A customer strolled into his pizza shop and changed Philadelphia with$ 1 and a single Post-it note.


Rosa’s Fresh Pizza offers a taste of New York-style pizza to the people of Philadelphia.

But that’s not all they serve. Rosa’s and their clients have teamed up to feed the city a daily taste of hope and kindness.

Philadelphia is the poorest large city in the country.

And it’s the city with the worst deep poverty rate in the U.S ., with approximately 185, 000 people( including 60,000 kids) living on incomes below half of the federal poverty line.

Owner Mason Wartman, who left his Wall Street desk job to open the shop, says pay-it-forward pizza started with one customer, one dollar, and one Post-it note.

Mason Wartman stands at the helm of Rosa’s Fresh Pizza.

The client was inspired by an Italian coffee home practice called caff sospeso( suspended coffee ), by which clients can pre-purchase cups of coffee for less fortunate clients.

Wartman wrote the buy on a Post-it and slapped it on the wall behind the register to be redeemed by the next homeless patron to enter the store.

As word spread, more and more clients participated.

And Rosa’s wall blossomed with colorful notes signifying acts of kindness and a guaranteed slice for everyone who walked in, irrespective of their ability to pay.

Since that first pay-it-forward slice, Rosa’s has provided virtually 10,000 pizza slicings to needy Philadelphians.

Pre-purchased slicings now represent a whopping 10 % of Rosa’s business. And it’s having a remarkable impact on the community, indicating not only that acts of kindness can be contagious, but also how a small gesture of support can have a ripple effect of positivity.

In the video, Wartman tells the story of a homeless regular who disappeared for a while merely to return having observed a new job and wanting to pay it forward as others had done for him.

And in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Wartman notes that some have even said the program has helped to keep them out of trouble with the law:

“[ Wartman] said people who receive the slicings have told him the generosity helps them avoid perpetrating petty crime to get money for food. ‘I knew it saved people money, ‘ Mr. Wartman said. ‘I hadn’t considered that it stopped people from perpetrating crime.'”

If one small business acting as a hub of kindness can have this kind of effect, can you imagine the possibilities of entire communities of consumers and businesses doing the same thing ?

Read more: www.upworthy.com


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