Feeling down in the dumps? There’s a little trick you can do to put a smile on your face and make you feel better. It’s called random act of kindness. Do something for someone else. Anything! The other person will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you’ll feel better for lending a hand.
We can make a difference with small, simple actions and make the world a better, more positive place. Here are 8 easy ways to smile and make a difference:
Even if you don’t have curbside pick up service for your papers, bottles, and cans, it’s possible your community has a recyle depot where you can drop these items off for free. Often it’s the same place where you take your pop bottles back for a refund. You can return electronic items, batteries, paint, lightbulbs and more.
- Donate your change
You’ve probably seen them at gas stations, donut shops, and other places. A donation box collecting for a charity. Sometimes with a chocolate bar to sell. If it’s a charity you can get behind, throw your spare change into the box.
- Give blood
Unfortunately this is something I can’t do, but I’m forever grateful to those who can give blood. I’m anemic and have been the recipient of a blood transfusion. I want to thank the person who helped get my red blood cell back to an acceptable level and thank all blood donors out there for the gift of life. The Red Cross is a good starting point to find a blood bank.
- Give points
Do you have air miles or other credit card points that are about to expire or you don’t think you’ll ever get around to using? Do a Google search for “donate points for charity”.
- Support local businesses
When I was a kid growing up in Cloverdale, BC there were no big box stores. There were a few department stores, but not nearby – Woodward’s was about a 20 minute drive from our house. Our main street had a couple of shoe stores, a few clothing shops, a bakery, a dry cleaners, a travel agent, a couple of cafes, a 5 and dime, and a movie theatre. There was one grocery store, the Co-op, which also doubled or tripled as a lumber yard, hardware store, and a feed store. These were the places we shopped. As bigger grocery stores and department stores moved into nearby towns, our shopping habits changed, but we still shopped locally for some things. These days I mostly shop locally for produce and a place that sells honey. I use a local credit union, go to a hairdresser, sometimes grocery shop, and occasionally frequent local restaurants (I don’t eat out a lot). Yes, it does make me feel good to shop locally and it’s close by and convenient. Bottom line is it’s just as easy to go to Walmart to save money and grocery shop. There are at least 6 of them within a half hour drive of my house. I might buy bananas there but I rarely buy produce from Walmart.
It always feels good to give back to the community. You can reach out to schools, churches, hospitals, and other organizations to let them know you’re available to help out. I help out a local dog rescue with transportation, fostering, and transporting. You might want to help out at a soup kitchen or retirement facility. Give it some thought and sign up with a group that interests you.
- Be a good consumer
When you buy cans of tuna, check the label to make sure it’s dolphin friendly. If you buy a can of coffee, make sure it’s fair trade. When you buy clothes, check the label to see where it’s made, and if it comes from a country known for sweatshops and child labour, give that garment a pass.
- Lend a helping hand
Do you someone pulled over to the side of the road with their hazard lights flashing? Pull over and see if they need help or need a cell phone to make a call? Is it someone struggling with a flat tire and you know how to change a tire? Pull over and help out. If you see a person who’s struggling with several bags of groceries, offer to carry some of them home. Is someone standing on the sidewalk holding a map? Ask if they need directions. Don’t stand by and watch if you can help. Read my article on lend a helping hand.