With final exams just around the corner, many students are feeling the stress of their assignments building up.
Jack Sample, noticing this continuing trend, decided to take steps to bring some cheer to The University of Toledo campus.
“I have always had a passion for serving others; if I see an opportunity to help someone, I feel inclined to take it,” Sample, president and founder of Pay It Forward Toledo, said. “I believe that any heartfelt contribution, no matter how big or how small, can help change the world. Founding Pay It Forward was a way for me to extend the passion that myself and many other students share to other areas of the UT campus and Toledo community.”
The organization follows the philosophy of many other “pay it forward” groups worldwide.
But what exactly does it mean to “pay it forward?”
“To me, ‘paying it forward’ means putting other people before yourself. When you ‘pay it forward,’ you are inspiring positive change, and this inspiration can be the foundation of great change in our world,” Sample explained. “The beauty of Pay It Forward is every person can create their own meaning of what it means to them, and they can take that and run with it as far as they wish. I believe this is so important to the UT community because there is so much need in our community, and creating a student body that is more understanding of the importance of service in the community helps tremendously.”
Pay It Forward Week will be observed Monday, April 24, through Friday, April 28, at the University. Friday, April 28, also is recognized as International Pay It Forward Day.
Sample emphasized the wide variety of ways that people may choose to pay it forward. Suggestions include paying for someone’s coffee, holding a door, offering verbal encouragement, or just going out of your way to make someone smile.
“The biggest piece of advice I can give people who ask, ‘How can I pay it forward?’ is to simply do something that you want to do,” Sample said. “Everyone knows how good it feels when someone goes out of their way to help them, so we all have the capacity to do that for others. Just go out and make people smile! That is one of the greatest gifts you can give to others.”
Pay It Forward Toledo will host many events in celebration of the week. These will include free coffee, granola bars, and food for students on their way to class and study, as well as stress management activities and free golf cart rides to class.