September 18, 2023
Table of contentsDoing good as a team
Doing good solo
Doing good in your neighborhood
Doing good remotely
If you’re feeling the urge to do some good, you’re not alone. September through December has
been coined “the Giving Season” because that’s when many of us are even more compelled to help our fellow humans.
And if you’re also feeling a little overwhelmed because the needs seem so great, we hear you. But doing good doesn’t have to mean doing big things!
If each of us does just One Good Thing, we can create a world of good. So here are 50 ideas to inspire you. And if you want to spread the love, be sure to share this post with everyone you know to keep the momentum going.
Doing good as a team
1. Organize a blood drive
Giving blood is a pretty big deal … you’re literally saving lives! It’s a quick process and you usually leave with a treat in hand.
2. Host a knitting party to make scarves for people in emergency housing
Make chilly days a little warmer for those in your community who need it most. Want to send the warmth across the globe? You can also donate directly to Knit-a-square to support children in South Africa.
3. Host a bingo night for seniors in a care home
Everyone loves playing games, so here’s a good deed where everyone wins!
4. Adopt a family together
Support low-income families and help them get back on their feet. You can find programs like this through your local Salvation Army or organizations like Hope for Children.
5. Make birthday bags
Put together gift bags full of kids’ birthday supplies like cake mix, candles and balloons, and drop them off at your local food bank as an extra surprise for a kiddo who deserves a special day.
6. Collect wish list items for a local charity
Many local charities publish wish lists online (and many have direct buying links). If you’re in doubt, give them a call. You can also support Make-A-Wish on a local or international level.
7. Deliver holiday decorations to care homes or families in need
For some, traditional holiday decorations and treats can make all the difference — especially when they might not be able to access them.
8. Volunteer at your local food bank or soup kitchen
There’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup served with love. Dedicate a morning to serving food or preparing meals and make someone’s day brighter (and warmer!).
9. Make bagged lunches for a shelter or school lunch program
Many hands make light work. Start an assembly line!
10. Build hygiene or care kits to donate to shelters
Have everyone bring unused samples of shampoo, toothbrushes, soap, etc. into the office and buy any extra items. You can also donate products directly to organizations like Beauty Bus Foundation, which provides beauty services for seriously ill individuals and their caregivers.
11. Organize a park clean up
Head to your local park with gloves and garbage bags and get rid of the litter.
12. Start an employee resource group (ERG) at your company
Gather together with like-minded coworkers to make a difference and support causes you all care about. Benevity Affinity Groups is software that helps companies create and manage ERGs.
13. Raise money for a food bank (money goes further than goods)
Ask around and see who’d like to donate, or work with your leadership team to see if you can make it a company-wide initiative.
14. Spend time with animals at your local shelter
Do it as a group! There are so many animals out there just waiting for love. Plus, spending time with animals can lower everyone’s stress levels.
Doing good solo
15. Donate clothing and household items to people in need
Your gently used items are appreciated by those who may not be able to afford them. Women’s emergency shelters and immigrant programs are especially interested in items to help
set up new homes.
16. Bring stuffed toys to an animal shelter
Stuffed toys aren’t just for humans. Our furry friends love them too and animal nonprofits often need them, and other supplies like food, towels, blankets and toys.
17. Give old books to a local library
By donating a few of your old books, you’re giving the others an opportunity to enjoy them! You can also set up a virtual book drive with similar organizations in your area.
18. Give to a friend’s favorite nonprofit
Supporting a cause close to a friend’s heart shows that you care about what they care about! Plus, you might learn something new about the work the nonprofit is doing.
19. Use your skills to help someone land a job
Offer to review someone’s resume, help them complete a job application or prepare them for an interview.
20. Donate your hair to a cancer charity
Donating your hair is a great way to support children and adults who have lost theirs due to cancer. Check out A Child’s Voice Foundation, Locks of Love or similar organizations in your area.
21. Deliver gifts to kids in the hospital
Spending time in the hospital is tough on everyone — especially children. Bring some cheer by delivering small gifts! Be sure to check the hospital’s wish list and delivery protocols first.
22. Sponsor an animal in your friend’s name
Double the good feels! You’ll help an animal in need and honor a friend. You can get started with Best Friends Animal Society.
23. Sign up for a first aid class
Have confidence knowing you can take action in emergency situations. Plus, it’s a practical certification that can save lives!
24. Foster an animal
Take the Goodness one step further and foster a fuzzy friend until they find their fur-ever home.
