Paying it backward - Metro US

Paying it backward

More than 600 Torontonians lined up at a Queen Street West coffee shop Saturday to buy a cup of joe for the person behind them, breaking the record of 490 people set in Seattle in 2007.

Pay it Backward Day, organized by Darius Basher, the founder of social networking website Daily Challenge, was a resounding success with 602 people joining the line at last count and all proceeds donated to the SickKids Hospital Foundation.

Hot beverage lovers endured the blustery weather in a long line outside the Second Cup at Queen and John streets for a chance to pay it backward.

“I feel totally humbled by the ability to work with such wonderful people in such an amazing city,” Basher said yesterday.

This was not the first “doing good” idea for Basher and his Daily Challenge crew.

The 26-year-old launched dailychallenge.org about four months ago and the site has since inspired hundreds of people from Toronto and around the world, to commit small acts of kindness on a daily basis.

But Pay it Backward is the biggest challenge developed by Basher and Daily Challenge members to date.

“We wanted to show the world that when many people get together and do small, but fun acts of kindness, we can create substantial change,” said Basher.

“I heard about Pay it Backward and thought it was a really unique concept and a really nice thing to do,” said Jacqueline Vong, sipping a coffee.

“So I thought, after I get my groceries, I’m going to pay it back.”

At last count before press time, Pay it Backward had raised more than $1,500 for the SickKids foundation.

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