Pay it Forward in the New Year

When it seems disasters are happening all around us—hurricanes, fires, and a tragic derailment—how do we put that aside and celebrate the new year?

One good way to do that is to honor those who lost loved ones, or homes, or businesses, or who are injured. Motorcycle enthusiasts are always ready to help a good cause, and reputable charities are not hard to find. Just look at all the group rides for charity on the Eagle Leather Ride Guide! Social media offers an opportunity to express condolences and good wishes—and costs not a penny.

But we’re Americans, and that means we come together in times of trouble. Here are a few ways you can show your solidarity with your neighbors—and we’re all neighbors, we’re all in this together. Of course it’s true on a global level. Who can forget the impoverished Masai tribesfolk who offered some of their precious cattle to help the United States after September 11, 2001? Or the telethon against muscular dystrophy that became an annual tradition?

We aren’t looking for something earthshaking that will end poverty and cure disease. And we’re not thinking about helping people far away. No, what we’re looking for are ways to be good neighbors to people we haven’t met yet, but who live and work and travel in our communities.

Here are some examples:

  • Pay the toll for the car following you.
  • Buy coffee for the person behind you in the line at the coffee shop.
  • Set up a Little Free Library in your neighborhood.
  • Drop off your used but still usable gloves and jackets at a homeless shelter.
  • Donate a used book to your local jail or drop-in center.
  • Take flowers to a senior center.
  • Ask an ill or elderly neighbor if they need something from the store before you go shopping.
  • Compliment the person behind the cash register.
  • Take donuts to the ambulance garage or fire station—or both.

One woman who doesn’t get around well any more gives the manager of her local grocery twenty-dollar bills (one or two) to give to a customer who can use them. Only condition—the gift must be anonymous. She’s told the small gift makes a huge difference. The point is simply to let our neighbors know that someone, someone who could be anyone, cares.

Send your “Pay it Forward” stories to the Eagle Leather Facebook page.

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