7 free ways to give back and spread kindness
Yesterday was GivingTuesday, or for those of you less familiar, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that has been coined the global day of giving. The focus is on doing whatever is in your means to give back, whether that is volunteering, donating, or using your voice to spread awareness about a cause that is important to you. This comes after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in which record sales were projected to reach over $20 billion this year. With that, it’s important to reflect on what is important to us and how we can give back.
Over Thanksgiving, and throughout the holiday season, many voice what or whom they are thankful for and focus on spreading kindness and paying it forward. However, one thing I want to emphasize is how important it is to be kind and give back, in either small or big ways, year ‘round – not just during the holidays.
Still, if you’re like me, you might find it overwhelming. Where to start? To whom should I donate? What causes mean the most to me? What if I can’t donate money? With the current financial climate, it is understandable if you’re unable to. So here is a list of seven free ways to give back and spread kindness not only this holiday season but moving forward into 2023 as well:
- Hold the door for someone – Small acts of kindness can make a big difference
- Set up a Little Free Pantry in your neighborhood or a holiday food drive for a local food bank
- Volunteer at a local non-profit – A few options are food banks, homeless shelters, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity
- Donate supplies or gently used items to local non-profits in need
- Use your voice – Spread awareness about charities or causes close to your heart. Don’t be afraid to use your social media platform
- Help your neighbors with yard work
- Write a thank you note or letter to someone you appreciate – Teachers, healthcare workers, or postal workers to name a few!
There are of course many more options. There are also websites, such as GivingTuesday and Charity Navigator, which allow you to look up local charities or non-profits whose work aligns with your passions. If you are able to donate financially, some companies like Microsoft, Disney, General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, and Apple will match their employee donations to charitable causes. This is a great way to motivate employees to donate and make an even greater impact.
If you take one thing away from this post let it be this: spreading kindness does not require vast sums of money or the need to create a visible worldwide change to make a difference. I think some of the smallest acts of kindness can be the most meaningful.
What is your company doing to give back? What are some ways you plan to spread kindness this holiday season and into the New Year? I’d love to hear your thoughts – message me on LinkedIn or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to comment on your favorite non-profits!
Kristen Higgins, Sr. Research Analyst