10:26 AM

Pay it forward campaign spurs Buckeyes into random acts of kindness

Wagner (right) helped fellow alumni to some #BuckeyeLove

Buying dinner for a stranger or giving candy to co-workers are just some of the ways Buckeyes are paying forward this month in the build-up to a new campaign to give back to The Ohio State University.

Joyce Wagner, a project manager in the Office of Human Resources, was inspired by the #BuckeyeLove campaign to show her school spirit at a local Donatos in Delaware County. Wagner has worked at Ohio State for more than 30 years and is also a board member for the county alumni chapter.

At the chapter’s January meeting, Wagner asked a server to randomly choose someone in the restaurant and Wagner would buy them dinner.

“Just pick someone out,” she said.

The couple picked to receive the dinner stopped by Wagner’s meeting to thank her. The free food proved to be the perfect tonic for a tough day.

“She said she was a hospice nurse and had a really awful day. She came home from work and told her husband that she needed a pizza and a beer and that’s why they were in Donatos,“ Wagner said. “The fact that we just picked them out and paid for their dinner made their whole day.”

Coincidentally, the couple turned out to be Ohio State alumni.

The #BuckeyeLove campaign, an effort to pay forward through good deeds, can be as simple as carrying groceries for someone who needs help or treating a colleague to a cup of coffee.

The campaign will include the first-ever Day of Giving. It’s a 36-hour event for faculty, staff, students and alumni to support programs such as scholarships, aid to athletics or university libraries.

Wagner is not alone. If you search the #BuckeyeLove hashtag, new examples of random acts of kindness show up every day.

Melissa Beers handed out cards and candy

Director for Introduction to Psychology Melissa Beers filled instructors’ mailboxes in her building with candy and a notecard encouraging them to help someone else. Beers said the pay-it-forward message has a special meaning for her.

“When I look back to when I was a student here as an undergrad, I think all of the time of the ways people invested in me,” Beers said. “They didn’t have to help me. But it’s because they did help me that I’m able to do what I do now.”

Beers wants to see what the vast Buckeye Nation can accomplish when they come together for one day of giving. She will be supporting scholarship funding.

“When it comes right down to it, I always promote and always support scholarship funds,” Beers said. “You can’t go wrong investing in students’ futures.”

For more details on #BuckeyeLove and the Day of Giving, visit to the Day of Giving website.