Share the love with these tips for 25 days of kindness
Embrace the true meaning of giving this festive season with these 25 acts of kindness.
1. Pay it forward with Christmas giving
Buy a stranger’s coffee, meal or groceries (depending on what you can realistically afford). The trick?
To leave the premises before the lucky person realises what you have done.
2. Help animals in need
Unable to adopt a rescue pet? You can still help by donating new or used blankets, towels and sheets, as well as cans of food and toys, to pet shelters such as the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League NSW.
3. Walk a pup
Contact your local pet shelter and volunteer to walk a pooch or two.
Not only will you be giving the dogs a little fun in the sun while they wait for their forever home, it’s a good way to get in some extra exercise.
4. Donate toys
While you are doing the Christmas shopping, pick up a couple of extra toys to donate to a children’s charity, or place them under your local Kmart Wishing Tree.
5. Write letters or cards
Compose and send letters (or Christmas cards) to loved ones, outlining all the wonderful things you love about them.
Receiving them will make a nice change from the usual bills and council correspondence.
6. Sponsor a disadvantaged child
One in six Australian children are growing up in poverty. Make a difference by sponsoring a disadvantaged child through The Smith Family and give them a helping hand throughout their schooling.
7. Sign up to be an organ donor
Give the gift of life and sign up at donatelife.gov.au.
Anyone aged 16 and over can register on the Australian Organ Donor Register and it only takes one minute.
8. Gift giving drive
Organise a Christmas present drive through your workplace or your child’s school.
The premise is simple: everyone donates a gift and you organise the pick-up and drop-off at your local homeless shelter.
9. Help with chores
Offer to help a friend with a task – -t could be as simple as assisting with a cupboard clear-out, hanging pictures, helping with gardening, proofreading their CV or walking their dog.
Commit to a mutually convenient time and turn up and ask, “Right, where do you need me?”
10. Donate your tech
Replacing a laptop or mobile phone?
Consider donating your old tech to a charity or organisation such as the Asylum Seekers Centre.
Donations of laptops, tablets and phones up to seven years old (or iPhones 6 or newer) can help those looking to study, gain employment or stay in touch with government organisations and family back home.
11. Pay someone a compliment
Whether it is for a particular task they performed or the way they are dressed, what is important is that your words are sincere and that you give the compliment in an appropriate manner.
12. Offer to help with errands
Put out a call on your neighbourhood Facebook page to see if anyone nearby needs assistance with a delivery or household chore.
A quick dash to the post office or supermarket for someone who is unwell or physically incapable can make their day a little easier.
13. Food delivery
Know someone who’s going through a hard time?
Send a couple of pizzas to their home through a food ordering and delivery service.
Dinner will be one less thing for them to worry about — just don’t forget to alert them!
14. Thank first responders
Bake a cake or a slab of brownies for local service providers such as the police, firefighters or paramedics and deliver them with a handwritten note expressing your gratitude for the work they do.
15. Banishing loneliness
Isolation and loneliness are a growing problem in Australia, often keenly felt around the holiday season.
Do your part by organising an informal evening of drinks and nibbles, either for your apartment block or your street.
You can ask everyone to bring a plate to lighten the load.
16. Help out with photos
The next time you come across a family or group of friends struggling to take a group selfie, offer to take their photo and get into the spirit by insisting on different poses and backdrops.
17. Donate clothing essentials
When you next go shopping, buy a few bulk packs of underwear and drop them in a charity chute as you go about your business.
You can also deliver these to your local homeless shelter.
18. Train your pooch as a therapy dog
19. Baking for charity
Help your kids organise a Christmas-themed cupcake stand and donate the proceeds from their baked goods to a charity of their choice.
Just be sure to make it clear in the signage for the stall.
20. Gift a meal
When you are cooking dinner, make an extra serving or two and deliver it to a neighbour who has been working long hours or a family doing it tough.
Extra points if it’s healthy as well as delicious.
21. Take the time to play
Earmark an hour for play; whether it be with your pet, your kids or even a friend you haven’t spoken with for a while.
It isn’t the activity that counts, but the act of giving someone your undivided attention.
22. Cheer someone up with flowers
Know someone who could do with a boost?
Organise a delivery of flowers to their workplace or home, along with a heartfelt note expressing gratitude for their place in your life.
23. Offer your seat
It’s the little things that can make all the difference.
Whether you are travelling on public transport at peak hour or find yourself in a busy food court, give up your seat for someone who needs it.
24. Community sharing
Put a shelf outside your home and stock it with non-perishables for people to take.
Don’t forget to attach a sign that reads, “Take what you need and leave what you can” so everyone within your community can get involved.
25. Be kind to yourself
It’s a stressful time of year for most, so try to schedule a massage or pedicure for a little time out.
There’s no need to spend a fortune; you can make a booking at a massage training facility in your nearest capital city, where treatments are delivered by students at a reduced rate.
Other ways to help others and make it through the festive season:
- Festive fun: 20 ways to spread Christmas cheer
- How to make kindness your norm and why you should
- How to keep stress at bay during the holidays
- 6 fabulous free (or almost free) Christmas gift ideas
- Yes, socialising on a budget is possible! Here’s how
Written by Dilvin Yasa.