Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward
December 02, 2018

Surprising Strangers with Random Acts of Kindness

Two employees celebrated National Random Acts of Kindness Day by using their Pay It Forward funds to hand out gift cards to strangers they encountered.

Acts of Kindness
Acts of Kindness
Acts of Kindness

“We received a letter from one of the recipients who paid our Pay It Forward to their waitress that night, along with another $50 of their own.” – Lorae Hecker, document imaging specialist

Bell Employees

Lorae Hecker, document imaging specialist

Fargo

Kristi Schulz, document imaging quality analyst

Fargo

Recipient

40 strangers throughout Fargo-Moorhead

The Need

Sometimes there are no tell-tale signs that someone needs a little extra help. That’s why Kristi Schulz and Lorae Hecker decided to Pay It Forward to random strangers – in hopes of brightening their day.

“We saw it was National Random Acts of Kindness Day and I said, ‘There we go. We could do $50 gift cards to random people,” says Lorae, document imaging specialist.

Starting at the McDonald’s in Moorhead, Minn., they paid it forward to 2employees taking out the trash. From there, they visited other fast food restaurants, grocery stores, parking lots and even a college campus. From a man in a wheelchair to a taxi driver and a veteran getting gas, they touched 40 lives in the span of a few hours.

“We didn’t really have a plan. We just drove around, and it was very spontaneous,” says Kristi, document imaging quality analyst.

The Impact

As expected, many of the recipients were surprised, wondering if there was a catch.

“They were kind of caught off-guard, but they did warm up once they knew they were getting a card for being kind,” Lorae notes. “We received a letter from one of the recipients who paid our Pay It Forward to their waitress that night, along with another $50 of their own.”

It was nice to know “what we’re doing is really impacting them to do it also,” Kristi says.

“I like to make people smile, and all those smiles, I could remember all day long,” Lorae says.