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I Was The Recipient Of A "pay It Forward" Christian Marketing Campaign


freeasabird
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The other day I was at the drivethrough at McDonald's picking up a Happy Meal for my son on my way to go have lunch with my wife, and work the rest of the day from home. I had just ordered and was waiting for the car in front of me to finish paying at the first window. The customer kept exchanging a piece of paper back and forth with the cashier. I couldn't tell what was going on but it seemed very odd and definitely nothing I had ever seen before in a drivethrough.

 

Finally the exchange ended with the cashier retaining the piece of paper and the car moving forward to the next window, so to the payment window I went. The cashier promptly informed my that my meal had been paid for by the person in front of me. Now my first immediate thought was, oh now nice of them; it's a pay it forward kind of thing. Then the cashier hands me the paper I had been watching go back and forth between her and the customer. I didn't even have to think about it or even read the paper to know it was going to be some kind of prosthelytizing. Then I realize the situation even more fully, that a Christian just bought the meal of an avowed atheist who thinks her religion is a fairy tale, who also at that very moment happens to be listening to an atheist podcast on his phone. So in less than a few seconds I go from a feeling of having a warmth of humanity, to feeling the shallowness of religion, to getting a serious chuckle going.

 

I open the folded paper and read the following:

 

Hi!

 

You don’t know me, but I just paid for your order. No strings attached. I just felt like doing it.

 

 

 

I enjoy listening to 99.1 JOY FM and I’ve heard about people doing this on the station. They call it "SHARE SOME JOY." I know they would love to hear from you, so if you want to call and share this story as a way of saying thanks, their number is (314) 969-4-JOY (969-4569).

 

I hope that this brightened your day! And maybe you’ll feel like sharing the joy with someone else.

 

Have a great day!

 

Sincerely,

 

A Joyful Stranger

 

I re-read it again. OMFFSM, are you fucking shitting me??!! It's not even a missionary campaign, it's a goddamned marketing scheme. And even more so, looking at the paper it doesn't even look like someone came up with it themselves, but rather a mass produced letter. Sure enough, after a 1 minute web search I find this:

 

http://joyfmonline.o...me-Joy-Note.pdf

 

Now to be fair, after looking at their About page it seems as if they are a commercial free radio station relying exclusively on listener donations. I'd like to write them a brief letter, saying something to the effect that I am an atheist and while I appreciate what the person did, I won't be renewing my spiritual beliefs because of a $3.69 Happy Meal. Anybody have any ideas what else I could include in the letter? I want to keep it nice.

 

Also, what do you think about an atheist pay it forward? Maybe something like the following:

 

Hello,

 

You don't know me but I just paid for your order. No strings attached. It just felt like a nice thing for one person to do for another. I'm not trying to sell you anything material or spiritual. In fact, I am an atheist. Good things happen when people do good things. I wanted you to know that I believe in humanity, and I believe in you.

 

Have a wonderful life, living every day to its fullest!

 

What do you think for both items?

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I like the atheist angle. Truly, no strings attached to that one. Sometimes I just "pay it forward" with no comment at all.

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I wouldn't mention religion at all. You can just pay for someone's meal because you felt like it, and people can think what they want.

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I love the idea! Hmmm, I'm not sure about not including some kind of reference to non-religious kindness though. I like the idea of someone paying for someone's meal just because they feel like it but you know how they think, they'll assume the person doing it must be christian if you don't say otherwise.

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Hello,

 

You don't know me but I just paid for your order. No strings attached. It just felt like a nice thing for one person to do for another. I'm not trying to sell you anything material or spiritual. In fact, I am an atheist. Good things happen when good people do good things. I wanted you to know that I believe in humanity, and I believe in you.

 

Have a wonderful life, living every day to its fullest!

 

I love the idea, but would suggest the edit I've made in red. I know it's a lot of repetition of the word "good," but I think that might help get a point across.

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I would donate $10.00 to a local atheist organization in the name of the radio station, then I would send the radio station the following letter.

 

 

Thank you so much Joy FM, that really made my day. I wanted to let you know that I decided to pay it forward by making someone else's day. Since my order was only $3.69 I decided to round up just for kicks. I am donating $10.00 in your name to <local atheist organization> so they too can feel the Joy.

 

Thank you again for the Joy and may god bless you and yours. :)

 

 

And after you send them the letter and make the donation, I would call the station and see if they let you tell your story on the air.

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"No strings attached"? Doesn't seem that way to me. I would not respond to it.

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Thanks everyone for all the good ideas. I like all the unique perspectives, and will have to take some time to see when angle I may take on it, if I do anything. I wouldn't even expect anything to really come out of sending a letter to the station, it would probably be more for my own entertainment, while not making it insensitive of course.

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