From a recent edition of the print-only publication Coffee News:
When 27-year-old business school graduate Mason Wartman quit his Wall Street job to sell $1 pizza slices, to many of his friends it seemed like the anticlimax of a brilliant career. But the man was simply trying to achieve a different sort of greatness with his no-frills pizza shop, Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, in Philadelphia’s Center City. In the past one year, the shop has served 8,500 free slices of pizza to homeless people, by harnessing the generosity of its patrons.
The shop operates by a ‘pay it forward’ system – customers who walk in to buy pizza can also sponsor a slice for a homeless person. In this way, about 30 to 40 homeless people are able to eat for free at Rosa’s every single day.
Now this is a ‘pay it forward’ I fully support and endorse, unlike the usual thing where people at a place pay for the next person behind them, so people end up treating people who don’t need charity.
Of course, it also helps his business. But why not? 🙂
New York resident Andre McDonnell spends all his spare time handing out free shoes to the homeless. Through his charity organisation ‘It’s From the Sole’, the generous 40-year-old has given away over 5,000 pairs of shoes in less than three years.
Andre’s idea is very simple: he collects new or gently used sneakers through donations, and then cleans them thoroughly himself. He actually spends $50 to $60 each week to wash donated shoes at a laundromat. Once the shoes are cleaned, Andre walks to the Grand Central Terminal and Union Square every day to hand them out to the homeless. Whenever he makes a donation, he takes a photograph along with the recipient and emails it to the donor. He also puts up the pictures on his Instagram page, where he has over 2,000 followers.
Big-hearted guy. Good for him!
Lillian Weber, from Iowa, is almost 100 years old, but she doesn’t let her age stand in the way of her life’s mission – helping those in need. She spends every single day making a dress from scratch, so that a child in need will have something to wear. She started the unique project in 2011, and she’s made over 840 dresses so far. Her goal is to make 1,000.
Lillian, who was nominated for WQAD-TV’s ‘Pay It Forward’ award, gets started on a new dress every morning, takes a break at midday, and is finished by the afternoon. “It is just what I like to do,” she said. The dresses she makes are donated to Little Dresses for Africa, an organisation that distributes clothes to impoverished young girls in Africa and beyond.
It’s really quite remarkable that a 99-year-old woman can create a dress in just a few hours’ time. “I could probably make two a day, but I make only one,” she said. And according to her daughter Linda, Lillian actually personalises each one. “It’s not like good enough that she makes the dresses, she has to put something on the front to make it look special, to give it her touch,” said Linda.
“I’m amazed at her every day,” she added. “I’m very, very proud of my mother.”