We all want to do good—whether it’s for ourselves or our loved ones, the planet, or society at large. No matter how big or small, good deeds carry a double punch—we make a positive impact, and we feel great at the same time. Honoring that happy ripple effect in 60 different countries is Good Deeds Day—set for April 10, 2016—a yearly celebration of doing good around the world. This list of 52 ideas will help you take part all year round to make a positive change to the world around you.
A Good Deed a Week
1. Let your first check of the year be to charity.
2. Help a friend in need.
3. Volunteer for an hour at an organization of your choice.
4. Save electricity by unplugging your devices when not in use.
5. Buy a gift for your mother or grandmother—just because.
6. Allow a fellow driver to merge into your lane.
7. Write a thank-you note to someone who won’t expect it.
8. Find unneeded items in your house and donate them to a charitable organization.
9. Plant a tree.
10. Think of something you do well, and use your talent to benefit others—for example, performing magic tricks at a children’s hospital or playing music at a nursing home.
11. Teach an elderly person to use a computer to surf the Internet or write emails.
12. Organize a family meal and appreciate being together.
13. Collect stuffed animals or toys from family members, friends, and neighbors and donate them to an organization that helps children.
14. When you are outside, stop and look around you. Take time to appreciate nature.
15. Find a piece of winter clothing that you haven’t worn all season, and donate it to a charity.
16. Donate an old cell phone.
17. Be environmentally conscious—use both sides of the paper before throwing it away.
18. Offer to cook or clean for the family of someone who has recently given birth.
19. Think of at least three things you should be thankful for in your life.
20. Sign up for a CPR course.
21. Plant a vegetable garden, and donate the vegetables to a food pantry.
22. Collect duffle bags, overnight bags, and suitcases from friends and donate them to organizations that send them to children in foster care.
23. Add yourself to a bone marrow registry and take part in a bone marrow drive.
24. Pick up trash from the sidewalk.
25. Offer to read to or play games with someone living in a nursing or retirement home.
26. Donate blood.
27. Conserve energy. Turn off the lights if you’re the last person to leave a room.
28. Save articles about people performing acts of kindness as a source of inspiration and motivation for you and your family.
29. Decide to make one change in yourself that will make you a better person.
30. Swallow your pride and apologize for something you’ve done—whether big or small.
31. Take food to a new neighbor.
32. Take part in a literacy program, to help children or adults learn to read.
33. Donate school supplies to children from underprivileged homes.
34. Collect small soaps, shampoos, deodorants, and other small toiletries, and donate them to battered women’s shelters, rehab centers for teens, or other places that would benefit from them.
35. Donate your old eyeglasses to an organization that will reuse them.
36. Treat a friend to dinner.
37. Return a phone call you have been putting off.
38. Give 10 percent of your salary to charity.
39. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
40. Answer the phone in a cheerful voice.
41. Recycle whatever paper, bottles and plastic items possible.
42. Hold a charity day at work. Encourage your colleagues and supervisors to bring in nonperishable items to be donated to a worthy cause.
43. Turn the tap off when you’re shaving, brushing your teeth or scrubbing the dishes—every drop counts.
44. Take public transport instead of driving.
45. Adopt a shelter animal.
46. Make a double-batch of something delicious and freezable and give it to an older neighbor who doesn’t cook for him or herself as much anymore.
47. Switch your light bulbs to the energy-efficient variety.
48. Ask a loved one about their day.
49. Hold the door open for a stranger.
50. Praise a colleague’s good work.
52. When you’re out buying food, purchase an extra item to donate to a food pantry or to a homeless person.