This post is sponsored by Stonyfield. I am a Stonyfield Ambassador, but all opinions expressed are my own.
I have a soft spot in my heart for companies that pay it forward and give back to the world. In a world of so many manifestations of corporate greed, I find hope in the goodness of people when companies and individuals focus on the good that they can do for others.
Stonyfield invited its ambassadors to participate in a Pay It Forward campaign. I received a $50 giftcard from Stonyfield to use for good in my community during the holiday season. While it’s nice to receive products or foods for campaigns, this is my favorite campaign that I’ve done in blogging. In the midst of the gift guides and holiday must-have lists, there’s something special about paying it forward and doing something good for others during the holidays.
Also, how adorable is this giftcard with the cow?
The opportunities to give back this time of year are numerous. Food banks set up collections at grocery stores, the Salvation Army rings its bells outside of shopping areas, and many schools and churches host fundraisers to give gifts to the less fortunate.
My parents raised me to give charitably over the holidays (and all times of year), and Ryan and I strive to do the same each year. One of our Christmas traditions is to pick out a request from our parish’s Advent giving tree to make a child’s Christmas a little brighter.
And thanks to Stonyfield, we were able to give a little extra this year. 2016 was a year where some of the worst of humanity came out, both in the election and in international events. It’s far too easy to become pessimistic or selfish as an effect of those events.
Or, you can pay it forward with kindness. We can all use a little extra love and kindness in our lives, and giving to others fosters that love and kindness.
Our apartment complex offered an opportunity to give back to a local low-income housing program. Homelessness is a growing problem in the Seattle area, especially as housing prices escalate at an obscene rate. Ryan and I are incredibly fortunate to have a safe and beautiful apartment to call home – and to have all of the home essentials, including cooking ware.
I think many of us – including myself – take for granted how easy it is to shop on a grocery budget and cook healthy meals at home when we have pots and pans with which to cook. Pots and pans aren’t cheap – and when one’s primary concern is keeping food on the table, a person less likely to invest in cookware.
With Stonyfield’s gracious giftcard, we purchased a 12-piece set of pots and pans and a baking sheet to donate to Housing Hope. I felt this donation fit well with Stonyfield’s Pay It Forward theme – pots and pans are something a family can use all year round, something that can help them make that transition out of homelessness.
$50 sometimes doesn’t seem like much in today’s world – that’s the cost of a meal out or a new pair of running shorts – but I deeply believe that the smallest actions can make a significant difference. Maybe just one family has pots and pans, or just one child has a special Christmas present – but for that one person, you can make a meaningful and positive difference in their lives. There may be billions of people in the word, but that never diminishes the value of one.
If I pay it forward, then each of you reading this pays it forward, then people are inspired by you and pay it forward – that’s a positive and meaningful difference for several people’s lives. So let’s pay it forward this holiday season. It doesn’t matter if your gift is $5, $50, or $5000 – what matters is the kindness towards another person, someone whom you may not even know.
Thank you to Stonyfield for sponsoring this opportunity!
“People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.” – Dorothy Day
How do you pay it forward this time of year?