Paying it Forward for 10 Years

This Canadian group has been doing acts of kindness for a decade.


Giving to a clothing drive.

(Dmytro Zinkevych /

A simple act of kindness has mushroomed into a decade of doing good in the East Kootenays community in British Columbia, Canada. The acts led to a movement that has touched the lives of so many in the community.

One good act leads to another
Ten years ago, Aileen Ingram wanted to raise funds to help a boy who’s bicycle was stolen, reported the Kimberly Bulletin. This one good act became two and three. More people wanted to get onboard and started to help Ingram.

This morphed into an organized nonprofit called “Paying it Forward: Kindness in the Kootenays.” The group has 20 dedicated active members who do acts of kindness to help others in need.

The kindness group organizes bottle drives and events to raise funds for good causes that help provide food and clothing for members of the community who are in need. They have helped families that are starting over, people with  disabilities, people with serious illnesses, and helped seniors purchase their prescriptions.

Ingram told the Kimberly Bulletin that the philosophy of the group is really simple. “You give someone a hand up, open a door for somebody, even give them a big smile, just try to do something to make their day better,” she said.

What inspired Ingram to help?

Ingram and the group’s inspiration came from the movie Pay it Forward, according to Sunny Skyz. The 2000 movie is about a  seventh-grade boy, Trevor Mckinnley, whose teacher challenged the class to put into action a plan that could change the world.

Trevor called his plan, “pay it forward” and the concept was for the recipient of a kind act to do a kind act for someone else and this begins a chain of kindness.

Ingram told the Kimberly Bulletin that the movie really spoke to her because it paralleled experiences she had as a child. In fact, according to the news source, one winter she used her allowance to save up for a snow shovel to clear her neighbor’s walkways.

Volunteerism runs in her family. Ingram’s grandmother was a Salvation Army volunteer and Ingram helped her collect clothing for a classmate whose house burned down in a fire. Today, using her community connections in order to help others comes naturally for her.

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