25 Ways to Spread Kindness during the Holiday Season (…without breaking the bank)

President John F. Kennedy once said, “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” We think that sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving prescription to spread a little (or a lot!) of goodness this year.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to save the planet or to make a difference in someone’s life. You can make a difference today, everyday… and change the world forever!


25 Ways to Spread Kindness this Thanksgiving (without breaking the bank):

1. SMILE!  “Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”  ―    Mother Teresa

2. Hold a food drive. Enlist help from family,  friends, and members of your community to host a food drive, collecting canned  goods for your local shelter or fresh produce for a local soup kitchen.

3. Donate old sneakers to Nike-Reuse-A-Shoe!  They’ll turn them into safe playground surfaces for children.

4. Bake a Difference!  Bake cookies for a local fundraiser to support a chosen cause or host a charitable bake sale of your own to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

5. Give!  Give what you can, when you can.  As Anne Frank said in The Diary of Anne Frank, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” There is always something you can give.

6. Test Yourself. Learn new words with the free vocabulary test at FreeRice.com, and for every answer you get right, the site’s sponsors will donate enough money to purchase twenty grains of rice to the UN World Food Program.

7. Do consider using your skills, experience and talents to help out as an alternative to giving money.

8. Clean your closet and donate career attire to Dress for Success for women or Career Gear for men. Your donation will provide professional clothing to low-income people seeking employment.

9. Surf for the earth. Powered by Google, Ecosearch.org returns search results with an environmental kick: The site donates 100 percent of search revenues to nonprofits, such as Rainforest Alliance and the Sierra Club.

10. Tutor. Whether you’re helping a student understand Macbeth or teaching an adult the basics of reading, literacy tutoring can be a fun–and important–way to donate your time. Log on to LiteracyDirectory.org to learn more.

11. Get crafty. Put your creative talents and hobbies to work and make afghans for needy families or quilts for seriously ill or traumatized children.

12. Invite a solo friend or acquaintance to your holiday meal.

13. LOVE! “Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people that are reckless with yours.”  ―  Mary Schmich

14. Volunteer to walk and play with homeless animals at a nearby pet shelter.

15. Give gifts that give back.

16. Donate books to a good cause (a nearby school, hospital or library).  You’ll give the tomes a second life and spare the landfills.

17. Give Blood. One pint of blood can save up to three lives.  Donate blood at your local Red Cross. Community drives happen regularly and many large communities have places where you can donate throughout the year.

18. Don’t worry about giving “small” – “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  ―    Desmond Tutu

19. Give a small loan to help budding entrepreneurs by lending to a Kiva project.

20. Volunteer a few hours at a local food bank, community kitchen, hospital, elderly home or charity drive.  Your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give!

21. Knit for good. Knits hats for the homeless, blankets for newborn babies, teddy’s for foster children.  There’s nothing quite like a handmade gift.

22. Deliver Thanksgiving dinners to housebound people.  Contact your local Meals on  Wheels group and offer to deliver holiday meals to elderly and sick people in your area.

23. Donate coats.  Provide winter warmth for children and families in need: Donate jackets, mitts, scarves and the like to local coat drives or schools.

24. Thank a soldier! Show your appreciation for our Military Men and Women and Thank the troops. Send a card of thanks to a hero.

25. Make it simple, make kindness your religion. The spirit of Thanksgiving is all about the thanks and the giving.  It’s about  gratitude for your blessings and sharing with others. Express gratitude this holiday season with graciousness and gratitude.  And don’t forget — be kind to yourself too!  You deserve it.