Giving away Jets ticket turns into 'Pay it Forward' project
What started as a random act of kindness has morphed into an ongoing mission
After making headlines for a random act of kindness by giving a Winnipeg Jets ticket to a stranger battling breast cancer, a Winnipeg man wants the rest of the city to pay it forward.
Ryan DeLong has set up a Facebook page, "Pay it Forward Winnipeg", to help connect people interested in doing kind acts for strangers with people who deserve them.
DeLong had an extra ticket to Saturday's Jets game and no one to go with him. Rather than take in the game alone or sell the ticket, Delong decided to post the ticket for free on Kijiji, and asked people to write to him explaining why they deserved the ticket.
He received more than 100 responses. One of his friends nominated Leslie MacKay, without her knowledge, and the story of the single mother fighting cancer resonated with DeLong, whose own mother died from breast cancer.
DeLong said he and MacKay had a great time at Saturday's game.
"She was an amazing woman and an inspiration. The average person would probably think that it would have been awkward, but it wasn't. We laughed, we had fun, we told stories about our lives and it ended up being a great experience. And the Jets won," DeLong said in an interview on CBC' Radio's Up to Speed.
After the game, people suggested to DeLong that his idea had potential to become something bigger, so he came up with idea for the Facebook page. The page launched on Sunday.
DeLong started off by saying he would shovel someone's driveway. Another person has posted offering to give away baby clothes.
"It can potentially turn into a life-changing thing," DeLong said.
DeLong encouraged anyone who wants to do something kind for someone else to give it a try.
"It was great feeling just to know that I made someone's day and they were a complete stranger. It was a lot easier than you'd think," he said.
With files from Up to Speed