Credit union ripple pays forward on happiness

You may be the next target for the feel good ripple effect hitting Alberta thanks to one financial institution.

Dennis Jones

By Jasmine Franklin

Have you ever had a complete stranger buy you coffee or a bouquet of flowers? You may be the next target for the feel good ripple effect hitting Alberta thanks to one financial institution.

Kicking off Oct. 15, Servus Credit Union is handing out $200,000 across the province in efforts to get people to pay it forward and make someone’s day with only $10.

“This really makes a lot of people’s days — even just seeing someone do this makes you feel great,” said Dennis Jones, branch manager of Ponoka’s Servus Credit Union. “We really hope this resonates throughout the community over-time.”

A smiling and excited Jones explained how participant’s $10 has gone a long way.

“One person came in here and was going to buy 10 individual $1 lottery tickets and hand them out to random people just because — you never know,” Jones said.

Anyone can participant in the pay-it-forward concept. Participants must go to the branch, receive the $10 and pledge to do something nice for someone using the $10 for anything, buying someone lunch, or the stranger in line behind you a coffee.

After doing the “feel good” activity, a plastic card participants will also receive should be passed onto the recipient of the ripple in hopes that person will carry on the effect.

“It’ll be nice to see this throughout Alberta,” Jones said. “Especially after this tough year for the economy, Alberta’s oil and the harvest season.”

While waiting in line to see a teller Oct. 15, an excited Jones approached Marilyn Burke and handed her a package containing a letter explaining the project, and the $10. Burke smiled from ear to ear and said she will definitely participate.

“Everybody needs a feel good day,” Burke said. “This is a great idea — I’ll take a friend to go have coffee or lunch.”

The ripple isn’t only being felt throughout Alberta communities, but on the Internet as well.

The website contains over 400 stories of individual’s feel good experience across the province, including Jones, who shared his experience of taking $10 and buying chocolates for a local flower shop. The staff was so impressed they gave Jones a deal on flowers, which he then took to the general hospital emergency room along with the remaining chocolates and handed them out to staff.

The $10, he said, had an effect on 20 different people.

Can you stretch $10 into a smile?

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