Friday, March 11, 2011

Paying it Forward

If you know me, you know I love giving things away.  It goes beyond the candy I put in all the orders I ship and goody bags I give out at the wholesale shows. I give away a clock every day I work at Pike Place Market, too.

It's always the highlight of my day. I wait until the right person comes along, someone who loves a certain design but can't afford to buy it, someone who is having a bad day or lets it slip that its their birthday. I discreetly put that item in a bag, hand it to them and tell them it's a gift.  Often they refuse at first but I insist, explaining that this is a Paper Scissors Rock tradition and ask that in return I just ask that they do something kind for someone else - preferably a stranger. (And for the record I started doing this way before the move Pay It Forward movie came out!)

I believe every kindness, no matter how small makes a difference, and that together we can all make the world a better place. Corny? Sure, but here's the thing. The way I see it, each time we make someone smile, laugh or feel a little lighter, it's a ripple in the pond. Neale Donald Walsh wrote, "You could be the Angel for whom someone is waiting today". The world is a difficult place right now. why not be kinder to each other? What does that really cost us? The truth is, you never know what impact a tiny gesture can make, it could be much bigger than you think.

So I had an idea the other day. I love this tradition so much that I've decided to expand it by starting a  Pay It Forward Gift GIveaway Program. Any wholesale buyer who wants to be part of it can sign up. I will note it in their account and from now on, I will add a free gift item to each of their orders, which they can then give to any customer, asking them to continue the chain by doing something kind for someone else.

This is going to be on the honor system, the added item is not to be sold or given to friends. The idea is to extend kindness and generosity when it's least expected, and my hope is that they will feel as rewarded by these gestures as I do.


Ruth Apter said...

I love this idea Pam. Thank you for sharing. I often inclose a free piece of work to help defray the costs of shipping...but this idea is brilliant.

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Running Rabbit said...

I know I'm late to the party (October...really) but I wanted to say how much I adore you and all you give back to the world.

I'm right there with you, I love giving back even its in dumb little ways like telling the guy with 4 oranges to go ahead of me in the grocery store line when I have a full cart.

I always go overboard and invest a ton of my own time and money in the Providence Foundation Christmas forest. I'm a tree designer again this year and I love knowing the money and energy I give will be magnified and eventually help families with some serious medical problems. It just feels so good to give back.

Your karma is shining bright Ms Pam!

Pam Corwin, Business of Crafts said...

Aw, Roxy -Thank you, so much. Right backatcha.