Spreading kindness and hope throughout the world is one of the most important things we can do in life. If you have a kind and compassionate heart, you may be looking for ways to make the world a better place every day. Showing this kind of true altruism can help everyone with whom you come in contact.
Random acts of kindness
One of the things we can do to help make the world a better place is to practice random acts of kindness. Smile at strangers, say a kind word to someone who is suffering, be a listening ear for your friends and family. Our time, attention and caring are some of the most precious gifts that we have to offer.
If you readily make yourself open and available to others, you can help people in your life who may be struggling with their mental health, finances or relationships. Let people know that you are always willing to talk, and make an effort to reach out and check on friends and loved ones you know may be going through a hard time.
Another great way to show kindness and help others is through volunteering for charitable causes. There are plenty of places in every city or town that can use the help of volunteers who want to do some work to give back. You can volunteer on a time table that fits your schedule.
According to Do Something, here is a list of places in your local community that may be looking for volunteers:
1. Local Library
2. Public Media Production
3. Community Arts Center
4. Hospital or Medical Center
5. School District
6. Political Campaign
7. Animal Shelter
8. Food Bank
9. Local Park
This is not an exhaustive list, but it can help you to get started with volunteering your time today. You can do volunteer work on a weekly or monthly basis, and you will see how big of an impact that it makes on your community!
When you do volunteer work, you are opening your heart to the world beyond yourself, your family and your friends, and helping to create a better sense of community in your local area. You can also connect with like-minded people through volunteering, and meet friends with values similar to your own.
Donate to Charity
Whether it is your friend's GoFundMe campaign on Facebook, the war in Ukraine, or another cause that you believe in, there are many non-profits worldwide that can benefit others that are in need.
If there is a cause that really inspires you, then you can probably find a charity that is working to make a difference in that area. In order to find a charity to connect with, you want to make sure that it is reputable.
According to Mind Tools, here are some ways to Choose the "Right" Nonprofit or Charity to support:
1. Know Your Rationale
2. Determine Your Criteria
3. Research the Field
4. Review the Organizations
6. Keep People Engaged
7. Follow the Organization's Progress
It is easy to find charities to support in your local area as well as on a national level. What is important is finding an organization to support whose values align closely with your own. This way, you can ensure that your donation will do the greatest amount of good.
One of the best worldwide charities to support is Oxfam, because they give the greatest amount of the proceeds to those in need by using low overhead costs. Oxfam is based in the UK, and they also have thrift shops in different locations in Europe where you can buy books and such to support their cause.
On a local level, I have been supporting The Blue Bench in Colorado for years. This is a rape crisis center that provides counseling and support to victims of sexual assault, and education on prevention in schools and the community.
If you are in the US, you can check out this comprehensive list of charities to support by Charity Watch. It lists organizations by the type of services they provide, so you can choose to support a cause that is important to you.
If you are unable to give in other ways, you can support causes online too, through raising awareness of the work that they do. You can do this by doing things like signing petitions for political causes, or making social media postings about causes that are important to you.
For example, during Mental Health Awareness Month, Mental Health America has a 'shareables' page with social media graphics and sample posts that you can put on your own social media pages. Participating in this type of awareness campaign allows you to help others without requiring a huge commitment of time or money.
Showing that you are a kind person and an ally to those in need doesn't have to be something we only do during awareness months, though. It is something we can do all the time.
The more you educate yourself about causes that inspire you, the more you will be able to advocate for those things in your daily life. You can talk to your friends and family to spread awareness that way, and let others know that your door is always open if they need to talk about something.
Having a general attitude of kindness shows through in all of your actions, and it can make more of an impact than you know.