Cayman is paying it forward

Local charity Acts of Random Kindness, known as ARK, is encouraging Cayman to take part in the “Pay it Forward” movement. 

“One good deed might not seem like much, but if everyone did something good for someone else, then the cycle of generosity and kindness can spark us to become better people,” said ARK co-founder Tara Nielsen.  

More than 65 countries took part in the Pay it Forward initiative earlier this month, on April 17, and ARK is celebrating the movement throughout the entire month of April. 

“Kindness begets kindness. The Pay it Forward Movement have a vision. Imagine three million acts of kindness paid forward around the world on one day. ARK celebrates paying it forward all month and encourages it all year. Imagine the difference that would make to people and communities as the ripple of kindness takes effect,” said Ms. Nielsen. 

To help ARK pay it forward to the less fortunate in the community, the organization is asking local schools and businesses to raise funds for the charity. No matter how big or small the gesture, it is the act of giving that makes the difference. 

“Help us turn that vision into a reality in the Cayman Islands,” said Ms. Nielsen. 

Last year, through ARK, the Cayman Islands became the 65th country to join the Pay it Forward movement, which was founded by Charley Johnson. The Pay It Forward Movement is the real-life reaction to the release of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel “Pay It Forward,” published in 2000. 

“I go into the schools and put light on community service and show kids that it can be really fun and highlight some of the amazing local organizations out there,” said Ms. Nielsen. 

Some examples of paying it forward include: returning a person’s shopping trolley, buying someone a gift, giving a homeless person food vouchers, not charging a client for work, paying for a stranger’s coffee, or helping someone else in need. 

Getting involved 

Businesses can help out by encouraging employees to offer their services to ARK, hosting fund raisers, pledging staff time to community projects hosted by ARK. 

Schools can “Pay it Forward“ by creating a school project around the topic. This includes: holding bake sales, school competitions, and dress down days.  

ARK also suggests encouraging children to help someone in their community who is in need, or students can raise awareness by selling Pay it Forward bracelets, which are available from ARK. 

“If you choose to support ARK, you are ‘Paying it Forward’ to those most in need and suffering unique circumstances of crisis,” said Ms. Nielsen. 

To donate to Cayman’s ARK or find out more information about how you can “Pay it Forward,” call 323-0709 or email [email protected] 

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You can purchase a Pay it Forward bracelet from Cayman’s ARK.