It’s easy to applaud and appreciate the large scale efforts of groups that go in and do a rebuild project after a natural disaster or travel to another country to take food and medicine to a needy village or community. But for many of us, humanitarian efforts like that are just not feasible. Instead, we need to focus on making a difference with the little things- those things that cost little or no money and take up bite size pieces of time.
Making a Difference with the Little Things
Here’s 5 ways to make a difference even if you have a very limited budget or live a super busy life.
Send a Card.
For less than 50 cents, you can send a card to tell someone thank you for what they have meant to your life. Last week, I realized that I have an aging relative who needs an encouraging card. It took me just a few minutes to write the card, find a recent picture of the kids and drop it in the mailbox. This will be very special to that relative.
Make a phone call.
Almost every week for over 15 years, I have taken a few minutes to call my Grandma. This is a special time for both of us to connect, chat about our lives and share a few minutes together over the phone. Hearing someone’s voice for just a few minutes can make a difference in both lives.
Pick up a piece of trash.
I hate seeing litter at the playground or in the parking lot of our school. I try to make it a habit to pick up a piece of trash rather than just walk past. After soccer games if we see a water bottle that has been forgotten, we’ll often pick it up and toss it in a trash can. It takes a quick second, but keeps our environment healthy.
Delete one email subscription a day.
I hate junk email, but I get hundreds of spam mails a day. I am trying to unsubscribe to at least one newsletter each day. Eventually I’ll get my email box back under control.
Donate one item a week.
Donating to a food pantry or resource center is not an expensive thing. I know that some stores keep a donation box at the front of the store. If you find a great sale, why not pick up one extra item for less than a $1.00 and drop it in the box as you leave? Got extra glue sticks in your cabinet? Many classrooms are down to the last few supplies that were donated back in August. Grab a few extras and send them with your child tomorrow.
Say thank you to the cashier.
Many cashiers have to deal with difficult customers throughout their day. By taking the time to say thank you and be pleasant, you can make a difference in their day.
RAOK – Random Act of Kindness
Sometimes it’s fun to just do something random and spontaneous for someone. Last week a Facebook Friend who I have never met was mentioning that she needed some clothes for her stepson. I realized I had a few things just sitting in my donation pile that would work perfect for her and mailed them. Maybe you can share a coupon with a stranger or take a candy bar to a friend who has a sick child. These random acts mean so much and make a huge difference.
How do you make a difference with the little things? Got any great tips? I’d love to hear!