- Say thank you, sorry and please.Being polite is a fading art form. So is chivalry and honesty. Some times being thankful for what you take for granted isn't easy. Asking nicely for help isn't either. And saying you're sorry is the hardest challenge of them all. But there are these rules on etiquette and proper behaviour for a reason. Being nice to others makes not only them feel cherished and respected, but it also turns you into a respectable and lovable human being.
- Tab for a CauseThis is the most amazing concept you'll find: you install this to your regular internet browser and every time you open a new tab, you get hearts. When you donate these virtual hearts, sponsors of Tab for a Cause will donate money to charity for you.
- Online Survey with donation option.Normally when you do an online survey, you get a few pennys for answering the questions. This time, instead of getting paid for it, you can donate that money to a good cause!
- Donate your hair.I know what you are thinking: "My precious hair?? Hell no." But do you realise that people who go through cancer treatment could get a real hair whig made from your donation and feel a little less like a patient just because of you cutting your hair? And do you realise that your cut-off hair goes to good use instead of the trash can? And remember: your hair grows back again!
I cut my hair not long ago and I really enjoyed changing it up for once.
- Shop for clothing at Stores like Humana.You need a new top or pants and you already like going to second-hand shops? Then go to shops like Humana where not only second-hand clothing gets sold, but also a part of their profit is always donated with every piece of clothing you buy.
- Don't ignore the people around you.
Meaning: don't ignore the bus or the taxi driver, don't talk to people as if they were beneath you! Even if they are service people or working for you, treat them with respect. And if you can, give a nice tip. The waiter/waitress needs the few pennies probably more than you do.
- Food for the homeless. I'm always very conflicted about giving money to homeless people because I can't tell if it will be spend on drugs or actually help them... So around the last Christmas season I baked cookies and gave them out to the homeless instead of money. Not only were they happy for being treated nicely for a change, but they also had something to eat. Maybe this way they could save up the money, other people gave them.
- Donate blood.There are many people in need for a blood transfusion. But the blood reserves are not infinite and what if someday you might need a blood transfusion, too? So why not donate blood yourself and help the cause? In some cases you can even get money for it. I mean if that isn't a win-win-situation, I don't know what is. Click me!
- There is no easier way to do a good deed than by buying fair trade goods. You don't even have to extra go to a fair trade shop, all you have to do is look out for the fair trade label when buying your normal groceries. I promise you, they're not much more expensive than regular items and yet you will feel better with every errant you ran.
- Helping others. Civil and moral courage.I know another rather basic step. But a step that people often forget. You see reportages where persons rather film a fight on their iPhones than intervene or call the police. Or when you see someone on the sidewalk crying and everyone just turns away or walk past that person because it's none of their business. Don't be that person. Make it your business for a change. Even if it is just a kid with broken bike because of a flat tire. Don't just walk past it. Please help. Don't fear to get your hands dirty for once.
- Donate Household items
Oh and while you're at it, why not also look for household items that have no use in your home any more that you can donate, too. Books, too.
- Donate Food.
Check your food storage. Some non-perishable grocery items can be donated to a local food bank as well. In case you love animals I recommend donating animal food to your local animal shelter, too. My local supermarket even offers the possibility to buy a can of dog/cat food to every shopping spree you do and then just donate this can to animal shelter. One can at a time is not much, but it adds up.
- Help out at an animal shelter.
Speaking of pet food... a good friend of mine goes every sunday to the local animal shelter and helps out. All she's got to do is walk the dogs or feed the animals. It is simple and great for animal lovers (or people who can't have animals at home, but always dreamed of owning a pet).
I know, I know, not everyone has the time to volunteer. But consider this, if you just put a tiny bit of energy of your sparetime in voluntary work, you will not only be repaid with the feeling of satisfaction because you're doing something good, but also with the acknowledgement of others, because there is nothing people admire most than the things they can't imagine doing themselves. And of course you'll be confronted directly with the thankfulness of the people you actually help.
In my case I work for free as a German teacher fo refugees and my students are all very grateful to be able to learn. So from my own experience I can say it is completely worth it even though it can be time consuming.
- Send a care package.
Around Christmas Time I took part in a charity service called "Weihnachten im Schuhkarton" (which translates to "Christmas in a shoe box"). I packed a box with toys and gave the box to the charity service. They distributed these boxes to underpriviledged children whose parents can't afford to buy them actual Christmas presents.
But there are many more events like these and not only around the Christmas season. You can prepare care packages for soldiers in war zones or schools in Africa and give them to the local participating post office.
- Clean up.
Literally. You sometimes see trash lying around. Pick it up and throw it in the trash can. I know it is not your mess. I know you are not a cleaning lady/gentlemen, but this easy task can simplify the work of others. There are even cleaning events where a group of people get together and clean up a public place like a parque or something.
In my case it was the University campus. A group of people (including me ) were handed trashbags (sponsored by the courtesy of the student union) and began cleaning up. The campus definitely looks better now!
- Seperate the Trash.
That's it. Do it. You know it's good for the Environment. And it's fucking easy. If I need to explain the importance of recycling to you, then you really have been living behind the moon for a long while.
- Show that you care.
Your friends and family are probably the most important people in your life and you should let them know that. The easiest way is by doing something for them or giving them something that would make them happy. A friend once told me: The best gift you can give me is attention. Wise words, wise words indeed. So why not prepare a dinner party or call them on the phone every once in a while or just do basically any activity with them. You'll be surprised what a positive effect this simple task has on both your and their daily routine. Making the world a better place starts best where you started out as well.
- Smile and Share!You know how a tiny drop falling into water can cause circles on the surface that get bigger and bigger. Change works the same way, it comes in tiny waves that get bigger until it's an actual movement. Now you will start the waves. You will be the droplet. Because sometimes a smile is all it takes to brighten someone's day. And sharing your experience with your friends and family might even motivate them to do some of these things. By sharing this post, you can not only brighten my day, but also spread the word! Share and give the World a virtual smile!