U of I student Paying It Forward


Champaign -- A University of Illinois student is committing random acts of kindness all throughout town, in hopes that it will inspire others to do the same. It's all part of the Pay It Forward movement.

Paying it forward is all about receiving a random act of kindness from a stranger and returning the favor to someone else. But Nora Al-Qadi is paying it forward without ever having been paid to begin with.

"About a week ago I got really angry about a word someone had been using," said Al-Qadi, a senior studying industrial engineering. "So I sat there and I thought, I could stay angry the rest of the night, or I can try and turn this around into something positive. And I thought well how about for the rest of the days in December, I'll do one random act of kindness for a stranger."

It started with small gestures, like buying her mom her favorite coffee and leaving money for movies at a Redbox machine, but word spread quickly.

"I posted on Facebook and said, I have an idea if you're interested," said Al-Qadi. "And I've gotten so many messages and text messages of people being like 'what is it, can I help?'"

An estimated 30 to 40 people in total. The added manpower means more ways to pay it forward.

"One of our bigger events is making care packages for the homeless people in town. It's like a group effort, I mean with the care packages, there's no way I could do that on my own," said Al-Qadi. "There's no way I would be as inspired as well, if people weren't sharing their stories."

To get involved in the group effort, e-mail CUrandomactsofkindness@gmail.com.

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