Chris' Corner: Pay It Forward - In My Community

Pay It Forward - In My Community

I live in New Tecumseth, a rural community dotted with a few small towns in Simcoe County, Ontario.

We are, what most people would consider to be, a  working class community.  There are many people struggling to make ends meet and a fair number of single parent families.

Helen and I adopted our son, Alec, years ago.  He has so much.  As our only child and one of the few young children in my extended family, we, his parents, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, cousins and our many friends have showered him with many toys and games.  There have been occasions that we have found unopened toys that he has outgrown. 

As he grown up, we have asked, and our friends and families have complied that he not be given so much.

Being Spring, one annual ritual in our household is reviewing what we use and what we no longer use.  This was, at first, difficult for Alec, as he did not want to get rid of any of his toys, even those he had outgrown.

We assembled a nice collection of perfectly useful toys that would be appropriate for boys (and possibly girls) in the three to five age range.

We thought of holding a garage sale, and then thought of donating these toys to Goodwill.  We opted for another way.  We put up signs offering Alec's toddler toys to anyone who wanted or needed them.  We put them up in local stores.  In less than one week, almost all of Alec's toys and games (some unopened) had found new homes in our community.  The rest we donated to Goodwill.

I think this was a very good life lesson for us as a family and for our son, Alec.

These toys will not fill up our landfills (not yet) but be re-used.

While spring cleaning, why don't you take a good look at what you want to get rid of.  If these items can be still used, why not consider donating them to a charity or to people in your community who might be able to use them.

The experience will be good for your neighbours, good for the Planet, and good for your soul =)

Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

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Chay Realty Inc.,

Comment balloon 5 commentsChris Smith • May 11 2011 01:38PM


Absolutely love this idea Chris. To us it is a Pay It Forward Twice, maybe even three times! You taught Alec a very important life lesson, you saved the environment and you made some children on the receiving end of those toys very, very happy.  Hopefully their parents explained the process and they learned to Pay It Forward too.....which would mean You paid it forward four times!! Did you follow all that? LOL! 

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Chris, you're teaching your son valuable lessons and it's not about "getting rid of" things but allowing those things to fill the needs of others - lovely post!

Posted by Diane McDermott, Charlotte NC Real Estate Market (Realtor®, GRI, Landis e2 Real Estate, LLC) about 9 years ago

Chris, a very strong teaching lesson....often adopted and divorced kids get too much (as do many kids in todays society) they should learn to give to the less fortunate.

Posted by Ellen Caruso (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) about 9 years ago

I think I follow that, Al and Peggy, though I am dizzy now ;-)

Diane, it was a family thing... my wife and I and Alec went through his toys, we have tried it before, unsuccessfully, but I guess he is growing up and being more aware of those around him, because this year he did not fight us on this... perhaps it was Helen taking him Christmas shopping not for himself but to buy a toy he would like, and then donate it to a local Christmas toy drive...

Ellen, as an only child to a couple later in life, it is hard for us (and for our extended family) not to "spoil" him with excess... this is a good step for us and him...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Hi Chris - Goodwill is a fantastic charity to donate items.  They have donation locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Posted by FN LN about 9 years ago