Spreading positive Whistler vibe

By Jennifer Miller, Reporter
Question, others set to launch ‘Pay It Forward’ initiative
Don’t be surprised if it seems like people around you start getting nicer, or at least more courteous, in the coming weeks. Perhaps someone you don’t know will buy you a coffee. You might find quarters left in a pay phone booth just when you need to make a call, or someone who sees you’re in a hurry might trade places with you in the grocery store checkout line.
It’s likely these not-so-random acts of kindness will have something to do with Whistler… Pay it Forward, a new initiative and contest that will be launched in partnership with The Question in the coming weeks.
It’s about doing nice things for others, and ultimately making Whistler a more positive place where people feel welcome, said Kelly Oswald, local business owner and one of the creators of Whistler… Pay it Forward.
“It’s like smiling — smiles are contagious,” she said. “It makes you feel good.”
Here’s how it works: pick up a Whistler… Pay it Forward card from one of the participating merchants in town and start looking for ways to do some of the nice things that are listed on the card.
Some examples are to walking a dog at WAG, paying someone’s bus fare, helping an overloaded shopper, and clearing your own dishes at a café. You can also add your own ideas to the card.
Once you’ve completed 10 kind actions for others, return the completed card to one of the participating merchants and it will be entered into a weekly draw for prizes. Then, pick up another card and keep going.
In addition to weekly prizes, a grand prize draw will take place at the Power of You conference, Oct. 6 and 7 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
“Pay it Forward is about creating a sense of abundance instead of a sense of lack,” Oswald said of how the idea got started. She and some friends started talking about ways to create a more positive attitude about Whistler among the people who live and work here.
Once the idea of doing nice things for others got started, Oswald said she and friend Tricia Beauregard began having a friendly competition with each other — calling each other to report the kind act they had just completed. Oswald helped direct lost tourists, paid $2.35 for someone who was short of cash for groceries, and even loaned a customer $35 for gifts for his mom until the following day when he could bring in the money.
As she started doing these things, she began to see more opportunities to do nice things for others — and people started doing nice things for her. She was having so much fun with it she felt it needed to be shared with the entire community.
“You give and you get, right?” she said. “Whatever it is it’s a positive energy flow.”
Look for Whistler… Pay it Forward cards in the coming week at participating merchants and keep reading The Question for more information.