Have You Been Inspired to 'Play It Forward'?

Ellen's friend, Hollywood director Tom Shadyac, has inspired people around the world to lead simpler lives, and now he's teaching people that giving back can actually make you happier! If you were inspired to "play it forward" after seeing Tom on our show, we want to hear about it! Tell us what Tom or Ellen's message of generosity has meant to you, and how it's effected change in your life. Share your story here!

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Comments

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bridget obrien
285 days ago

On May 6th, Alison started running across America. She had 2,800 miles ahead of her, and is now in her final week. Although she has many reasons for embarking on this journey, the main reasons are raising money for cancer support, breaking a long-standing world record, and inspiring people to be mentally strong as the human body is capable of more than most people are aware. On average she runs 50 miles per day at a 12 minute per mile pace, and has been doing so for 65 days (at the time this was written). She has gained support world-wide and has become the hero of people who have never met her. As Ellen is Alison's hero, I would like to nominate her to be on the show on July 12th, when she arrives in LA. It would mean the world to her, and I can only imagine how many people she would inspire if she publicized her story through the show. The person managing her event is Jennifer Babich and she can be reached at 951.240.2682 or info@iamcustomfit.com to coordinate details. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I get to see Alison on the show!

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James Shuman
292 days ago

Hello Ellen, I am watching your show right now (July 2nd, 2013), and my mother told me to tell you our story of our struggling life. I, however, cannot find where to submit my story on your site, so I am posting my story here.

I am the second child of four. My mother, Joy, had a child right out of high school in 1991 and also married my father, Steve, the same year. And this is where we started our struggle. My father bought an engagement ring that he couldn't afford and had a standard wedding payed by my grandmother. As we grew up in Pennsylvania and Ohio, we struggled to pay bills, go out to eat, and even pay for the basic necessities. We've had our home foreclosed in Pennsylvania, Ohio, two in Florida, and we are currently going through foreclosure here in Claremont, NC.

My sister, Emilie, and I are trying to go to college in August, but we can't afford $160...0 a semester. I would like to become a mathematics teacher and my sister wants to be a graphic designer or something related with computers. My youngest brother, Spencer, is starting his first year as a high school student, but is scared because my siblings and I, except my older brother, Christopher, were bullied since elementary school and even know, a year after we graduated in 2012, we are still bullied on the internet and through my little brother (comes home and tells us what he heard from someone at lunch about us).

My older brother is a NASCAR pit crew man for Michael Waltrip racing, but Michael Waltrip is putting him on bad teams that never get higher than 24th place. He has been in trouble at school with students and teachers because he doesn't like to stay in one place for long and he had to drop out of school and get his GED in 2010 because someone picked a fight with him. My family are currently having fights because of money.

And finally for my father, he is an auto mechanic who gets payed by the job rather than by the hour (if a job is 2 hours and he finished it in 30 minutes, he still gets payed the 2 hours, but if he gets a job that takes him 45 minutes and he does it in 2 or 3 hours, he only gets payed for the 45 minutes), so he can work as much as 200 dollars a weeks, but on the other hand, the lowest he has ever worked is around 30 hours because no one goes to the mechanic shop anymore, they usually buy a new car and sell their old one.

We currently are -$400 in the bank and we have 3 mortgage payments and because of the stuff I posted above, I have to use the money I get from my minimum wage job to buy food and buy gas for my dad and mom.

As a frequent watcher (through the internet at a library because we can't afford internet connection and television), we always see families just like us who get money or something they really need. My mother always gets depressed when she sees this. My mother and I have depression and we get frequent panic attacks, but because we don't have insurance, we can't afford the medication.

So please read this and notice the concern for your help. I hope to hear from you soon and I hope you can help. Thanks, James Samuel Shuman

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brenda l castle
461 days ago

i would like to wish everone the best of luck that wants to go on a trip. i think what ellen is doing is helping people in need and that is what we need more of in this world .best of luck to ever one

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Christine Brand
464 days ago

Ellen I have always been a proponent of Paying it Forward. I am a single Mom with two kids but I am a firm believer to lead by example. I have two kids 27 and 30 and I have always tried to set a good example. I am not rich by any means like every hard working person I am in debt. Recently, I was at Trader Joe's and this young girl had a mask on her face holding so many groceries. She was probably around 12 with an autoimmune disease. I saw her and told the cashier please ring this quickly...I went over and gave it to that little girl was and her smile was worth a million buck...I will never forget her smile. I have done it many times before and at work I have Christine's 10 rules and one of them is pay it forward. I want the students that work for us to have it in their heart. They take it seriously so it is testimony that in some small way we can spread the word. It is not all about you or me. We need to help others:) It gives me such joy and the best reward is it makes me feel good about myself.
God Bless Ellen....Love all you do

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Lawrence Gabriel
465 days ago

if it was,nt for my friend patty i think id be out of my head,if it was,nt for her. she is what you call a true friend. she has physical problems like myself, and she is selfless and would do anything for me. i thank god for her.

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Dreighton
468 days ago

After watching your show Ellen, it has inspired me to help more than before. This past Christmas I saw the court house's cleaning woman sitting in our lunch room reading a do***ent. I asked if she was studying and she stated she was looking for a place to apply for free gifts since she couldn't afford them this year. I asked for the age of her grandchildren and told her not to worry. My wife went and got a couple toys, books and clothes that my son had never worn with the tags on them still. We also sponsored another family for Christmas and bought gifts for a child through the Salvation Army. Instead of spending $20 or $50 on something unnecessary, I told my wife we need to start giving instead. It feel great and I haven't stopped.

