30 ways to give more in 2012

Hand out flowers at random - just one small way to give more in 2012

A new year. That magical time of year where (it feels) a milestone has been passed. The past is behind us and the future stretches brightly across the horizon. Anything is possible. Smell that? That’s a whiff of new you on the breeze.

Most people set new year’s resolutions at this time of year. And most people have broken them all by the end of January. But you’re not most people. You want more out of life. You constantly strive to be your best self. And 2012 is going to be your year.

Perhaps you aim to “give more” of yourself in 2012 (I know I do). To help you succeed, here are 30 little ideas for how to give more and do good over the next year:

  1. Smile at strangers
  2. Make a list of 5 people you admire and write them a card or email to tell them why
  3. Volunteer at your local school / homeless shelter / hospice / animal shelter / church / community group
  4. Think positive thoughts – happiness is contagious
  5. Pay a strangers bill at a restaurant
  6. Try to gossip less – or if you must gossip, talk about nice things
  7. Visit an older person in a rest home who doesn’t get many visitors
  8. Pick 10 names out of the phonebook at random and send them a surprise in the post
  9. Talk to the person who sits next to you on the bus
  10. Offer to babysit a friend’s children so they can have a night to themselves
  11. Bake cookies to welcome a new person into the neighbourhood
  12. Next time you see a homeless person in the street, sit down next to them and ask them about their life
  13. Invite a traveller into your home (check out CouchSurfing for a safe way to do it)
  14. Clear out your wardrobe and give away everything you don’t need to a charity shop
  15. Give compliments freely
  16. Visit a prison inmate who never gets visitors
  17. Set your favourite books free so others can enjoy them too (try BookCrossing)
  18. Shake a bucket on a street corner for your favourite charity
  19. When you go to say something negative just pause… the urge may pass
  20.  Buy a bunch of beautiful flowers (or pick them from your garden) and hand them out to strangers on the street, one by one
  21. Hand-make your gifts and Christmas presents
  22. Offer to teach someone something you’re great at
  23. Take the time to send hand-written letters – they touch the heart in a way emails never can
  24. If you love someone, tell them – try not to be afraid of rejection
  25. Make someone a mixed tape (or a playlist for their iPod)
  26. Organise a fundraiser for your favourite charity
  27. Sign up to freecycle and share the things you no longer use
  28. Head into town with a “Free Hugs” sign and spread the love
  29. If you’re against something – protest / if you’re for something – celebrate it
  30. Find other people who care about the same things as you and make friends – this will make your whole life easier

Each act, however small, makes the world a tiny bit better. Like the tiny drops of water that together make the mighty oceans, together our small kind deeds and personal actions can make a world of difference.

If you’d like some more ideas, check out these 10 new year’s resolutions for good from Danielle at The Cause Blog. Or these 12 ways to love in 2012 according to Laura Dickey. Or maybe these 10 beautiful new year’s resolutions by Teresa Young. 

I’d love to hear your own ideas as I’m always looking for ways to give more in my life. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.


About Cassandra

Hi, I'm Cassandra. I work in fundraising, love travelling, and am fascinated by how we can inspire one another to greatness and spread human kindness. Connect with me on twitter @cassandra_nz


  1. Danielle Sanders

    Great ideas!! Thanks for adding my post as well!! :)


  2. Pingback: Make A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep…For Good! « The Cause Blog

  3. Wow! This list is really awesome! I’m going to share this list with my family and friends. I will do your #2 idea first this year. :)

    I noticed after clicking one your links above that it leads me away from your blog and doesn’t open it in a new window/tab. When you “Insert/edit link,” you may want to click the check box “Open link in a new window/tab” to have this corrected. ;)

    • Hi Adrian, thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’d love to hear how you get on with your notes of appreciation, I know they will bring some light into those people’s lives.
      It’s always so nice to receive comments on your posts, don’t you think? Maybe number 31 on the list should be “If you enjoy a post on someone’s blog, leave a comment” as it’s always nice to log on and find our words have touched the lives of another in some small way. Thank you.
      And thank you for your advice – I’ll be sure to do that with my links from now on.

  4. Thank you for a fantastically inspiring list! I’m also particularly interested in #2; it’s something I’ve thought about doing for a while now!

  5. chelewells

    Hi Cassandra,
    Thank you for sharing this fantabulous list! Number 12 and 28 is now on my “Give” list. :)

  6. Pingback: 10 Simple Ways to Lend a Hand | To Lend A Hand

  7. tolendahand

    Love this post unconditionally! There are so many on there that I will definitely do to give more! 12 and 16 will definitely push people out of their comfort zones, but those people need love too!

  8. Pingback: Webspiration #7 – Lend a hand, spread some smiles | My Life Is My Message

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