Daily Acts of Kindness - How to Help Others and Make a Difference

Lend a helping hand
Lend a helping hand | Source

Performing a daily act of kindness is a wonderful way to help others. A kind action not only helps someone else but may also stimulate them to help another person in turn. As a result, a ripple of kindness may develop and spread through a population. The more often a person is kind, the more ripples they will be able to create, either directly or indirectly. The thought of kindness spreading through a population like a virus is awesome.

Social and political problems, natural disasters and poverty are widespread in today's world. Major undertakings like volunteering to help aid agencies and donating to charities are very important. Some people don’t have the time or the money to participate in these activities, however. Others may feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems on this planet. They may think that unless they are helping in a major way their aid is insignificant. This definitely isn’t true! Every little act of kindness can be meaningful for an individual who either needs or would like help.

If you like to bake, make a few extra muffins for a friend.
If you like to bake, make a few extra muffins for a friend. | Source

Some Ideas for Daily Acts of Kindness

I follow many of the suggestions for being kind listed below. Some of the suggestions describe ways in which I have been helped myself. A few aren't applicable to my life right now but may be one day.

Acting on just one idea from this list or from a list of your own creation can be very helpful for someone in need. Performing regular acts of kindness can be even more helpful. A kind act can be short and simple or time consuming and more complex, depending on what's possible at the time. Both types of kindness are very worthwhile, especially when performed frequently.

If a neighbour or friend can't walk their dog because they are injured or ill, volunteer to take the dog for a walk yourself.
If a neighbour or friend can't walk their dog because they are injured or ill, volunteer to take the dog for a walk yourself. | Source

Helping Friends and Acquaintances - Donate or Supply Items

  • If you subscribe to a newspaper or magazine, give an edition of the periodical to someone else to read when you’ve finished with it. Make a collection of reading material that you know interests a friend and give it to them once you’ve read the material.
  • Pick up free community newspapers and magazines that might interest someone who has trouble leaving their home and give the items to them.
  • Volunteer to get library books, magazines or DVDs for someone with mobility problems and return the items to the library by the due date.
  • If you are a gardener and are thinning your plants out, give the seedlings to someone else.
  • If you have a bountiful crop, distribute some of it to your neighbours or work colleagues.
  • If you bake items such as muffins or if you prepare canned food, give some to a neighbour or friend.

A charity donation bin near my home
A charity donation bin near my home | Source

Helping Friends and Relatives - Some Possible Activities

  • If you have friends or relatives that you communicate with only once a year, such as at Christmas time, send them a letter, email them or phone them at another time of year as well.
  • Give a friend or relative an occasional gift on a non-celebration day. This can be either a material item or a gift of service.
  • Buy or make a greeting card for a family member or friend even if it's not a special day. Your card could express your love, friendship or gratitude.
  • If a friend or relative has mobility problems, lives nearby and also has a dog, volunteer to take the dog for a walk (perhaps with your own dog).
  • Volunteer to mow a friend's lawn if they are unable to do it themselves.
  • If a good friend or a relative needs an item to complete a home or garden project and you have the item, consider lending it to them temporarily.
  • If you have your own vehicle and a friend or neighbour doesn't, consider doing an occasional job for them that would be difficult or impossible to accomplish by public transport.

Some tact may be needed when performing the last two activities to avoid an equipment loan becoming permanent or a transportation job becoming too demanding or too frequent.

Simple Acts of Kindness

Helping Others at Home and School

  • If your spouse, partner, house or roommate traditionally does a household job such as making supper, occasionally volunteer to do their job (in addition to your own jobs).
  • Make sure that you make time in your schedule to do at least one fun activity with your children each day or to discuss their day with them.
  • If your children's school is holding a bake sale for charity, make something that can be sold.
  • Contribute to other charity fundraising events at your children's school, such as bottle and penny drives.

