March 6, 2011

30 Inexpensive Ways to Sow Kindness

Last year I read about Robyn’s 38th birthday celebration, which was to complete 38  random acts of kindness.  Robyn was pretty creative at fulfilling her tasks and it looks as though she and her family had a great time blessing others.  Many people’s lives were touched by their acts of kindness and many more will be affected by reading her post.

We’ve heard stories of people paying it forward by paying someone else’s tab in the fast food drive-thru or at a restaurant. Some of you may feel discouraged by this because you don’t the extra money to help out someone else. I want you to know that random acts of kindness don’t have to cost anything.

Here are some inexpensive ideas to get you started . . .

1. Collect shoes for Samaritan’s Feet.  You can host a shoe drive in your church, school, or community.
2. Visit a neighbor. Maybe take some baked goods. 
3.  Give compliments. Something as simple as “That color really looks good on you” can brighten someone else’s day.  (I need to work on this one.)
4.  Sing or play a musical instrument at a nursing home.  When I used to visit my grandma, I would play Christmas songs and other music on the piano.  It was a small act that brought joy to many.
5.  Send a card.  A simple “thinking of you” or “praying for you” goes a long way to making someone feel loved.
6.  Right a wrong.  Have you hurt someone else’s feelings?  It’s never too late to mend broken fences.  Make an effort to restore a broken relationship.
7.  Rake leaves, plant flowers, or make repairs on an elderly person’s home.  Many times they don’t have the physical ability or the money to pay someone for the work.  It would mean so much to them.
8. Divide up your overflowing flower bulbs and share with someone else.
9. Pick up trash. This could be in your neighborhood or just a place you have noticed that needs cleaned.
10.  Mentor a child.  You can be a blessing to a child in need.
11.  Babysit for a single or stressed out mom (for free, of course).  Having a few hours alone can really help someone to feel refreshed.
12. Make cards and letters for deployed military or veterans.
13.  Pass out sandwiches and hot chocolate to the homeless.
14.  Volunteer at the homeless shelter.  You can serve food or just be someone to talk to. 
15.  Write thank you notes for your child’s teacher and school administration.  Educators have a tough job with little thanks.
16.  Donate gently used toys, coats, and blankets to a ministry such as a women’s shelter.
17.  Offer to run errands for someone. Call your neighbor to see if they need anything. This would be especially helpful to an elderly person or a mother with young children.
18. Save expired coupons to ship overseas to military families.
19. Take a friend out for coffee.
20. Make homemade bread, muffins, or goodies for work and put them in the breakroom.
21. Deliver dinners for Meals on Wheels.
22. Crochet hats for cancer patients or sew blankets for children who are hospitalized.
23. Clean houses for cancer patients.
24. Donate old towels, rugs, blankets to an animal shelter.
25. Volunteer at the local animal shelter.
26. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. We all make mistakes and are in different stages of life.
26. Get those free items with your coupons even if your family doesn’t use them. Donate the items.
27. Let someone go in front of you in line.
28. Take dinner to someone that is sick or is unable to cook for themselves.
29. Play some games at For each question you answer correctly, rice will be donated to the hungry.  Sometimes I’ll play this game while I’m watching tv.  It’s so easy to make a difference.
30.  Help others learn to save money.   😀

Added later: Oops, I just noticed there are two of #26. haha I guess you are getting more than 30.

And just for fun . . .

32.  Get involved in a church or community service project.  When you get together with others, you can do a lot of good.  Elevation Church just had their yearly Love Week where they encouraged their congregation to volunteer in their city of Charlotte, NC. Over 33,000 hours were volunteered. That’s awesome!

I know there are many other ways to show kindness without spending much money. Can you help me add to this list?

This is a rewrite from a post I did last year while working for another company.  Image by sxc by andreyutzu.



3 Responses to “30 Inexpensive Ways to Sow Kindness”
  1. 1
    Mix Mingle Glow
    Twitter: mixmingleglow

    Hi Karen. Thanks so much for mentioning me in your post! I am amazed and humbled how that single day is still touching others. I am also currently working on a new venture that was inspired by my Birthday RAOK…I’ll keep you posted on it.
    Thank you for reminding your readers that Acts of Kindness absolutely do NOT need to cost a penny. So many people are inhibited by not being able to do something they deem to be “big” or meaningful (equating the magnitude and meaningfulness of an act of kindness with the amount of money expended on it), so they don’t do anything at all!
    Love your list, love your site!

  2. 2
    The Thrifty Mommy
    Twitter: thriftymommy

    Hi Robyn. Thanks for dropping by. I enjoyed reading your post and seeing all of the pictures. With this tough economy I was hoping to encourage people to think of others even if their wallets are tight. Keep me posted on your new venture. 🙂

  3. 3
    Robyn @Mix Mingle Glow
    Twitter: mixmingleglow

    Would you mind sending me your email? I am currently working on a final logo and as someone who understands the philosophy behind what I am doing, I’d be interested in your feedback! 🙂

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