It’s not me . . . at least not yet
(Gotcha going there, didn’t I!)
Not long ago, Peggy Wheatcroft turned 80, and she did something amazing to mark the milestone.
Rather than receive presents, she gave one, a gigantic one! Her gift(s) became a birthday surprise to strangers.
- She bought 80 blue envelopes
- In each, she put four $20.00 bills + A self-addressed stamped postcard + a note asking people, in honor of her birthday, to give the money to anyone they chose.
- “Find someone who least expects it,” she wrote.
- Deliver the gift in person.
- Then write me back . . . and tell me about your experience.
Her intent: “Let’s spread a small bit of joy!”
Peggy remarked, The weekend of my 80th birthday, I started handing out my blue envelopes to family members and friends who were in town for the wedding of one of my grandsons. Over the next year, I hand-delivered 78 envelopes to people ages 9 to 90. (The last two I mailed.) Here are excerpts from the article about her generosity.
Unexpected Ripple Effects
- One man who received an envelope with cash continues to give, three years later.
- Someone else adapted her idea as a birthday gift to her nieces. Her instruction: “Do whatever you want with the money, and let me know the fun you had.” Their response: They treated friends to movies and meals, leaving extra-large tips.
One postcard Peggy received in return:
Peggy noted that when she started this, she hoped people would “pay the gift forward in person.” That’s why she hand-delivered the envelopes, “to emphasize the joy of personal interaction.” (These days, you may have to do the job wearing a mask.)
“As for the many ways in which people spread joy, well, that surpassed all my expectations.” ~ Iggy
Read more about Peggy’s experience here.
I too am climbing the ladder of the seventies, but I haven’t reached 80. At least not yet. But, certainly I will have to consider Peggy’s ideas for celebration:
What novel ideas about birthday celebrations have you had experienced or know about?
What birthday celebration are you looking forward to this year?