If you've just bought a new electronic device and your old one still works, give it to someone who would like the device but can't afford it.
If you've just bought a new electronic device and your old one still works, give it to someone who would like the device but can't afford it. | Source

Helping Charities by Donating Items

  • Whenever you declutter your home, think about whether a charity could use the items that you no longer need.
  • If there are charity collection bins near your home, such as bins for donated clothing or toys, regularly deposit items that are in good condition but are no longer used. Making a donation on the first day of each month might be a suitable goal. If your children are old enough to understand what a donation is, let them decide whether or not to donate a toy that they don't use.
  • If you have an electronic device that works but that you are discarding because you’re buying a new device, give the old device to someone who can’t afford to buy their own.
  • If you enjoy knitting or crochet, consider using your hobby to create items for charities.

The Science of Kindness

Helping Others While Shopping

  • If you buy something at the supermarket that is on sale for a “two for one” price, give the second item to a friend or the food bank.
  • Every time you do a major shopping trip to a supermarket, pick up one non-perishable food item to give to the food bank. Deposit this item in the store's food bank container if there is one, or save it at home and visit the local food bank when you have a collection of items.
  • When you buy your own groceries, also pick up groceries and other items for a friend or relative who has difficulty leaving their home.
  • Make a friendly comment to the store cashier or other staff member, especially if they seem harried or depressed.
  • Take other chances to help people in a store, such as by holding a door open, helping someone reach for an item (if you’re tall enough!) and depositing change in a charity collection box.

Canned fish (unopened) is a good source of protein to donate to the food bank. It's nutritious food and stays fresh in a sealed can for a long time. Canned fish such as these sardines is also inexpensive.
Canned fish (unopened) is a good source of protein to donate to the food bank. It's nutritious food and stays fresh in a sealed can for a long time. Canned fish such as these sardines is also inexpensive. | Source

Donating Money While Shopping

  • Make a goal to put coins in every charity collection box that you see, even if the amount of money placed in each box is small.
  • If a charity is raising funds outside a supermarket or in a shopping centre, consider making a donation as you pass by.
  • If you are comfortable financially, when a supermarket cashier asks you if you want to make a donation to a specific charity by adding the donation to your grocery bill, consider saying "Yes".

Pay It Forward

Helping Others at Work

  • Occasionally take a box of doughnuts, home baked goods or other treats to share with your co-workers on a normal workday (as well as on a celebration day).
  • If you leave work to buy lunch or special coffee, ask people staying in the office if they want anything and volunteer to get it.
  • Try to say something pleasant or encouraging to every co-worker that you meet each day.
  • If you are in a position where you have to supervise other people and need to make a criticism or ask someone to change their behaviour, try to make the criticism constructive.
  • If it is appropriate at your place of work, collect donations of items or money for a charity.
  • Consider participating in an event that is designed to raise money for charity, such as a walk or a run. Training and participating in the event will be a fun and healthy activity for you, plus you will be able to donate money to a charity by taking part in the event. If you feel awkward about asking individual co-workers to sponsor you, post the sponsor form on a noticeboard and perhaps announce its presence in a staff meeting.

Consider participating in a walk or run to raise money for charity.
Consider participating in a walk or run to raise money for charity. | Source

Other Ideas

Acts of kindness are beneficial for both the recipient and the donor. It often feels good to help others, as many volunteers know. Helping others on a daily basis or a semi-regular basis is a wonderful habit to form.

There are many other ideas for helping others besides the ones listed in this article. You probably have some great ideas yourself, which I'd be very happy to hear about in the comments section below.

© 2012 Linda Crampton

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Comments 38 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a great list of ideas, Alicia! Thank you so much for contributing this hub to the cause. You are greatly appreciated by me. Happy New Year!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment, Bill, and thank you for being the catalyst for the program! I hope that you have a wonderful new year.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

This is great! I think just being kind to the people around us makes a difference, as they in turn will also do that! Just small gestures help. I like your idea of buying just one non-perishable item each time we go to the grocery store. That won't hurt our budgets but will make a difference to others. Great hub! Many votes and sharing!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Victoria Lynn. Thanks for the comment and the votes! I agree - just a small act of kindness could have a big effect. Kindness is so important!


Dahlia Flower profile image

Dahlia Flower 3 years ago from Canada

This is really a great list. I don't know how you thought of so many ideas.

Voting up, useful and sharing.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment, the votes and the share, Dahlia Flower. When I'm interested in a topic, such as acts of kindness, I don't have any problem thinking of things to write!


Curiad profile image

Curiad 3 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

Simply awesome!

