If you flip on the news before you turn in, you could find yourself tossing and turning with dreadful nightmares. Uncertainty and unrest abound for good reasons — amid a pandemic, racial and economic inequalities have reached a boiling point. You might think nothing positive is happening.
However, even amid the chaos, heartfelt individuals find ways to give back to their communities. The following 10 examples illustrate some things you can do to spread sunshine today. Draw inspiration and decide to make a dark world a brighter place today:
1. Picking Up Litter
If you stroll along any frequently driven avenue, you’ll notice a ton of trash lining gutters and sidewalks. While cities have public works departments to clean up the mess, their coffers are struggling. With tax revenue down, other budgetary matters, like funding police, take priority.
If you have a little extra money and could use the exercise, invest in an inexpensive grip extender and some garbage bags. Consider the benefits you reap. You get healthy outdoor activity, restore your sense of community and make people feel safer in a clean environment.
2. Making Masks
While manufacturers have gone above and beyond to meet the needs presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals still face supply shortages. If you are handy with a sewing machine, why not make some masks to donate? One student at Commonwealth Charter Academy recently gave 40 face shields to help a local hospital.
3. Participating in Demonstrations
If you live in a region where protests turn violent, it’s understandable if you want to show your support by posting on social media. However, if you acknowledge the risks, the community can use all the help it can get in bringing about positive change. Go out and show your support — and follow safety and social distancing guidelines.
Remember, you may never know if you’re infected. You also remain unaware if those near you have immune system issues or other conditions that make them more vulnerable to infection.
4. Shopping for an Ailing Neighbor
If you have an elderly neighbor or one with health issues, they might feel more stressed than ever about venturing into the public. Many people are behaving as if the pandemic is a thing of the past, and they’re ignoring orders to wear masks and continue social distancing. Why not make your neighbor’s day by offering to do their errands for them?
5. Starting a Community Garden
So many people took up gardening during the pandemic that it created a seed shortage in nurseries and home centers. However, those who dwell in urban apartments sometimes lack so much as a balcony for planting containers. Why not distribute flyers to gather interest for a community garden project?
The most challenging step involves locating a suitable space — your city council may have ideas. Once you have a plot, you can divvy up areas for various participants. Make each one 6 feet by 6 feet to allow social distancing while still enjoying a sense of community.
6. Giving to the Homeless
The people plagued hardest by economic downturns are those who often go ignored by the media. Homeless people need help more than ever. They often lack access to running water to take care of basic sanitation, putting them at increased risk of illness. Make inexpensive care packages containing items like clean socks, hand sanitizer and cleansing wipes and keep them in your car. When you pass someone holding a sign, hand them one along with your spare change.
7. Sharing Your Resources
Did you go on a panic-buying shopping spree in March? If you are sitting on a horde of paper for your throne room, donate some to a senior center or another facility short on rolls. Think of it as spring cleaning with a heart.
8. Contributing Your Gifts
Maybe you don’t have any extra cash or goods to spare — do you have a talent to contribute? One freelancer penned a book to donate the profits to charity. Others, like graphic artists, can help with designing flyers for campaigns, and web developers can code sites for nonprofit organizations.
9. Letting a Stranger Go Ahead of You
This random act of kindness doesn’t cost you anything but a few more seconds of your time at the grocers. If you see someone struggling with an armful and your cart overflows, let them go ahead. Their look of gratitude will be all the repayment you need — especially if they were in a hurry to get back from their lunch break.
10. Spreading Smiles
Science has found that human’s primal instincts compel them to sync up emotionally with others surrounding them. From an evolutionary standpoint, this adaptation makes sense. Humans didn’t survive without fangs and claws by flying solo, but by banding together. Shared feelings make folks more likely to cooperate.
Use this principle to spread sunshine by showing some teeth. Smile and chat pleasantly with those you encounter, even if they seem dour. Some of your positive mojo may wear off on them.
Take Inspiration From These 10 Examples and Spread Some Kindness Today
If there’s anything the world needs more of now, it’s kindness. Show some today by drawing inspiration from these 10 tips.