Paying it forward by doing a good deed for someone else, as opposed to a return favor for someone who did something kind for you, is a great way to help spread positivity in the community. It’s up to you to decide if you want your recipient to know you’ve done the good deed or if you’d like to remain anonymous. The focus is simply on doing something kind for someone else without expecting anything in return.
The deeds can be simple or complex and don’t necessarily need to cost you anything. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Surprise someone you see regularly with a cup of coffee – a person who works in your local supermarket, the receptionist in your doctor’s office, etc.
- Leave a good book behind on a train or bus for the next person to find and read.
- Stop at a local child’s lemonade stand and make a purchase.
- Consider donating blood, if you are eligible to do so.
- Bake a batch of cookies and share them with a neighbor.
- Hold a food drive to support a small, local food pantry. They don’t get as many donations or funding grants as larger food banks.
- Let someone with fewer items go ahead of you at the grocery store.
- Donate a couple of dollars to the person ahead of you in line struggling to pay his total with change; or trying to remove an item because he doesn’t have enough to pay his entire bill.
- Send a card to a friend or family member for no reason.
- Donate time by volunteering at an animal shelter or food kitchen.
- Instead of lending something to someone in need, give with no strings attached or expectation of return.
- See a group of tourists? Offer to take a picture for the group.
- Have a coupon you don’t need? Leave it at the grocery store WITH the item it is good for.
- Have you ever seen people sharing surveys for school studies on social media? Take the time to fill one out to help a student with his research or paper.
- Leave a kind note in a library book (on a post-it) before you return it.