Pay It Forward: Man gives 100 free meals to strangers

Pay It Forward: Man gives 100 free meals to strangers
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POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013 - 11:45am

UPDATED: Friday, April 26, 2013 - 11:49am

Yesterday was National Pay It Forward Day, a movement in which everyone was encouraged to perform a random act of kindness for a stranger. The hope is that people will pass that kindness along to someone else.

Las Vegas resident Marcus Mitchell dedicated his life to paying it forward and gave 100 free meals to strangers Thursday.

"You do something kind for a stranger without expecting anything in return, with the understanding that one day you'll go off, pay it forward to someone else, you'll remember this kind act," Mitchell said as he handed out free meal coupons to people in front of the Miracle Mile Shops. He used his own money to buy 100 meals at Fresh Grill and Bar and gave all of them away to total strangers.

"I'm just trying to spread some kindness," said Mitchell, who has dedicated his life to performing random acts of kindness around Las Vegas. It's part of a promise he made to his wife before she died from stomach cancer four years ago. Since then, he's spent half of every dollar he makes on making others smile. That's about $40,000 total in gift cards, hotel rooms, food, concert tickets and more items all given away to people Mitchell doesn't know.

It's not always easy convincing folks on the strip that there is such a thing as a free lunch. Several people ignored Mitchell when he asked if they wanted a free meal. Others simply declined his offer. Rejection doesn't discourage Mitchell, who says if just one person passes the kindness along, it's worth the effort.

"It's pretty rare in this county, good to see someone out here doing something for someone else rather than doing it for themselves," said free meal recipient Sean Dobbs.

"I'm going to give this to somebody that I see that would need a meal," said another recipient, Theresa Talbot.

Mitchell handed out more than 100 coupons for free meals, but fewer than half of the recipients redeemed them.

Marcus Mitchell likes to pay it forward to his Twitter followers, too. You can follow him at

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