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Teresa Giori-Mayo
469 days ago

My son (a college student) got inspired to go above and beyond when he heard his apartment management company was doing a food drive for a local Food Pantry right before Christmas. He heard that the Pantry services 3 towns in his area and they usually have 3 months of food on hand but were now down to 3 weeks. Rather than just throwing a few cans in the collection box, he was motivated to have a bigger inpact. He started calling all his family and friends for money donations so he could buy food. He also asked me if I would be giving him his usual Christmas money gift because he wanted to include that in the food donation. Wow, I was so impressed. After 3 days he managed to raised $850.00. He sent an email out to everyone, which said: "Hello, I just wanted to send an email personally thanking everyone for their generosity. After 3 days of collecting we raised 850 dollars!! This allowed me to purchase 715 food items at various stores. Everything totaled a jaw-dropping 764 pounds of food (discluding packaging) and 878,000 calories. This food will go to HVCC food pantry where it is urgently needed. Purchases include, peanut butter, pasta, tuna fish, canned hams, sweet potatoes, pears, peaches, fruit ****tail, pineapples slices, juice, pancake mix, cereal, rice and much more! While the problems we face in the 21st century may feel daunting if we band together we can make big things happen. As cliche as that sounds this eye-opening experience makes me whole-heartedly believe it. Please take a look at the photos that I attached. Good job everyone!
-Mike" (I wish I could include a picture here of the mountain of food he bought!)
If one college student can do this, imagine what we all can do if we took a little time and effort!! Signed "A proud mama"

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nada cooper
472 days ago

Ellen you are a wonderful person.We are having such a hard time this year and when i stop and sit down to watch you,it seems that everything bad in the world goes away. Thank you Ellen and her amazing staff.I do honestly love what you do for the world.

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Helen French-Mellon
488 days ago

The 500 children of Sandy Hook Elementary displaced by the shooting will be beginning school at a new location on 12/19/2012 and their teachers need our help.
PLEASE DONATE:
Crayons
Lined paper
Teachers supplies
Markers
Scissors
Erasers
Glue sticks and pencils
We will be collecting school supplies on Wed., 12/19 at the Brass Hill Center in Waterbury from 3 to 8pm. (Lower level on the Sears Court)
Please Help if you can.
God Bless all of you

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1 Reply
Tracey Walsh
488 days ago

Hi,I belive that everyone,espescially kids in school,should see the movie"pay it forward".I too,wish that I had a few gifts on Christmas,but,I know we can'fford it.we live in the country and both have medical issues.We need cell phone,but cannot afford it,a new tv,ours is 16yrs old,hugr.we have no "I" anything.Iam on dial up,cannot afford sattelite internet.But we have a home and each other,and you.Thankfully we can get your show 2-3 times a day,which allows me to just get through the day.We pay it forward,is how we live.we share,care,help,whenever possible.do snow for our elderly neighbours,whatever.Inthe end,MY heart feels good and I smile.....

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1 Reply
Dixie Cejka
488 days ago

I have had people help me out not knowing who they were, so any chance I get I try to do the same. I don't have a lot of extra money, but when I able to give I do. The one thing is I don't think this is something that should be shared with others that don't know me. I do this out of the goodness of my heart and don't care if I am recognized.
Thank you
Dixie

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SHARI LOTFY
492 days ago

O.K. FANS LETS MAKE TOM SHADYAC PROUD AND LET HIM KNOW JUST HOW MUCH HE INSPIRED US BY STARTING THE ELLEN DEGENERES APPRECIATION PAY IT FORWARD FOUNDATION. WE ALL NEED TO WORK TOGETHER SO LET'S ALL PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER AND START SPREADING THE WORD. I WILL BE THE GO TO PERSON SO PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH ANY AND ALL IDEA'S. HOPEFULLY WE'LL GET HELP FROM ALL OF ELLEN'S STAFF. TOM SHADYAC HIMSELF, THE STARS SHE HAS ON HER SHOW TIME AFTER TIME. WHETHER IT BE A DONATION OR AN IDEA! YOU CAN CONTACT ME @ SHARI LOTFY 508-779-0022. MY FACEBOOK/SHARILOTFY OR EMAIL ME AT SLSALESFORCE1@GMAIL.COM FOR NOW I WILL MAKE UP AN EMAIL ACCOUNT JUST FOR THE FOUNDATION. PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH ANY KIND OF NAMES IF YOU THINK IT WOULD SOUND BETTER THAN WHAT I HAVE. THANK YOU AND HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Dena
493 days ago

This story was probably the most inspiring story I have ever watched. Although there have been many this man and the story just was incredible!
I believe that a person should always give more then they take it doesn't always have to be money, people can find all sorts of ways to give..time is a great gift to give someone to:)

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Michele Callis
493 days ago

Not really sure if im in the right place...how does one enter to win...is it just once...do I have to enter everyday?...Do i have to write a comment under the day of giveaway page? Can someone let me know..I'm really not good at this...I feel really stupid...

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Cheryl
493 days ago

I gave my last 12 dollars towards the Sandy relief fund I must say I feel really good!! I already live a very simple life!!

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