The idea of "giving" is often monetarily-rooted: donations, fundraisers, purchasing goods. But, what if your heart is bigger than your bank account?
Fortunately, there are alternative ways to give back on this #GivingTuesday (and every day, for that matter) that are free of charge, but big on impact. Check out our top five ways to spread the good that won't cost you a dime.
1. Compliment a stranger.
How many times have you thought to yourself, "She has gorgeous eyes!" or, "Wow, that woman's outfit is ON POINT!" Now, how often are those thoughts actually expressed out loud? For me, it's rarely. These compliments tend to live rent-free in my head. A wise man once said, "It's the thought that counts," but...not in this case, hunnies. The next time a compliment pops in your head, SPEAK IT. The kind words of one stranger can completely turn someone's whole day around.
2. SAVE, like, share, comment.
Social media engagement is uber critical for small businesses and non-profits. The more that you interact with a post, the more visibility that brand will be granted (gotta' love social media algorithms), which ultimately equates to improved brand awareness and more followers. Instagram "saves" are now the best way to boost the visibility of a post. The more saves a post gets, the more people it will be shown to. The next time you're scrolling social media, support your favorite small businesses and non-profits by throwing out some saves, likes, shares, and comments!
3. Make homemade cards for seniors, hospitalized kids, or cancer patients.
Making cards for people who could use a smile is one heck-uh-va wholesome way to spend your time, and in this era of social isolation, there are many who could use the personalized pick-me-up.
Card crafting is a fun activity to do with your kids, or by yourself with a glass of vino. Most hospital cancer care units and senior living facilities in your area will gladly accept homemade cards (call or message first to ensure there aren't any special considerations you'll need to abide by). A few other fantastic organizations who accept and distribute homemade cards include Cardz For Kidz, Bring Smiles to Seniors, and the Cards for Kindness global initiative.
Need some creative inspo? Check out this post by Craftsy!
4. Whip up a "pantry treat" and gift some YUM.
They're called pantry treats because they can be made using ingredients you likely already have in your...you guessed it, PANTRY. Try these easy-peasy three-ingredient Scottish Shortbread Cookies, No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars, or Chocolate-drizzle Popcorn (substitute the chocolate chips with cacao to easily veganize this recipe). Then, do a surprise drop-off to your neighbor, friend, family member, colleague, a teacher or some local healthcare heroes. Because we all know the way to anyone's heart is straight through the stomach.
Serving your favorite non-profit in a physical sense may not be as easy this year given new COVID-19 restrictions. Fortunately, there are literally thousands of opportunities for virtual volunteering. Non-profits nationwide are currently seeking assistance with grant writing, social media maintenance, administrative management, youth mentorship, and more. Whatever your talent, put it to good use with any number of volunteer opportunities. You can easily search for a flexible virtual position via Volunteer Match.
Whether you're planning to make a donation, speak a compliment, volunteer virtually, or all of the above on this #GivingTuesday, remember this: you can't put a price on kindness!
Do you have other low-cost ideas for paying it forward that aren't listed here? Share with us and others in the comments!
Cassie & Bella