Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Pay It Forward at a North County San Diego Kindness Meter

There’s a new reason to feed the meter.  The Kindness Meter phenomenon has reached North County San Diego and you can thank Carlsbad resident, realtor, and philanthropist, Carlton Lund, for that. Pay It Forward at a North County San Diego Kindness Meter has started a giving culture in Carlsbad.
Inspired by a meeting with Paul Newman during his youth, Lund set a goal to pay it forward, too, albeit on a smaller level. He played a big role in bringing Carlsbad’s vintage gateway sign to fruition and thought that meter could be a good way to collect donations for the project while showcasing the importance of giving back to the community. A 5′ cast “Darlene the Dolphin” by marine artist Wyland (named for his mother, Darlene) was also to be placed below the sign. In the end, the sign was installed but the meter and dolphin were not. However, the groundwork for kindness had already been laid.
Fast forward a few months. Lund partnered with San Diego-based IPS Group who manufactures the solar-powered smart meters that are slowly taking over coin-only models across the county. IPS Group—also in an act of kindness—donated seven of these meters to act as Kindness Meters. One hundred percent of all money collected by these meters support local organizations.
The first meters were installed on each end of the Kindness Korridor at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Discovery Center on Cannon Road. One of the meters supports the Foundation’s educational programs while the other takes donations for the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation who distributes funds to a number of Carlsbad organizations and causes.
The most recent and seventh Kindness Meter was installed at the Bressi Ranch Boys and Girls Club. And an eighth meter is planned at a Wyland gallery. Meters have a “Darlene the Dolphin” image and “Feed Darlene” caption as a reminder of how the concept came to be.
And, according to a recent 10News article, Solana Beach may be the next city to add Kindness Meters.
People can donate between $.25 and $999 with a credit card or quarters. You can learn more at

Donate to a Kindness Meter at These Locations

  • Tip Top Meats, Carlsbad
    Proceeds Benefit: Carlsbad Educational Foundation & Carlsbad Charitable Foundation
  • Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation
    Proceeds Benefit: Carlsbad Charitable Foundation & Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation
  • Vista Civic Center
    Proceeds Benefit: The Moonlight Cultural Foundation
  • Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad – Bressi Ranch
    Proceeds Benefit: Boys & Girls Club Carlsbad

(Kindness Meters can travel, too, such as the one taken care of by Kids for Peace.)

Your Turn…

Do you like the idea of a Kindness Meter?