10 Tips for Participating
2020 Update: All participants must practice safe social distancing rules during the COVID-19 Pandemic. See here for suggestions.
People can be nervous about approaching strangers to do a good deed as a random act of kindness. You might try it any day of the year. But each year on September 11, an easy way to start the conversation with a stranger is to say, “Hello, today is the anniversary of September 11th attacks, and I’m part of a group doing good deeds to honor the lives lost and heroes who helped others on 9/11. I’d like to give you _________, and if you’d like to, you might continue the movement by doing the same for another stranger you meet.” Perhaps you ask the person where they were on September 11, 2001.
Nine times out of ten, people open up and smile, accepting whatever small token of kindness with gratitude. Sometimes they get excited, and immediately look around for another stranger they might help the same way.
Pay it Forward 9/11 Founder Kevin Tuerff wrote "10 Tips for Encouraging Kindness" in his memoir "Channel of Peace: Stranded in Gander on 9/11." Below is a PDF with a free excerpt of the book, with the best stories from organizing this effort over 15 years.