Karen Bidwell's random act of kindness ended up saving a man's life.
Last May, the Kelowna woman was playing Scrabble online when a man reached out to her for help.
"He was from Georgia and he picked my Scrabble name because it stuck out to him. He was going to commit suicide, and in the process of talking to him I convinced him to get help," she said.
Bidwell is one of many people who help each other daily by performing random acts of kindness.
"I put money into people's parking meters," said Mike Varga, "or help someone out if they need bus fare.
"You can do something small for someone every day."
Performing random acts of kindness, or paying it forward, has become a global phenomenon, with events held in schools and random acts of kindness days being celebrated every year.
The most recent was an online movement following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., last month. The #26Acts campaign launched on Twitter encouraged people to perform 26 acts of kindness in memory of the students and teachers killed.
"When people engage in random acts of kindness, it helps the community and makes people feel like they belong," said Michael Mandrusiak, a registered psychologist.
Mandrusiak said studies have shown that acts of kindness make people feel better.
"People taking part in the study were shown a clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show, and they found that people felt uplifted. They felt inspired by watching these acts of kindness," Mandrusiak said.
Katelyn Fujii is a director at large at UBC Okanagan. The university's pay it forward campaign started because of the U.S. movie Pay it Forward, released in 2000.
The university partnered with payitforward.org and Brand Alliance, and is now receiving white pay it forward bracelets for students. The university's next event is planned for February.
"We've had a lot of positive responses to the campaign from students," Fujii said. "We asked them to sign a pledge saying that they will perform random acts of kindness and pay it forward, and we think it's been successful."
Bidwell still thinks about what she was able to do for the man she met online.
"It was the greatest random act of kindness that I have ever done. It's been one of the biggest things that has happened to me."