25. Be the eyes for a visually impaired person
Lend your eyes to help low-vision or blind people lead more independent lives with apps like Be My Eyes.
26. Fundraise by auctioning off your skills-based services
Have a skill that’s in demand or one you’d like to improve? Auction it off to your coworkers or friends and donate the funds to a nonprofit of your choice.
27. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister
Mentor youth and help them reach their potential through a one-on-one relationship. After all, time is one of the greatest gifts you can give! Sign up at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America or Canada.
28. Wrap donated presents
If you have a flair for curling ribbon and folding with precision, or just want to up your wrapping game, volunteer to wrap the toys collected for a nonprofit’s toy drive.
29. Return lost items
Taking the time to return a lost item to its owner likely means more than you know!
30. Share a meal with a stranger
Dining out just got better! When you order a Mealshare item at a participating restaurant, $1 gets donated toward a meal for youth in need — and Mealshare also provides a meal!
Doing good in your neighborhood
31. Leave care kits around town
Put together waterproof care kits and place them on park benches or other high-traffic areas around your neighborhood. For colder months, consider socks, scarves, hats and/or mittens. When it’s warm outside, you could fill bags with toiletries instead! Leave a note to let people know they can take a kit if they need it.
32. Rake leaves, shovel snow or wash windows for your neighbor
Imagine the delight! You’re likely already doing these seasonal chores, so why not make your neighbor’s day brighter with a small gesture?
33. Loan your power tools out for the day
They’re sitting there just waiting to be used! Loan them out to a friend and, if you’re feeling extra helpful, you can help them with their project.
34. Be a couch-surfing host
Sharing your home can make a big difference for someone traveling. You’ll probably also hear some interesting stories and maybe even make a new friend. Get started at Couchsurfing.
35. Encourage others with kind words
Grab your sticky notes and get down to business! Leaving encouraging notes around the office or your neighborhood will help keep everyone in high spirits.
36. Embrace random opportunities to do good
Kindness doesn’t have to be planned — get random! See someone struggling with their bags? Lend a hand. Waiting in line? Let the busy family go ahead of you. Such kind gestures will surely inspire more people to do good.
37. Smile at someone
You can make the world a friendlier place with this small gesture. Plus, it’s easy and free!
38. Shop local, feed local
Purchase gift cards from local restaurants or food markets and donate them to people who need a little help putting food on the table.
39. Build a Little Free Library in your neighborhood
We’re willing to bet you have books sitting on your shelf that others would love to read. And if your neighbors start adding their books, you might find something new for your collection, too. Find out more about Little Free Library.
40. Contribute to a community art mural
Channel your inner Picasso and use your skills to make your community that much more beautiful! It’s the gift that keeps on giving since people can enjoy your art year-round.
41. Have a craft or bake sale and give the funds to your favorite charity
Turn on your favorite tunes and start creating! If you have any leftovers, you can donate them or give them to friends and family.
Doing good remotely
43. Write a positive review of a local business
A positive review can mean a lot to a small business, especially during uncertain economic times. Take Goodness one step further by recommending the business to a friend or your social followers.
44. Send cards or packages to first responders
Our everyday heroes often put their lives at risk to help their communities in times of need. Show your appreciation for their efforts.
45. Write letters to children at your local hospital
Spread hope, joy and magic to hospitalized children with a card full of uplifting messages and stickers!
46. Make cards or care packages for seniors in a care home
Seniors are often the most isolated demographic, and your card may be the only one they receive this year, so make it extra special! Check out organizations like DOROT or Seniors Secret Service.
47. Educate yourself and others on Indigenous issues
The path to reconciliation starts with education. Encourage your friends, family, coworkers and social followers to enroll in courses on Indigenous history like this one from the University of Alberta. You can also recommend they listen to the Speaking of Purpose podcast, watch documentaries and/or participate in a guided tour of a residential school.
48. Amplify BIPOC creators on social media
Whether you’re sharing an educational video or linking to a BIPOC-owned small business, use your voice to share theirs. Then, go support their businesses.
49. Give the gift of giving with charitable gift cards
Spread Goodness by treating a friend (or even a stranger!) to a charitable gift card so they can give back to a cause they care about.
50. Share One Good Thing
What if your One Good Thing inspired another and another until millions (or heck, billions) of people are doing Good Things? That’s a whole lot of impact. So do One Good Thing (any good thing) and share it on social with the hashtag #DoOneGoodThing to spread the word.