Even just brightening someone’s day with a small act of kindness goes a long way. Below are a few ways that have inspired us into paying it forward.
Giving back is something that should be carried on throughout the year, but around the holidays the spirit of giving is ubiquitous. The holidays can be especially hard for a lot of families who are struggling. Warm clothes, clean sheets and toys are things we take for granted, but if we all do a little extra to help it adds up. Even just brightening someone’s day with a small act of kindness goes a long way. Below are a few ways that have inspired us to give back.
Paying it Forward by Hosting a Toy Drive:
It’s a great way to get some friends together for a fun night and to support a charity that helps children. Everyone brings an unwrapped toy for a child that you can deliver to an organization you trust. Baby2Baby is a great one in the LA Area.
Paying it Forward by Picking Up a Stranger’s Tab.
This is inspired by my husband who, (going to dote for a sec) on several occasions, has done this. The other day I was waiting in the car with Romeo while Zan ran into a small grocery store. When he got back into the car he waved to a lady as we were pulling away. Her faced brightened and she gave an exicted wave back and said “Thank you so much, God bless you!” I mentioned, “Wow she was extremely friendly” and then he informed me that he just paid for her groceries. I knew I married the right man! Even just a coffee or just picking up the cost of parking for the car behind you. A small deed and a few dollars can go a long way.
Put Together Care Packages to Hand Out to the Homeless:
Depending on your climate and where you live, fill paper bags with gloves, socks and everyday essentials like toothbrushes, soap, etc. You can even make homemade cookies to add to the care bags. Gift cards are good too. Then hand them out to homeless people in or around your community or drop them off at a shelter.
Give Thanks to Your Local Fire Fighters:
They’re saving lives every day and would be the first ones to the scene if, God forbid, you ever have an emergency. Around this time of year it’s nice to give a little extra thanks by doing something special for them. Buy your local station lunch, drop off yummy donuts and coffee one morning or make a donation. They really do appreciate it!
Paying it Forward by Comforting the Elderly
Growing up, I volunteered at the Senior Center in my hometown. I would play board games with the seniors, eat lunch or just listen to their stories. They’re at the center all day, some don’t have family who visit them and most of the time they adore having a few visitors who drop in to say hi. One year my friend Leah and I even went Christmas caroling at a Senior Center. It was a true blessing to see their smiles, even with our crackly and way out of tune voices ; ) You can learn a lot from their stories too. It puts everything in perspective showing how fast life goes by.
Reasons For Paying It Forward
- When you pay it forward, you’re usually changing someone else’s circumstances for the better.
- Paying it forward inspires generosity and compassion.
- The person paying it forward grows as much as the person receiving the act of kindness.
- By paying it forward, you practice credibility and accountability by considering others’ needs. This carries over into everything you do. You feel better about yourself because you’re trying to make everyone’s lives better, especially your own.
- Paying it forward becomes an essential part of your critical thinking process, and this extends to future generations. If you have children, they’ll see this in you and carry the same tradition forward. They’ll be more rational, humane creatures.
Check Out These Other Festive Ideas
A Great Gift Guide by Refinery 29
How to Make a DIY Gift Bag for Christmas by Kaleidoscope Living
If you have tried any of these Paying it Forward Ideas, or any other ideas on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more great ideas!