How to Make Giving a Habit

New Year Smarter YouDonation Box IllustrationtheSkimm
PUBLISHED JAN 1, 2019

The Story

Life is busy. And sometimes you don't have time to volunteer. We get it. But you're not in the clear yet. There are ways to incorporate doing good into your daily routine (think: random acts of kindness). Here are some ideas to get you started...

Effort Level: Basic level humanity

- Give up your seat on public transportation

- Pay for coffee for the person in line behind you

- Let your co-workers know when they've done a good job on something

- Donate groceries to a food pantry

- Collect soda can tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House Charities (proceeds to go sick kids and their families)

Effort Level: Your mom will be proud of you

- Set up automatic transfers from your bank account to put towards a donation at the end of the year. If there’s a particular charity you want to give to, do your research. If you’re not looking at a specific charity, check out a site like GiveWell to get some ideas for charities to donate to.

- If you’re not scared of needles, donate blood. Add yourself to a bone marrow registry. Or become an organ donor.

- Look through your things and donate anything you haven’t used in the past year. Or if something doesn’t quite fit – like a coat. Take it to a homeless shelter or to Goodwill.

- Donate gifts to kids around the holidays. Toys for Tots is a good place to get started.

Effort Level: Mother Theresa 2.0

- Send an encouraging letter to a sick kid. You can send it through Cards for Hospitalized Kids, which handles the delivery.

- Talk to your employer about donating leftover food at the office. Skimm HQ does this at the end of the week with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine.

- Send a care package or write a letter to a member of the military. You can do this through orgs like like Operation Gratitude or Soldiers’ Angels.

- Look at special dates (like #GivingTuesday, Good Deeds Day, Earth Day, MLK Day) and find ways to give back on those special occasions.

- Getting a pet? Adopt, don’t shop. Start your search with places like Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet.com.

- If you have a special skill or want to put more time into volunteering, check out different ways to give.

Want to do more? Here's how to give like a pro.

New Year Smarter You Logo

Sign up for the Daily Skimm and join the millions who already wake up with us.