Fred Rogers with a disabled boy. Image courtesy of Focus Features.

Fred Rogers once said that “the greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.”

If it’s not the second greatest, money is probably somewhere in the top five.

This Wednesday starting at noon, volunteers and trustees from the micro-grant organization Awesome Pittsburgh will mark Mr. Rogers’ birthday by fanning out across Downtown, the North Side and the East End to distribute 100 envelopes stuffed with $10 in cash.

The envelopes will be given with no strings attached, but Pittsburghers will be encouraged to put the money toward their own small act of awesome kindness. Participants will be encouraged to share their stories of paying it forward on social media with the handle #awesomepgh or @awesomepgh.

Awesome Pittsburgh was founded in 2011. Since that time, the group has given out monthly gifts supporting a wide variety of projects and public works, such as the disability-focused podcast Look Who’s Here!,  local artist Cheryl Capezzuti’s Giant Puppet Dance Party and a human scent database for dog rescue teams in White Oak Borough.

The group is an offshoot of the Awesome Foundation, an international network of community groups “advancing the interest of awesome,” according to the website. Each chapter consists of 10 trustees who contribute $100 a month to creative and civic-minded projects.

In addition to dozens of chapters around the U.S., the Awesome Foundation has chapters in Germany, Brazil and Bulgaria.

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.