back to top

Here's What Happened When People In A Canadian Town Gave Out Envelopes Of Free Money

They asked people to do something "awesome" with the money.

Posted on

A group of locals in Antigonish, Nova Scotia fanned out around town yesterday and hid close to $1,000 in 170 pink envelopes. Each envelop came with a note encouraging people "to pay it forward with an 'awesome' gesture and consider sharing it on social media."

Awesome Foundation of Antigonish
Awesome Foundation of Antigonish

The project was the work of the local Awesome Foundation chapter. They usually give away $1,000 a month for local initiatives, such as the restoration of a mural or the construction of an accessible community playground. This month, they did the envelops.

"It was amazing to see people's reactions, the smiles, the excitement, and the shock of just finding money in a pink envelope that says 'open me'," James Smeaton, who helps run the local Awesome chapter, told BuzzFeed Canada.

James Smeaton / Via facebook.com

This young man found an envelope and used it to by lunch for a fellow member of the community.

Cindy Macdonald / Via facebook.com

A woman found a $20 envelop and donated the money to KidSport, a charity that helps underprivileged kids participate in organized sports.

Facebook / Via facebook.com

Smeaton also received an email from a woman who found a $30 envelope. "I've decided to pass on the money to the family of Scott Cameron, an Antigonish high school student who died tragically last week, to help defray the cost of funeral expenses."

Awesome Foundation of Antigonish

One of the most popular things to do with the money was to buy coffee for a stranger. This woman used the $5 envelope found near her gym to do just that.

"Each person was welcome to keep the money, but despite that dozens and dozens of people choose to pay it forward and essentially create a wave of good will across the community," Smeaton said.

"In particular, the kids that found the money really had a real nice pause for thought to consider the value of giving. For me you can hardly put a price on that, but if you did, $5 seems like a good deal."
James Smeaton / Via facebook.com

"In particular, the kids that found the money really had a real nice pause for thought to consider the value of giving. For me you can hardly put a price on that, but if you did, $5 seems like a good deal."