Add doing good to your to-do list
What was the last good thing to happen to you? Did you experience surprisingly excellent customer service? Did a stranger affirm your parenting techniques? Did someone pay for your lunch? Did your neighbor mow your lawn or your teacher brag about your paper to the whole class? Whatever it was, I know it felt good to be noticed--to be cared for. If it’s true that it is better to give than to receive, imagine how good we could feel simply by adding a little kindness to our own to-do list! It might feel overwhelming to attempt a task like "do good," but don't worry--I've compiled a list of super simple ways to help you implement goodness into your busy day.
Take Mental Notes
Observation can lead to doing good. Think of the 90s movie "Harriet the Spy," based on the book by Louise Fitzhugh. The snoopy sixth-grader behaves like an investigative spy, observing everyone in her neighborhood and taking copious notes about them in her private notebook. If we compile just a few mental notes about our neighbors, we can creatively contribute to their needs with very little effort. If we take a moment to look up from our phones and see the very places in which we find ourselves, we might be surprised by how simple it can be to fill the gap and help others.
Related to observation is developing good listening skills. Sometimes the most meaningful thing we can do for a person doesn't require us to lift a finger at all--we simply need to be there to listen. Start with listening to your best friend and then take steps towards lending an ear to the more challenging people in your life.
Use the Internet as a Force for Good
Lasting changes to our lifestyles are usually slow going, so in the midst of developing the habits of observation and listening, use these three simple ways to do good while online shopping and browsing the internet.
1. Giving Assistant is a pretty rad site that allows you to use your online purchases to earn up to 30 percent cash back rewards; you can then choose to donate some or all of your earnings to a charity of your choice (hint: you can choose Dressember!). Giving Assistant automatically generates coupons and highlights department sales for its thousands of featured stores. From Hotels.com to Walmart.com, it’s easy to make this your new go-to shopping center!
2. Tab For A Cause is a browser extension that provides a beautifully designed home screen, which generates funds every time you open a new tab. Funded by advertisers, all donations go straight to some of the most recognized non-profits in the world. You're going to open the tabs; why not do good while you're at it?
3. Amazon Smile is a web-based service that is super easy to add to your online shopping experience. A percentage of the price of the item you're purchasing will be donated straight to a charity of your choice; for example, to Dressember and therefore straight to the end of human trafficking. While there are over a million charities from which to choose, I suggest you pick Dressember if you're unsure! Consider Amazon Smile as you look forward to shopping for the holidays.
I'm sure many other amazing, creative, simple and fun ways to make a difference and do good in the world are out there and I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below! I'll leave you with seven free apps to help you prioritize goodness.
Apps to Help You “Do Good”
-Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) sets reminders and offers daily suggestions for implementing acts of kindness.
-Snapguide allows you to share your unique knowledge and experiences to help educate those around the globe.
-Charity Miles tracks your steps to raise money for a charity of your choice--choose from over 40 charities!
-Recycle Coach helps you manage your own recycling habits with reminders, instructions, and localized information.
-Golden Volunteer Opportunities matches you with local volunteer needs that are a perfect fit for your schedule and skill set.
-DonorReminder keeps a record of your blood donations so you never miss a chance to save lives.
-Donate a Photo turns your everyday photos into donation dollars thanks to Johnson & Johnson.
-Be My Eyes lets you help the blind with vision assistance.
The world can often seem dark and despairing, but the reality is, that it doesn't always require a free schedule to make a difference. Small, simple acts that we incorporate into our day can make lasting impacts in our community and around the world. We believe that wearing a dress is a fun and simple way to incorporate benevolence into your daily life. Will you join us this year?
About the Author
Allyss Flores is finally a grown up, having turned 30 this year. She is grateful that now, thanks to Dressember, she can fight for justice every December regardless of her life circumstance. Aside from advocating and telling stories, Allyss loves to raise her two small children with her husband deep in the heart of Texas.