When you give to others, you are really giving to yourself by learning how to be a better, kinder person. Here are four different ways you can make the world a better place by paying it forward.
Donate funds to your favorite cause: The classic way to pay it forward can also be the simplest. Find a charity or two that speaks to your heart and make a donation that fits your budget. Ideally, it is substantial enough to make a difference, but any amount you are able to responsibly commit adds value and is appreciated. Be sure to verify the authenticity of the organization on a charity-vetting site like BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator or CharityWatch. Don’t forget to save your receipt so you can claim a charitable-giving deduction on your taxes.
Commit to do one random act of kindness each day: Kindness doesn’t have to be big or loud to make a difference. It doesn’t even have to be costly. You can offer to make a coffee for your co-worker, feed a parking meter that’s about to run out for a stranger’s car, or let someone go ahead of you at a checkout counter. There is so much you can do when you look to give.
Donate your time: Unfortunately, there are numerous people in this world who are suffering from sickness, poverty, loneliness, mental health challenges or other hardships. With just a small donation of your time, you can help alleviate some of their suffering. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, help bring cheer to hospitals, offer to babysit for a couple who is going through hard times so they can have a night out to themselves, or make a habit out of visiting a lonely person. You can brighten someone’s day with your presence alone!
Share what you have: Aside from money and time, there are so many ways you can use what you have to bring cheer into someone else’s life. You can donate old clothing to Goodwill or gift a friend or neighbor with a full set of your child’s outgrown clothing if it’s still in great condition. Run a low-cost, or even no-cost, yard sale for all the toys, furniture and other items in your home that you don’t use any longer. Share your unused sports equipment with children who are less privileged than yours.
Since 2017, the SeaComm Pay-It-Forward Program has enabled our credit union to deliver random acts of kindness to thousands of individuals throughout Northern New York and Vermont. The program has involved our staff in paying for groceries, pumping and paying for gas, surprising local businesses with lunch, and purchasing school supplies for local students in need. Click here to learn more about our recent donations and acts of kindness!