Love makes people feel that you care for them. Showing love to others doesn’t require a lot of time or money. Sometimes the littlest things mean the most. If you want to spread some love in the world, why not begin with these ideas?
Can helping others help you?
Researchers say that volunteering leads to better mental health. Studies show that people who volunteer have a healthier lifestyle. Another study says that when you give to others, you’ll have lower stress levels. It’s incredible how being thoughtful and kind comes back around. Maybe the old Bible verse that says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts. 20:35) is right. It’s a blessing in more ways than one to give to other people. Here are some ways you can spread the love to your local community, family, or friends.
Local charities are always looking for volunteers. They need people to work for free, so all the money they collect goes for their mission. Check out your local charities, schools, churches, or food banks. If you have unique talents in art, writing, finances, or organizing, let the charity know because your skills may be valuable to them. Find a place you can fit in the best. You may need to try several places to find one that fits your schedule or time limits. Get your kids involved if possible so you can teach the benefits of helping others.
2 – Donate to a local cause
Local causes are plentiful in most areas. There are significant needs all around you if you look for them. Getting a personal recommendation is often an excellent way to find a good cause. Ask your children’s teachers, the clerk at the grocery store, or your local librarian about places to donate. Most communities have local organizations that need and appreciate donations, including:
- Girl scout organization
- Boy scout organizations
- Local police or sheriff organization
- Firefighter organizations your community
- Local schools
- Animal shelters
- Homeless shelter
- Women’s shelters
- Local food bank
These places need money, but they often need other things as well, such as:
- Food or meals
- Gift cards
It may take a while to figure out where you want to spread the love in your local community, but it’ll be worth the search in the long run.
3 – Animal shelter drop-offs
Animal shelters are always in need of help. You can volunteer your time to help clean out cages or hold pets to keep them socialized. Animal shelters usually need items for the animals at the shelter or for the new pet owners who adopt. You can drop off things like
- Clean towels
- New toys (never used)
- Leashes and collars
- Flea and tick treatments
- Pee pads
- Baby bottles for feeding young animals
- New beds
- Cages for birds or rodents
- New bags of litter for the bottom of cages
- Grooming supplies
- Dog and cat treats
- Office supplies
When you drop-off something for an animal, it’s just one small way for you to spread love in the world around you.
4 – Helping your elderly neighbor
You may have an older neighbor that could use a little help now and then. Keep your eyes open to their daily needs, like putting away their trash cans, delivering their mail, or bringing them cookies. Older adults can be lonely, especially if their family isn’t local. Why not stop in for a weekly chat? You don’t need to stay long, but just give them a little time and attention. It will mean a lot to them and make you feel better for doing it.
5 – Pay for coffee for a stranger
Have you ever had a stranger pay for your coffee? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s always a pleasant surprise. You could be the first one to get the love going at your local coffee shop, inspiring others around you to pay it forward to someone else. It’s easiest to do this when you’re in a drive-through since you can tell the cashier privately you want to pay for the person behind you. Sip them the money and then go your way. This is just one simple way to make someone smile.
6 – Donate blood
According to the American Red Cross, in the United States, every day, they need around 36,000 units of red blood cells, 10,000 units of plasma, and 7,000 units of platelets. The donated blood is used for various things such as cancer, organ and marrow transplants, blood disorders, and orthopedic surgeries. Search online for a local blood drive in your community. When you donate blood, you could be saving someone’s life. What could be a better way to spread love in the world?
7 – Mow your neighbor’s lawn
Take a look around your neighborhood. There’s probably someone in need. Perhaps there is a family with a sick child or an elderly neighbor who just got out of the hospital, or a single mom caring for her kids and working full time. During the summer, yards usually need to be mowed at least once a week. After you mow your yard, go over and mow your neighbor’s yard. You get extra exercise, and your neighbor gets a beautiful yard along with a feeling that someone cares for them.
Statistics show that every night, more than 1 million Americans are homeless. Of this number, it’s estimated that 35% of this number live on the streets, and 65% live in shelters. Soup kitchens help feed those who are homeless, destitute or living in poverty. These facilities are always looking for volunteers to serve food. Of course, most soup kitchens serve more than just soup. They serve full-course meals, lunches, and snacks for the homeless. Look online for soup kitchens in your area.
9 – Take flowers to your child’s school nurse
The unsung heroes of schools are those individuals who serve behind the scenes. For instance, a school nurse takes temperatures, hands out bandaids, and calls parents when a child isn’t feeling well. They are the ones to comfort a kindergartener who fell on the playground or reassure the sixth-grade boy that he can go back to class. They’re often forgotten on appreciation days, so why not surprise your child’s school nurse with a little bouquet to make her day brighter?
10 – Buy cookies from kids selling them
Many scouting organizations sell candy, popcorn, or cookies. The local troops’ kids sell these items at grocery stores to earn badges and help their troops. Money raised from these sales goes towards a particular project to support the local community or a local troop. These are worthy causes. It’s a simple way to spread some love in your world.
11 – Offer to babysit for a family member
Parents always need a break. If you have a sibling with young kids, show them your love by offering to baby for their kids one evening a week. Or take their kids for an all-day Saturday trip to the zoo and dinner. It’s a great way to build a better relationship with your nieces and nephews and serve your sibling in a practice way.
12 – Mentor someone
Volunteering as a mentor to a child or adult is a wonderful opportunity to help someone else. From teaching someone English, reading, or offering help with finances, people are always in need. Your skills can help them get started in life.
13 – Plant flowers in your parent’s yard
Spring flowers cheer everyone up. Planting flowers for someone, maybe your parents, will put a smile on their face.
14 – Help a friend
Do you have a friend in need? If so, you can step in to help them. Whether it’s helping them paint their living room, babysitting, or offering to run to the grocery store for them, your help will mean a lot and make them feel like you care.
15 – Go on a mission
Get out of your comfort zone and go on an overseas mission. Many churches do summer outreaches to third-world countries, usually to teach kids, do construction projects, or set up a school. Church outreaches are usually well-organized since they do them annually. Plus, they only last only a week or two, so you can use some vacation time. Medical organizations put on other mission outreaches, so you may want to volunteer if you have a background in dentistry or physical therapy. Once you find a mission you love, you may end up making it a yearly event.
Spreading love in the world is easier than you think. Small actions speak volumes to those around you, whether you’re chatting with an elderly neighbor, donating blood to your local community, or mentoring a young adult. Try some of these suggestions, and before you know it, you’ll be spreading love in the world around you and enjoying it.