Tag Archives: giving

How to Pay it Forward

When was the last time someone did a small favor for you? How did you repay their kindness? There are many ways to bestow a benediction and not all of them will cost money. Have you ever taken the time to pay it forward online? Did you even realize that this is something you should be doing each and every day?

Doing something nice for others is a basic human rule we should all live by. Sharing a friend’s site link with your network to help bring recognition to your comrade is one way to give back. Sharing invite codes with people who may not otherwise have access to them (instead of giving them out to the usual early-adopter crowd) is another friendly gesture that goes a long way. You most likely got where you are with the help of your followers, so why aren’t you giving the same hand up to others?

Gamers can play it forward, as well. A poster on the site will offer a game at no cost and a thread commenter is chosen to receive the gift. That person plays the game. If they like it, they should purchase another copy to give someone else. If they don’t end up liking the game, they are encouraged to gift a different game to a random player using the same site.

Speaking of gaming, my assistant Kat is a casual World of Warcraft player. Last weekend, her Mage was hanging out in one of the main cities while Kat was busy talking to her fellow guild members. Some random player sent our Kitty an in-game whisper, asking if she would please create a portal for them to another city. Most players do things like this for others in exchange for a tip of gold. Kat, however, always refuses the tip. Instead, she tells the character to pay it forward to another player in some way. Her talking about this to me is what gave me the idea to write this post. I know there are hundreds – if not thousands – of small ways we can help others while we are busy living our lives online.

You don’t have to be a gamer in order to participate, of course. You can be a Twitter addict or Facebook junkie. Why not give something to your friends’ Farmville crops without expecting (or begging for) items in return? Perhaps you know someone new to Twitter whom you believe has good things to say. You could always throw out a dreaded #FF Tweet to help them make new connections.

My challenge to you is simple: think back to the times someone has helped you for no reason other than to be kind. Now, go forth into the online world and pay it forward. I’d love to hear the ways you accomplish this task, so be sure to leave a comment here and share your experience with the community.

Gifts for Him and Her


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I gave you a chance to ask for what you wanted this holiday season. Hundreds of you responded, but only one of you… actually, TWO of you were given a gift. We’ll do this again next year, assuming our community continues to grow.

The first winner was Kari, who asked for a digital camera for her stepdad. Apparently, her camera was stolen somewhere on her college campus recently. So, her stepdad didn’t think twice, and gave his camera to her so she’d have one. Kari didn’t ask for something for herself. She asked for something for another person, which is why I chose her as a winner. Her video was very touching, and her intentions were very good.

The other winner is long-time community member Ron Knights. Ron asked for financial help to go visit his elderly parents for the holidays. I believe Ron himself lives clear up in Maine, and his parents are in Atlanta, Georgia. Living on a fixed income, it’s difficult for Ron to make the trip on his own. I’m more than happy to help out, so that they can spend some time together. Ron also posted a follow-up thank you video last night. That made his winning even more special for me!

I had a great time going through all of the videos. It was a tough choice, to be sure. Thank you to everyone who entered. I appreciate your support!

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How To Spread Christmas Cheer During Wartime

Geek!This is John Kennedy’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Recently we marked the 67th anniversary of December 7, 1941; the day the nation of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and brought the United States into War with Japan and the wider conflict of World War II. As the nation reminisces on those events we Must not forget the soldiers, sailors and airmen who are sacrificing for this great country of ours. Soon it will be Christmas, not a holiday, but a holy day.

We also must not forget the events of September 11, 2001, another day of infamy for the United States that most of us should remember. We are a nation at war. Some children will not celebrate Christmas with their father; some children will not celebrate Christmas with their mother. Many fathers and mothers, sons and daughters will be on the front line protecting another country struggling from the effects of an evil tyrant. More and more we are hearing encouraging words of progress. As for a free and democratic Iraq, time will tell if the sacrifices that were endured made a difference. At present, and all around us what we are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan is humanity at its best — feeding and helping the needy children and distributing toys to young children. It is not easy to explain why God permits evil but in it all we see a lot of good being done to the neediest of the needy in the Middle East. The United Service Organization (USO) and Gary Sinise’s Operation Iraqi Children are two examples of humanity and hope at its best.

So, how can we help a soldier this Christmas? How can we employ our talents and say: “Thank You” for a job well done?

Don’t forget the soldiers. The best way to help a soldier, sailor, or airmen is support your local United Service Organization (USO).

Help the children cope with parents being overseas. For children, the producers of Sesame Street have produced free videos to help children cope with a parent who has been called to go overseas. Sesame Workshop has videos, pamphlets and learning materials on the topic of deployment. Their video on “deployment” is a good one to watch. You can either play or download the video. These videos and pamphlets can also be ordered and delivered through the mail.

Care packages are always welcomed by soldiers. Sometimes I have received a letter or e-mail from a soldier in Iraq for special items. If I could not meet the need immediately, my local American Legion Council in my neighborhood has a board for just that purpose.

As we move into the New Year, let us pray that all our young men and women come home safely. Sharing the Christmas joy is what this article is about. A simple note of thanks can mean so much to a soldier. So let’s not forget them, their sacrifice, their commitment, and patriotism this Christmas season. If we do our part we can be assured that our soldiers will do theirs. May God Bless them and May God Bless America!