Today is national "Pay-It-Forward" day, but at Elon, the Center for Leadership has sponsored an entire week of good deeds.

"Pay It Forward week is a week at the CFL dedicated to promoting good deeds around the community," CFL Marketing Director and Elon sophomore Ansley Hamilton said. "It's kind of based off of the idea that you do something good for someone else, you pay it forward to them, and then they go and they pay it forward to someone else, and that just ripples all throughout campus."

The movement is sponsored annually by the CFL because random acts of kindness and paying it forward are an important part of their mission. The CFL defines leadership not only as holding a position in an organization, but also doing the small things everyday to contribute positively to society and make the world a better place. The goal of the week is to create better campus climate overall and to start a new social norm.

"I just hope it will create a really positive atmosphere around campus, and that it won't even become an expressed thought that I'm paying it forward, it will just become people's natural reactions to doing it," Hamilton said.

Paying it forward can be anything from holding the door open, to buying coffee for a friend. I explored several ideas for paying it forward on Elon's campus. Here's a list of those and more that you can try when you have a free moment.

  • Bring treats to your co-workers to show them how much you appreciate them.
  • Literally pay it forward, by paying for the person in front of you at a drive-through.
  • Send your family or friends a heartfelt handwritten letter via snail mail.
  • Visit a professor who has really impacted you and tell them that.
  • Supply snacks to your peers who are studying away; they need a brain break anyways!
  • Write encouraging Post-it notes to the people on your hall.
  • Thank a physical plant employee, or someone who works in the university offices and doesn't get students coming to them on the daily.
  • Help someone with their homework in a subject that you're good at.
  • Support the next fundraiser you walk by in Moseley, even if it's a few bucks.
  • Swipe for someone who doesn't have a meal plan.
  • Give a stranger a compliment.
  • And many more ideas here and here

The CFL is encouraging students to post on social media with the hashtag #PIFelon. For details on the complete campaign, check out their Facebook page.


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