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This article was published 5/5/2015 (2355 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It’s often said that the world works in mysterious ways.
For Yvette Deveau, things are a bit simpler than that.
Deveau, 48, founded the volunteer-driven Pay It Forward Manitoba in August 2012.
The PIFM movement is part of a worldwide non-profit organization that falls under the umbrella of Pay It Forward Canada. Its mission is to inspire and educate individuals of all ages and walks of life about the impact of performing simple acts of kindness, Deveau said.
During the morning rush hour on April 30, Deveau and a team of volunteers wearing orange T-shirts were at the intersection of St. Mary’s Road and Goulet Street handing out PIF bracelets to commuters to inspire acts of kindness, as well coupons for McDonald’s coffee. The event was sponsored by Qualico Communities.
And thanks to a partnership with École Stanley Knowles School and French immersion teacher Alyssa Greenberg and her Grade 7 and 8 students, the team was also armed with more than 2,000 handwritten "kindness notes" that were handed out to motorists.
"For me, it’s about two main ideas. Firstly, it’s about that moment in the classroom when the teacher asks the kids if it’s possible one person can make a difference," said Deveau, who works in human resources for an insurance company.
"And it’s also based around human connection. If you can connect with another human being and make a difference, that’s powerful. If you do something kind for that person, they’re happy and you’re happy. I think it’s important to show people you care and that there’s love and magic and kindness around. It’s the ripple effect. That’s what Pay It Forward is all about."
Whether it’s buying coffee for the occupants of the vehicle behind her at the drive-thru, leaving 27 personalized Post-it notes on the desks of her co-workers "saying something kind," or buying a dozen roses for staff at a health food store that always had time for her, the Sage Creek resident believes small acts of kindness can go a long way.
Global Pay It Forward Day is held annually on the last Thursday in April.
For more information, go online at www.pifmanitoba.ca
Simon Fuller is the reporter/photographer for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family.