D.C. dad Kenny Wright had no idea that assigning his two young sons a simple winter chore would spark a civic movement. After a recent onslaught of snow on the east coast, Wright asked Kenny Jr. and Darin to shovel the walkways outside their elderly neighbors’ homes. Their generosity caught the attention of local TV station FOX 5, which then aired a segment on the brothers for its “Pay It Forward” campaign. After the story aired, a whole army of citizen volunteers stepped up to help. Jeffrey Richardson, who leads the volunteer group Serve DC, told the station, “Between the last 24 hours, we have had over 170 new volunteers sign up to be a part of the District’s snow team and support seniors and others who have access and functional needs.” Some of the new volunteers were immediately sent to wards that needed shoveling, but the influx was so huge that  many were put on a waiting list to help on future projects. As the Wrights demonstrated, even a small act of generosity can snowball into some much bigger.
MORE: A Boston group brings people together to shovel driveways for those who can’t.