PORTLAND – How would you use $10 dollars to brighten someone’s day?

A handful of people met Sunday morning in Monument Square for the latest in what will apparently be a series of pay-it-forward events in the city to see how $10 could make a difference in someone’s life.

Krystal Kenville of Gorham, who organized the event, said she was inspired by a video created for the band Guster’s song “Bad Bad World.” Kenville and her daughters, Sia Hyson, 7, and Aera Hyson, 4, bought pizzettes and used the change to give away to people.

“It makes me happy that I can do something so little to make someone happy,” Kenville said. “It feels good to put a smile on someone’s face and brighten their day. You don’t expect that from people anymore.”

The pay-it-forward concept was used to create the Guster video.

On Oct. 5, Nora McCormack of Yarmouth, who directed the video, asked four people how they would change a life for under $10.

One woman wearing a blue tutu bought carnations from Sawyer and Company and passed them out to unsuspecting people as she walked through Portland’s West End. A man used his $10 to give away slices of pizza from Otto. A woman with a young child used their $10 to buy art supplies at the dollar store, which they donated to Maine Medical Center’s Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. Stephanie Hanner of Portland changed her $10 for quarters and filled parking meters in the Old Port area.

“It felt awesome to see the surprise in the people when I gave them the $10 challenge,” McCormack said. “To see the good in people come out was really awesome.”

At Sunday’s pay-it-forward event, Hanner bought a box of coffee from Dunkin Donuts. She offered hot cups of coffee to people standing outside Preble Street Resource Center and sitting outside the Portland Public Library.

“If people were nicer to each other, maybe we would all have better days and life wouldn’t seem so difficult,” Hanner said. “If you did one nice thing a day, you don’t know how it could go forward.”

She offered a cup of coffee to Cierra King of Portland.

“Today is a really cold day and coffee and an apple is pretty awesome for some people who don’t eat all the time, like me,” King said.

Madalyn Fisher, who recently moved from Vermont to Portland, also accepted a cup of coffee.

“Where I come from, nobody ever gives you anything,” Fisher said. “I’m shocked. Maine is different. You guys have a lot of hospitality. It’s from your heart.”

Another participant on Sunday was Andrea Parker, who bought a couple bags of fruit at the Portland Public Market to give away.

Kenville’s daughter Sia gave $1 to Charles Kertesz of New York State as he sat in Monument Square Sunday morning. He also got an apple and a cup of coffee.

“I’m very thankful,” he said. “It will help the sobriety of people and teach us to get off the street. It’s the most important thing that could happen. Two or three events like this and you could have your situation solved.”

McCormack filmed Sunday’s pay-it-forward event. The videos will be posted on her website, Softshell Productions.

Kenville said she hopes to use the footage to inspire people to make a difference in someone’s life. She is planning to hold another event around the holidays.

“The video is to make people happy and inspire them to hopefully pass it forward,” Kenville said.


Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can becontacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]


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