- Scott Burnside, NHL
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The concept of "pay it forward" has been around since ancient Greece, so Dustin Brown, Cam Janssen and the rest of the hockey folks at Norton Sports Management can't lay claim to having come up with the idea of performing random acts of kindness.
But in a world of social media and twittering and tweeting, they seem to have hit on a good thing with their "Make My Day Mondays" program of, well, doing nice things.
The small agency, whose roster of NHL players includes Brown (Kings) and Janssen (Blues), came up with a plan to try and do some good at the beginning of each week, acts that wouldn't necessarily take a lot of time, effort or money.
Although his clients are actively involved with charitable groups in their own markets, company founder Scott Norton wanted to do something a little more broad-based, something that would make it easy for people -- not just hockey players or agents -- to do a good turn. It started with his clients and staff and seems to have caught on (at least in the hockey world) through the Twitter universe.
Brown, for instance, gave donated toys to a neighbor. Norton buys coffee or donates some change to a homeless man near his regular coffee shop. Janssen fills up a neighboring boater's craft with gas.
"He was just ecstatic and I felt great for the rest of the day," Janssen told ESPN.com.
Now, every week, there are reports via Twitter of folks around the hockey world following suit. If the authors of the dozens of posts are to be believed, they have been inspired to adopt a dog, put money in a parking meter when leaving a parking spot, pay for the printing of a student's college paper, donate clothes to a veterans' organization, clean up a park and give grocery coupons to the customer in front of them in line.
Offered one Twitter believer: "I needed a reminder that I hadn't done anything good in a while. Thank you."
Radio stations and other media outlets have called Norton and his clients to talk about "Make My Day Mondays" and interest has been expressed from larger companies about getting involved. Norton is, needless to say, pleased something so basic as being kind seems to have caught the public's fancy.
"Who knows where this goes," Norton told ESPN.com. "[Maybe a year from now] there are hundreds of thousands of people being nice to each other for once."
Hey, there are worse things that could happen.