Pay it Forward this Christmas and Reap the Benefits!
You can always give something, even if it is only kindness. - Anne Frank
Everyone wants to make a difference in this world and leave a positive impression. Did you know that paying it forward can help you accomplish just that? A random act of kindness can not only brighten someone's day, but it can start a chain reaction in motion. Put away perceptions that you need to be rich or powerful to participate, because they are false.
Christmas season is the season of giving, so what better time than the present to get started?! There are numerous opportunities to pay it forward, you just need to be attentive and they'll present themselves.
10 Ideas for How to Give Back this Christmas
- Take your kids toy shopping and have them pick out some affordable toys to donate to Toys for Tots.
- Volunteer or donate to a local soup kitchen. There are many to choose from. Here are a few examples: Daily Bread food bank, Good Sheppard Ministries, The Salvation Army, Second Harvest.
- Create and leave festive holiday greeting notes on windshields - this doesn't cost you a thing but it's a sure-fire way to put a smile on someone's face.
- Be gracious to strangers. Let someone go ahead of you in the grocery line if they're buying a few items only as compared to your full cartload.
- Bake cookies and deliver them to your local hospital or shelter.
- Start a food drive at work or within your social circle and donate it to a local church or food bank. To find a food bank near you, check out Food Banks Canada.
- Pay for the cup of coffee for the stranger behind you in the drive-thru and ask the cashier to tell them to pay it forward.
- Donate blood. Doing so can potentially help another person to live. Find a donor clinic at Canadian Blood Services.
- Give up your seat by offering it to an elderly person.
- Give some words of Encouragement. So many times, we witness crazy things happen to strangers. Don't be one of the ones to stop and stare. Instead, be the one to help them get up.
Doing Good Does You Good
Random acts of kindness not only help the recipients, they can also be good for your mental health. A study published in Clinical Psychological Science found that performing small acts of kindness for others can give you an improved outlook on life and help you better deal with stress. Physiological benefits (of kindness) include improved cognitive performance, increase in energy, lower heart rate and balanced cortisol levels which result in less internal stress.
"A purposeful act or extension of kindness to another is never wasted, for it always resides in the hearts of all involved in a chain of love."
- Molly Friedenfeld, The Book of Simple Human Truths
Paying it forward is not just good for another, but in the long run benefits everyone around you! What are you waiting for? Start today and contribute to the ripple effect!
Written By: Avanti Volunteer Blogger, Nikolina Kvesic