If you bump into Tommy Lukrich, it pays to be kind. Literally.
The recent college grad is giving away $100 bills to generous strangers he encounters while walking — yes, walking — across the country.
The 23-year-old spoke to Yahoo Travel as he completes a journey that began in Seattle in late May. Averaging 18 to 23 miles per day, he plans to arrive in New York City within the month.
Lukrich says rewarding Good Samaritans along his cross-country trek is his way of paying it forward.
"I’ve had a lot of people who’ve helped me out in times of need, and I wanted to give back," he says. "My idea is to give back to people who are willing to be kind and generous."
The trip also fulfills a long-simmering wanderlust.
"I grew up in Idaho my whole life," Lukrich says. "I haven’t really gotten to travel a lot. I wanted to see what the rest of the country was like."
Lukrich has so far raised $6,000 through an online crowdfunding campaign. All of that money is being distributed to strangers who show him kindness.
"There are things I don’t turn down: food, showers and places to stay," Lukrich says.
Why is his token of appreciation a $100 bill instead of a clever business card with a Mother Theresa-like quote about generosity?
"There’s something about a $100 bill that really shocks people," Lukrich says. "It’s enough money to be significant, but it’s not too excessive."
"It also makes for a great story for them in their life," he adds.