So last month was World Kindness Day and since I have been thinking about things that can be done to make the world a better place. No kidding, you can’t change the world on your own – but you can certainly take steps towards becoming a more well rounded individual and someone who can put themselves out for others every once in a while. I try really hard to do as much as I can for other people – being a student it’s not easy to throw about donations left right and centre. However I’ve come to realise that there are some things you can do to give the world a helping hand, without having to financially compromise yourself.
The Shoebox Appeal
This is one of my favourite random acts of kindness. The Shoebox Appeal is well and truly done for 2017 now, they only have a very small window for donations in November – however there’s no reason why you cannot start one now in the preparation for next year. I started two boxes over the summer after reading about the shortages in boxes for teenage boys, I collected things over the months – not even noticing the money had gone as most items were from pound shops. By November my boxes were brimming and I was able to hand them over with a heavy sense of pride. The feel good factor is amazing and the Samaritans Purse now offer a service where you can track your box and see where it ends up – what’s better than the confirmation that you’ve really made a difference to someone somewhere. If you haven’t heard about the shoebox appeal, its basically where you pack up a shoebox full of things for children, this can include toys, art items etc. You then wrap up the box with a label for the age group and gender of the child you have chosen then take it to a local drop off point. The boxes find their way to children worldwide with little else to their name, the boxes help brighten Christmas for these children who have so little. It’s a lovely campaign and something I always hope to be involved in. You can read more about it here.
Do something for the homeless
And it doesn’t have to be just passing them some small change. A lot of homeless people are going to be more grateful for a friendly conversation over 20p or so. I always walk down the streets of Liverpool, especially at night and see many people talking to the homeless which truly warms my heart. I’ve always wanted to have the confidence to be able to do so but have never found it yet. I’ve brought homeless people coffees and food in the past and given them change where at all possible – I could never comprehend the thought of being so stripped of human rights as they are, and I like to be able to help in any way I can. On my walk back from Uni there’s a small café for the homeless – I plan to take some foodstuffs there before long. Random acts of kindness need not break the bank, i’m sure these types of cafés are everywhere nationwide and are always going to be grateful for eggs, milk and bread. On the contrary, if donating isn’t really your thing – you could always volunteer a few hours of your time at local food banks, soup kitchens or shelters; these places are always desperate for helping hands and I only wish I had the time to help them out so.
Help someone out
It’s a given, but if you see someone struggling in public – it’s nice to offer them a helping hand. I’m unable to turn a blind eye to someone having difficulty getting on the train or to someone who’s dropped something, however if you’re a little more introverted and would usually be too shy to rush to help, why not try it out? People are usually so grateful for a strangers random act of kindness – not to mention it builds up some good karma. If it still doesn’t sound right for you, how about doing something little like just smiling at people you cross in the street, I’ve read numerous stories about people who were at the end of their tether with life and were revived by a random stranger’s smile. It may not sound much, but it can really make a difference to someone’s day.
Do things for your family and friends
I’m a sucker for sentimental, and not just on the receiving end. I think there’s nothing nicer than picking up something little that reminds you of a person; no matter how big or small. I love surprising my friends and family with random little gifts and I also don’t mind being on the receiving end. If trying to complete a random act of kindness – why not start close to home? Especially when someone you’re close to is feeling down – a little thought can go a wrong way.
Lend a hand
Okay so this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – but have always been too emotionally unstable to do so. Many a times I’ve heard about certain charities setting up lend a hand campaigns. For example, certain dog shelters urge for members of the public to come and walk the dogs, spend a few hours with them and just generally shower them in affection. The RSPCA have a lot of information on how to get involved in this. On another end of the spectrum, Age UK are campaigning to “end loneliness on a national scale”. I often see them urging for members of the public to come forward and spend a few hours of their time to have a chat, have a cuppa and just generally be someone to talk to for a while. I think both are lovely campaigns and something i’d love to get involved in, it’s just something I’ve never gotten round to as of yet. It may be one for the New Years Resolution list.
“No act of kindness – no matter how small, is ever wasted.”