me where you want my money to go, so I can spread the giving attitude while it’s in the air.

9 thoughts on “Pay it Forward

      1. Brooke Post author

        @Naomi I’m sorry to hear about your mother and brother, I hope their fights with cancer are going strong. Is there a particular organization/group you’d like to direct me to?

  1. Sam

    I vote The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas ( “The mission of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) is to promote philanthropy among women and to help women and girls achieve their full potential” and since you have a daughter…bam! ***In full disclosure mode: my mother is the Executive Director of this organization, but still, I think it’s a WONDERFUL organization!***

    1. Brooke Post author

      @Sam I didn’t know your mom was ED at WFA. I wrote a grant proposal to them a long time ago, when I worked at the AR Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch in Batesville.


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