A pay-it-forward concept with paintings may sound unusual, but have you heard of Domino Deeds? It’s a wonderful initiative. The artist, Jim Fussell, paints beautiful landscapes and he gives them away for free. All he asks is that you do a good deed in return. In this way a domino effect of good deeds is put into action.
Jim Fussell has donated over 10,625 paintings and one of them is even in the Vatican. He sent it there years ago and he even received a thank you note from the Pope.
What is Domino Deeds about?
Jim is in prison. He has spent the last 44 years there. A few months ago we became pen pals through a prison pen pal program and he told me about his project.
Many of his paintings have been used to raise money for causes and charities as you can see below. He hopes that people who receive his work will pay it forward in kind. Anyone who receives a painting and does a good deed is also encouraged to share the experience on Jim’s social media (which is managed by his team).
Eyes Opening Wide
During the last year I have been writing to several men that are incarcerated and it has been an eye-opening experience. Although I was aware that justice isn’t always fair I didn’t know to what enormous extent it was flawed. I learned a lot over the last year.
I thought it would be a good idea to share this with my students in my social science class. Jim offered to send me paintings so I could use them for the presentation.
Our School Event
First I talked about my experience as a pen pal, the men I write to, and what I have learned. Then, in the following class I spoke about Jim and his pay-it-forward initiative. I showed my students his TED talk and then we had a painting lottery.
Students are encouraged to do a good deed. They can either keep the painting and do something nice for someone else or they can donate it to a local charity. It’s their choice. I’m eager to see what they decide to do with their paintings!
All in all, it was a great school event
The students were very interested, and Domino Deeds and Jim’s stories of people who paid it forward left quite an impact on them. They showed much enthusiasm during the painting lottery and were eagerly discussing what they’d do. The result of this presentation was what you could call a big success 🙂
I’d love to share Jim’s words here.
It looks like a follow-up post is due, to share the good deeds my students have come up with. I’d love to see what they decided to do 🙂
If you’d like to get involved, you can leave a message on Jim’s social media or website. You can also let me know in the comments below. Or could you share this post to get this amazing initiative out? 🙂