Rosa’s Fresh Pizza is famous in Philadelphia. However, the reason may be more than what you think.
The pizza parlor is known to have a wall stacked full of Post-It notes. Not because they have run out of bulletin board space to put them on. The Post-It notes are left by customers who have participated in the pizza place’s pay-it-forward scheme.
Every day, Rosa’s Fresh Pizza gives out a free slice to homeless people who come into their restaurant.
27-year old Mason Wartman, a former Wallstreet exec, is the owner of Rosa’s. He recounted his first experience with a customer that led to this popular plan.
One time, a patron of the pizza place came up to Mason and asked him if he could buy a $1 slice of pizza for the next homeless person who would enter the store. He obliged. Soon after that, he went out to acquire some Post-It notes and took note of the customer who bought it as a reminder that a slice has been bought for the homeless, in case someone comes in asking for food.
Nine months after, the store and its customers have “paid it forward” to the homeless in the community with 8, 400 slices of pizza. Every $1 dollar donated to the “Pay It Forward” scheme of Rosa’s allows a customer to leave a happy note.
Mason noted that so many people have donated he has not had any reason to turn any homeless person away. His restaurant’s “pay it forward” project averages 30 to 40 homeless people a day.
On closer look at the pizza parlor’s wall, one could see that not only those who’ve donated have left a note. Those who have received a free pizza slice also left their own messages expressing gratitude.
Nowadays, Rosa’s Pizza could barely keep track of those who have donated but the notes are still tacked on his wall, as a reminder of the goodwill of many people who have come together to help those in need.