Eggnog is flowing and sweaters are showing, it’s the time of year for greater good. We know that it can be tough, so we’ve comprised a list of ways to pay it forward.
Most of these are fairly simple and require little to no money. So pick out a few or tackle them all and make someone’s day brighter.
- Be courteous – Hold the door open for someone.
- Compliment someone by mail – People like to hear positives about themselves but too often don’t. Let someone know they are awesome the old fashioned way.
- Clean out your closet and donate your old clothes to someone in need – Seriously, you are not going to wear those overalls from 1995 again.
- Payoff someone’s layaway – Stores like Kmart, Walmart, Toys R Us, and even Sears offer layaway programs that allow a consumer to pay for items over a period of time rather than all at once. Surprise a struggling family by visiting one of these stores and asking to pay a little or all of a random tab.
- Shop at a small business – Northeast Florida is home to hundreds of entrepreneurs with great products. Visit them during the holidays, drink local coffee and beer, and eat local food. Not only does this help their business, it helps our local economy.
- Donate blood – The Blood Alliance is always in desperate need of blood. One hour of your time can save three lives.
- Let someone go ahead of you at the grocery store or busy gas pump – We’re all in a hurry, why not slow down and allow someone else to finish first?
- Create a care package for troops deployed overseas – Bake some cookies, buy candy and other foods that soldiers may be missing when away from home and send them off for the holidays.
- Pay for a nearly expired meter – Parking tickets suck, so surprise someone whose meter is nearly expired and leave them a nice note letting them know what a stranger did. They will be thankful and hopefully pay it forward.
- Buy someone coffee in line behind you – Tell the cashier you want to cover the next person’s drink too. This usually causes a great chain reaction.
- Volunteer – Everyone needs help during the holidays. Just ask around.
- Litter duty – Take to the streets, beach and river and clean them up!
- Spark a conversation with a stranger – Next time you’re in a waiting room or on a bus, say hi.
- Leave money taped to a vending machine.
- Ask people how they are doing – Everyone always answers “good.” Ask someone to really tell you how they are doing.
- Give someone a ride – Carpool to work, take someone home and don’t expect gas money
- Bring a friend along during your workout or run – Exercise is proven to boost one’s mood.
- Spend time with your family – Sure Uncle Johnny may be a jerk and your mother likes to nag, but they are your family and it would probably brighten their holidays to have you around.
- Break out the nostalgia – People love to relive their childhood. Pick up some Pogs, a Lite-Brite and an Atari and make a retro game-night out of it.
- Smile often – It’ll inspire others.
- Be grateful – Say thank you and shock someone.
- Tell a joke – Make someone laugh.
- Cook a meal for someone – Whether it’s your friend or a homeless person, people love food.
- Write a love letter for your spouse or significant other – We all love to be reminded and why not bring a little childhood innocence into it.
- Enjoy the holidays – Be cheerful, sing, put up lights. It’ll make the world a little better.
Void wants to see all the ways you are giving back. Snap a picture of all the kindness you’re seeing and upload it to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #voidcares.