The pay it forward movement became popularized by the movie of the same name. The premise of "paying it forward" is about karma, doing a good deed without any expectation of reciprocity, but simply for the pleasure of doing something nice.
Pay it forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade/homemade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They must in turn post this and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment on their status. *The rules are that it must be handmade/homemade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011.
I decided to take that pledge from my personal page to Our Daily Green. Inspired by a friend of mine who already sent me her pay it forward gift, Our Daily Green wants to share five different people, organizations or businesses that inspire us and encourage you to support their venture and in turn share with us some of your favorites.
We are located in the heart of what is sometimes called the Rust Belt, the corridor from Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Cleveland, and Detroit, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. These are industrial areas that have lost a lot of steel and manufacturing jobs. When we shop our local economy, we keep our dollars in the community.
Starting in the Detroit area, the jewelry making friend who inspired this post, Janet's Designs. She accepted my pay it forward challenge and then I commented on her post. She sent me a lovely sea glass necklace. Janet has an Etsy shop for her jewelry and makes stunning hand crafted pieces. Etsy is a fabulous way to find handmade gifts. It's a national venue for the crafty. If you're in the market for something personal and unique, Etsy is the place to find it. Check her page for this month's special.
Next on our trip through the rust belt is a Cleveland, Ohio artist, Lindsayknits. The owner and creative force is also a Cleveland city school teacher. She is active in local craft guilds, including the Salty not Sweet Indie Craft Show in Ohio City. Her hand knitted purses, sweaters and coin purses are also available at her online Etsy shop.
Last stop in our rust belt tour is a farm I've written about in the past, Walnut Hill Farm in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. Their family farm raises pasture raised cage free eggs, poultry, beef and lamb. Their owners are a wealth of information and graciousness. (Pst, Walnut Hill? Meet Catullo's!)
Each of the five people, organizations or businesses are folks Our Daily Green has a personal connection with. We have received no compensation for our endorsement other than a lovely necklace from Janet's Designs as part of the pay it forward movement that inspired this post. Our Daily Green is affiliated with Bidding for Good after making auction donations to the JA auction last December. I was so impressed by the set up that I partnered with their group. If you work with a charity and want to learn more about how to set up your own online auction, follow the links contained on my blog. Our Daily Green will receive compensation for every new charity that joins Bidding for Good.
We invite you to share some of your favorites in the comment section and give a shout to someone who has made a difference in how you do business. Please list the location as well to help promote your area!