Project Pay It Forward

Well, I am excited to write this post. My hope is that this will inspire you to do what you can to make a difference in the life of another. It can be so easy and you never know the impact that you might have. For me, it is something that I have always tried to either do, or recognize, when others do. I shared a story about a small thing that someone else did that had a tremendous impact on me in this article “It’s the little things“. In 2014 I made a decision to try daily to do at least one thing that would impact someone else in a positive way. The easiest thing for me to do was to simply add on to my morning routine. Every morning on my way in to the office, like many others, I would zip into the Tim Hortons drive through and grab a XL regular coffee. So for all of 2014, with the exception of one time when I forgot my wallet, I bought the order for the car behind me. It was a simple thing to do and a great reminder for me to create the habit of giving.

Later in 2014 I had an opportunity to do something on a larger scale and with the help of Hali Strandlund I anonymously sponsored a prize for the Women in the Mortgage Industry group to send someone to the CAAMP Mortgage Forum 2014. I initially wanted to do this as an anonymous gesture simply because I wanted to keep the intent pure in my heart and believe that, for me, the only way to ensure I am truly doing this for altruistic reasons was to keep it anonymous so that there was no possibility of benefit for me. Soon after the contest was announced, the generosity of others poured forward. What started out as one individual trying to sponsor one woman to go to CAAMP very quickly turned into a community effort which resulted in 7 women (actually 8, but that’s another story altogether) going to the conference! Holy crap, how cool is that?!

It was so exciting to see that initiative blossom and become what it was culminating in me having the opportunity to sit with these 7 women backstage of the conference and just talk a little about the importance of community and the reason for giving. These women all had a story, a reason why they were there and it was an absolute thrill for me to share the CAAMP experience with them.

Alright, alright, I know what you’re saying. That’IMG_7268s kinda cool Mike but what the hell does that have to do with anything? Well, here’s the thing. I’ve been trying to come up with an idea to keep that momentum going. To harness the stories and the energy of these beautiful people. So here’s what I came up with:

Project Pay it Forward!

I’ve taken a sum of money and given it to each of these individuals with the following caveats for them to spend it:

  • It needs to benefit someone other than you
  • I would like you to use your imagination to think of how you can take this money and inspire someone else to make a difference in the lives of others
  • I want it to be fun, not onerous.  If handing a homeless person $500.00 is what you want to do then do it but I’d love to see some creativity
  • I would like you to let me know what you’ve done and help me create some stories around how one person can impact many so that we can inspire others to do the same.

My hope is that we can build even more momentum and grow the impact exponentially. I want to start documenting the stories of how you, yes you, have touched the lives of others. I don’t want to do this to boast or brag. I want to do this to create an energy, a spirit of giving that will inspire others. I am surrounded by beautiful people, doing incredible things on a daily basis and I want to highlight those in an effort to inspire others to do the same. Share with me your story. I don’t care how big or small, just share. I will start documenting (posting) as many of these stories as I can. I am excited to see how far we can take this and how creative we can be. Together we CAN change the world!

P.S. We have started a Facebook Group here.

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Julie Cooper
Julie Cooper
8 years ago

Love it Mike – you are so right about this — I do the coffee thing too and get away fast so they don’t think I am looking for a “thank you” – sometimes its just a coffee, sometimes its quite an order haha. Its more about doing something nice and unexpected that maybe makes the day a bit different for someone else than it could have. In any case, in December I was on the receiving end! I went to pick up 30 donuts for my daughter’s class for her birthday at Tims and when I pulled up to pay the car in front of me had taken care of it. I felt surprised (its a lot of donuts!!) and kinda delighted.

I especially love your anonymous donation – it is especially awesome when its done with no motive other than to promote kindness

Well done Mike!

8 years ago

Hello Michael, I can truly say that what you have done has made a wonderful impact so far. Sherry Corbitt of my office was one of the women that went to the CAAMP conference thanks to your pay it forward gesture.

She was more than excited and our whole team was thrilled for her. Last week I was on FB and saw Sherry’s video about receiving the pay it forward donation and I have to tell you she was so moved by it that it had me in tears. A more worthy recipient could not have been found.

Sherry came to work in my office a few years ago and she is always doing things for others, she’ hard wired that way. I know that she will come up with a unique and beneficial way to “pay it forward” with this opportunity. In a world that often exibhits a “what’s in it for me” attitude it’s amazing to see so many MI folks that see things differently.

May you see the true value in what you have done through the future efforts of those who you have included in your generosity Michael.
Most worthwhile rewards in life have nothing to do with money. You will be rewarded in ways you have never dreamt possible and so will those on the journey with you. Well done!

Pam Peters
8 years ago

What a great idea! Very inspirational! I am going to jump on the band wagon and will update you later with how it goes.

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