One good deed at a time: paying it forward to strangers with random acts of kindness

A local foundation is making a difference in the lives of everyday Calgarians

By Krista Sylvester | September 7, 2022 |5:00 am

The Alberta Random Acts of Kindness Foundation YYC was started as as a way to give back to the community.

Photo: Submitted

It’s often the simplest things that can make the biggest difference. 

We’ve all been there; pulling up to the drive-thru window to discover the person ahead of you paid for your coffee. You get that surge of dopamine and maybe you pay it forward or maybe you just enjoy the gesture and save yourself some money. 

But what if someone paid for your whole tank of gas or your full cart of groceries? You’d probably be pretty surprised, elated, and humbled. 

That’s what the people behind Calgary’s Alberta Random Acts of Kindness Foundation YYC are hoping for when they surprise unsuspecting people at random with — quite literally — random acts of kindness. 

All in the family 

It was an idea nine years in the making, according to co-director Tristan Fraser, who launched the foundation with his family as a way to give back to the community. Now, he runs the foundation with his mom and dad, his brother, and his wife. 

“I want to get groceries to people, I want to get gas to people, I want to help people with rent,” Fraser says. 

Sometimes it’s as simple as paying for someone’s groceries or gas, sometimes it’s a $500 or $1,000 gift card for families. 

“Right now, it’s completely random. We believe everyone deserves to smile and deserves some happiness,” he says, adding that so far everything has been done through donations. 

Spreading smiles 

The group has done about two dozen acts since it started earlier this year, and Fraser says all of the recipients were so grateful and happy to receive the kind gestures. 

“Everyone has been very happy. Who wouldn’t appreciate their gas or groceries paid for? It’s about spreading positivity and happiness and maybe brightening up their day.” 

Fraser, who owns his own business, says sometimes the donations come in the form of furniture, clothing, and trinkets, then they are sold online for funds that support the good deeds. 

They also accept cash donations and are always looking to team up with local businesses as sponsors. 

Paying it forward 

Fraser hopes other people are encouraged to do their own random acts of kindness if they are able. 

“I’d love it if people did it on their own and even tag us on social media so we can see it. “Hey, I did this today.’ Not in a gloating way, but it’s just awesome to see and I think promotes that pay-it-forward mentality,” he adds. 

The Alberta Random Acts of Kindness Foundation YYC is accepting donations and can be contacted at 403-614-0244 or via email:

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Krista Sylvester

Managing Editor at Calgary Citizen

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