10 creative ways to do more good!

Coconut Trees in the Philippines
Children in the Philippines
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The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.
— Paulo Coelho

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being an “influencer.” If you ask most people, they either love or hate the idea. I think this is because most of us are just influencing others to buy more stuff, look a certain way, and project this idea of a perfect life. I truly believe almost everyone is hoping and searching for something real on social media. We use the hashtag #authentic but are we really?

I know this is something I need to work on myself, so I thought I’d come up with a list of 10 ways to do more good. I plan on doing these in my own life, but why not share with you guys so you can do it too? I think we are all influencers, whether we have 1 follower or 1 million followers. We are always influencing the people around us with our words, actions, and social media. I personally want my legacy to be one of kindness and making the world a better place, so I’m recommitting to using my platform as a force for good! I’m hoping that in sharing these ideas, it will hold me accountable as I do them throughout the year, as well as inspire you to try them out or even think of your own ideas. Together we can make a difference, I honestly believe that!

1. Make some salsa (or other goodies!) and deliver to someone you know is having a hard time.

Bonus if that person is someone you don’t get along with very well. You know, that whole love your enemies thing? Feel free to deliver anonymously and just leave a kind note! I prefer making something like salsa only because I know the world doesn’t need more sugar, haha. Plus who doesn’t love homemade salsa?!

2. Host a beach or park clean up in your area!

Grab some friends, announce it to your social media, and get some people together to clean up trash at a local area. Here on Oahu, the beaches get pretty nasty after a storm and I’ve always wanted to host one of these! Let’s keep our nature looking beautiful while also increasing our mindfulness of how much trash we throw away.

3. Cut down on plastic use by getting a reusable water bottle, saying no to the straw, commit to only using canvas shopping bags, and buy a bamboo toothbrush.

Plastic doesn’t disappear, like, ever. So these are a few ideas to help you get started in reducing your waste. Even if you don’t live near the ocean, there are so many good reasons to cut out single-use plastics from your life. Next time you’re faced with a choice, make the right one!

4. Call up a local school - specifically an underprivileged one - and ask them what donations they need and then spend a week collecting supplies to donate.

It could be school supplies, classroom supplies such as tissues, outdoor equipment, books, clothing, or any number of things. Try to find a school in your area that might be more needy and doesn’t get as much parental support. Use your social media, friends and family, and some of your own funds to collect donations and then deliver it to the school!

5. Have a clothing or yard sale and use the profits to donate to an organization that’s close to your heart!

Even if you raise just $100, every penny counts and I know it makes a difference! You can even get your friends involved. Monetary donations are one of the best ways we can help do good because for the most part, organizations already have everything in place, they just need money to keep it going. Do research on your charity of choice to make sure most of their money is going towards actual services, not just advertising and parties.

6. Feed the homeless.

I know this sounds like a cliche, and there’s plenty of arguments out there that say you shouldn’t feed the homeless, but sometimes we fail to realize that a simple meal for someone who’s starving can make a huge difference for them. It matters right there in that moment, and spending time with them gives them the dignity of being recognized and remembered. If you’re not quite ready to go around passing out food, you could always work at a soup kitchen, donate food or money to a homeless shelter, or work with an already established church or charity who feeds the homeless on a regular basis.

7. Offer to babysit for free for a family who doesn’t get out much.

Sacrifice one of your evenings so that a couple can get out and spend some much needed time together. I love this idea because taking care of someone else’s kids truly is a selfless act - kids aren’t easy! But this small act could mean the world to a family who might be feeling overwhelmed. While you’re babysitting, wash the dishes and clean up the toys to make their day even more.

8. Write a bunch of cards appreciating others in your life!

As a goal, try to write and deliver 10 cards! You can seriously make someone’s day with a sweet note letting them know they are loved and appreciated. You don’t need to write a novel, just a simple card will do the trick. I know we usually resort to texting and calling, but I love the old fashioned idea of writing to someone instead. It feels more considerate!

9. Visit an elderly home.

I can’t tell you how much elderly people love visitors. Most nursing homes will allow pretty much anyone to visit. Bring a book to read, a sketchbook to draw, an instrument to play, some cosmetic supplies such as nail polish or hair pins, or just come prepared to ask a lot of questions. I’ve spent a lot of time in nursing homes, and having someone come to brighten their day makes a huge difference in their life. This is something I want to start doing in Hawaii!

10. Invite someone new over for dinner.

If you’ve noticed someone at church, school, or just at the grocery store who seems like they might need friends, send them an invite to have dinner at your house! I personally LOVE feeding people, but my go-to is usually just inviting my closest friends. I love that food can be a powerful way to say I care about you. So this last one is to care about someone outside of your regular circle and serve a meal (it can even be pizza!) to someone who needs to feel the love.

There are obviously hundreds of more ways to do good, such as making mindful eating and shopping choices, voting to make the world a better place, being kind and not judgmental, listening intently, being present instead of on your phone, paying it forward to someone in line, and just overall trying to focus a little less on yourself and a little more on the people around you.

Do you have any ideas to add to this list? What idea stuck out to you the most?

I can’t wait to do all these in 2019!!

xoxo Heather