Great Ideas, great ways to share the love.

Mark


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you so much, Mark! I appreciate your comment.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you so much for this. In my charity work I noticed kindness can be addictive.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you for the visit and the comment, Martin, and thanks for sharing the very interesting observation about kindness!


shorty72 3 years ago

It is amazing how a little gester goes a long way even helping someone if they are struggling makes a difference no matter how small. Sometimes just a smile and a hello goes a long way. Great hub :)


janshares profile image

janshares 3 years ago from Washington, DC

Hi AliciaC, this is fantastic, excellent ideas. I do some of these already, just wrote a hub on the benefits of volunteering and a H.O.W. hub on running a breakfast program for the needy. All of this is so awesome. As a popular gospel song says, we can "alter the atmosphere" with all that we're doing. Voted up and useful.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, shorty72. I agree - a smile and a hello are often very helpful! Thanks for the visit.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you for the comment and the votes, janshares. It's great to see how many people are writing H.O.W. hubs!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Great ideas here Alicia and I vote up,across and share all around.

Here's wishing you a wonderful 2013.

Eddy.


LaThing profile image

LaThing 3 years ago from From a World Within, USA

Wonderful list of ideas for helping others, Alicia! I volunteer a lot and take my children to help out too, because I want them to learn to give to the community also. Your list has given me some more ideas to work with..... Thanks for sharing, voting up and useful :)


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment, the vote and the share , Eddy. I hope you have a very happy new year!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

I think it's great that you take your children with you when you volunteer, LaThing! What a wonderful opportunity for them to see kindness in action. Thank you for the comment and the votes.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

You just accomplished in a very big way, Alicia, one of your very first acts of kindness in action. You provided your readers with all these wonderfully kind tips. Thank you and Happy New Year, m'dear.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you so much, drbj. I appreciate your kind comment! I hope you have a great day today and a great 2013.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida

These are all great tips and effortless to accomplish. The videos were awesome, too. I particularly liked the gentleman in the grocery store who paid for the new mom's groceries. Great hub!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, bravewarrior. Thank you very much for the comment. I liked that video scene too! The man's gesture was lovely, and it was very applicable to real life.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

These are fantastic. Every simple kindness can make a difference if the life of someone.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you, Deb. Yes, simple acts of kindness can be so important in our lives and in the lives of other people!


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi AliciaC... thanks for writing this and sharing with us some ways you make a difference. Even though there are days when we fill we have not made a difference we do make a profound statement through random acts of kindness... my advice... never stop...

Hugs from Canada


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for the comment, Rolly. Your advice is excellent - we should never stop performing random acts of kindness!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 3 years ago from Sunny Spain

What a wonderful idea and hub. It was a joy and a delight to read and to watch the videos that you included in your hub.

Such a positive, uplifting and inspirational hub with lots of ideas supplied to help us readers to go out and do the same.

I loved it I will definitely vote this hub up and hit the relevant buttons on my way out.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much, maggs224! I appreciate your lovely comment and all your votes!


john000 profile image

john000 3 years ago from Superior, Arizona

This is such a wonderful lists of ways to help others. We volunteer help at our local food bank in a number of different ways. Making posters, delivering food, signing folks up who cannot ambulate so well, and maintaining lists are all ways to help. Now I want to help a neighbor who on occasion cannot walk her dog due to illness. I had not thought of this until reading your piece. Will hit the good buttons on this article. Thank you!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for sharing your great suggestions for helping people, johnooo! I appreciate your comment and votes very much.


Vickiw 3 years ago

Loved your Hub, and it is so good to know that I have a kindred spirit in BC, making the world a kinder place in small daily increments. Voted up and A


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, Vickiw. It's nice to meet someone else from British Columbia!


sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

sunilkunnoth2012 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

Your deserve a big clap for writing such nice text. May God bless you.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you so much, sunilkunnoth2012! I appreciate your comment and visit.


mylindaelliott profile image

mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

Wow, that's a great list of ways to help people. I had seen some of them but a lot are new ideas.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you for the comment, mylindaelliot!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I didn't realize that Bill had this challenge going 11 months ago. I've added a link from my hub to yours and just wanted to let you know.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for the link, Susan. It is a great challenge!

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