Seven Ideas for Spreading Kindness
We believe that volunteering is simply the act of taking time to do something kind for another. It’s something that can be weaved into the everyday fabric of our lives and doesn’t need to involve planning. In fact, some of the most meaningful acts are unplanned, spur of the moment, considerations for others.
Here are 7 simple ideas for spreading kindness in the world today, no matter where you are or what your day holds.
- Do something anonymous – Leave an anonymous note of encouragement on the desk of a coworker, make a new pot of coffee in the breakroom, pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru, or clean up a mess you didn’t make in a shared space.
- Share a meal – Take a plate to an elderly neighbor, pack an extra sack lunch to give to the homeless individual you encounter during your daily commute, plant a garden in spring and share the bounty, or simply invite someone to join you around the dinner table. Sharing a meal is one of the easiest ways to show kindness to another.
- Observe another’s need – Let someone who looks like they are in a hurry cut in front of you line, hold the door open for someone whose hands are full, hold the elevator for the person coming down the hall, or ask someone who looks distressed if you can help.
- Give something you don’t use to someone who needs it – Find one or more items in your home that are duplicates or no longer get used. Then, bless someone on a restricted budget with an item of necessity, such as furniture or clothing for children. Oftentimes, people are more than happy to obtain an item secondhand if it meets their needs. If you don’t know a specific person in need, you can always donate items to a Salvation Army Store, where those who come to us for help can receive vouchers for items of necessity.
- Buy two, give one away – As you go through your day-to-day tasks, take a moment to think about how you could help another. At the grocery store? Pick up a bag of produce for a neighbor so they don’t have to traverse into the cold. Target or Walmart run? Grab travel-size toiletries to make a care pack for someone experiencing homelessness. Grabbing a coffee? Buy a second one to share with a friend.
- Notice someone – Smile at a stranger you cross on the street, ask a service worker how their day is going and listen to their response with empathy, give a small gift of gratitude to an office secretary, or sit with someone new at lunch today.
- Pray for others – We believe that prayer is powerful. At the end of your day, think about all the people who crossed your path. What are their needs or how do they add joy to your life? Praise God for these people and ask Him to see their needs, meeting them where they are today.
Looking for something more traditional? Volunteering at The Salvation Army is another great way to show kindness.