When Mason Wartman left the world of Wall Street finance in 2013 to open a pizzeria in his native Philadelphia, he only expected his dollar-a-slice pricing to give people an affordable place to eat. He didn't know that a generous customer would come in one day and turn his Rosa's Fresh Pizza restaurant into an incredible model of generosity. Inspired by an Italian practice, the customer purchased an extra piece of pizza for whoever might need it. Other customers did the same, spending two dollars instead of one and leaving a sticky note on the wall to denote an available slice.
After customers had purchased their 500th "pay-it-forward" pizza slice, Wartman had to start keeping track of the free pizza on the cash register.
Simple acts of kindness, like a free slice of pizza, can have an incredible impact.
The system has been so popular among customers that over 8,300 slices of pizza have been bought for others.
At any age, a single dollar is an easy way to help those less fortunate.
Word about these deeds has spread like wildfire, and Wartman and his business have been featured in many articles and even on the Ellen DeGeneres show. After the appearance, Ellen herself donated $10,000 to Rosa's, ensuring that everybody who needs it will have a hot slice of pizza waiting for them.
The messages written by customers range from a simple "Enjoy!", to heartfelt and hopeful wishes for the recipients.
Some are even works of art.
Many people have gone well beyond buying just one extra slice.
And for those who needed food but couldn't afford any, Rosa's free slices have been helpful beyond mere words. Even the simple act of treating someone with dignity can mean a world of difference.
One man who benefitted has been able to get back on his feet, and has told Mason that he intends to begin contributing to the system that helped him so much through the hard times.
Often, it's just a single, tiny act by one person that ends up changing the world. That one customer, who first paid for an extra slice of pizza, probably had no clue what would result or how many people's lives would be touched.
Credit: Rosa’s Fresh Pizza | TwistedSifter