BAKERSFIELD, CA - Did someone hold the door for you Tuesday, buy your morning coffee, or just smile and say hello? If so, it's likely the spirit of local and late philanthropist, Wendy Wayne, was living on through good deeds, thanks to the people of our community.
It's the second annual Pay It Forward Wendy Wayne Day. The idea is to do as Wayne would and do something nice for someone else. And, for anyone who didn't know what to do, the local high schoolers organizing the event had hundreds of suggestions.
Jastro Park was covered in kindness Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Some of the suggestions were to tell a funny joke to a stranger, donate time at a homeless center, or buy lemonade at a kid's stand. They are random acts of good in honor of the day.
"Just little things to give back is just very rewarding," said Karen Budnick, who chose something to do to pay it forward.
"She [Wayne] always had so many good ideas of what I could do to spread kindness just like she did throughout the community," said Frontier High School DreamCatcher member, Sophie Constantine.
The DreamCatcher groups from local high schools started the event last July 9th, after Wayne lost her battle with cancer. The humanitarian, community activist, and Peace Corps volunteer was known for her giving spirit. It's a spirit these students hope moves the community, letting them choose a small deed to act out.
"They are not hard at all. They are very simple and daily things you can be doing like picking up trash on the street or saying hello to someone you wouldn't typically say hi to," said Liberty High School DreamCatcher, Sophia Busacca.
Rick Guzman chose several things to act on.
"Donate a dollar and pay for somebody behind the line," Guzman read from the cards. "I could definitely do something like that for somebody, so."
So, 17 News followed Guzman to a local Starbucks.
"I'm going to pay for the people behind us in remembrance of Wendy Wayne," Guzman told the drive thru attendant.
After a quick drive up and a small price to pay, a good deed was done. Guzman bought a coffee for the woman behind him. It left with a smile on her face, one that may have otherwise not been there.
"Through all of this, it shows, I mean love and that's the key to everything," said Guzman.
"Just imagine what it would be like if everyone pitched in and everyone helped with this effort to make our community a better place. It would just be wonderful," said Constantine.
If you missed the group Tuesday at Jastro Park, you can still do a good deed to honor the late Wendy Wayne. For ideas, go to http://frontierdreamcatchers.blogspot.com/