While philanthropy is often perceived to be for the wealthy, kindness is for everyone. The beauty of giving back is that it does not have to come in the shape of extravagant gestures. If you’re ready to start paying it forward but have no idea where to start, fret not because here are five simple yet meaningful ways you can give the gift of life to your community and leave a lasting impression.
Small acts of kindness not only leave a lasting impression on the lives of others, but it also benefits us. Studies have shown the myriad of benefits that come with giving back to our communities, including improved physical and psychological well-being.
“Each & every one of us has the potential to give back in our own capacity.” – Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran, chairperson of RYTHM Foundation.
Research also suggests that those who spend their time volunteering develop a greater sense of purpose in life, the motivation to make positive shifts and a broadened perspective as a result of immersing themselves in community and other people dedicated to bettering the world.
If you’re ready to start paying it forward but have no idea where to start, fret not because here are five simple yet meaningful ways that you can give back to your community and leave a lasting impression.
1. Spend time with the elderly or orphaned children
By 2050, two billion people will be 60 years old and older, while UNICEF data shows that there are an estimated 153 million orphans worldwide. There are many within these segments of society who have been neglected and could urgently use some tender loving care (TLC).
Spending the day reading to them or engaging in other activities at old folks’ homes and children’s homes can help give them the attention and kindness they need to prevent feelings of isolation or neglect. Beyond that, you could simply make someone’s day!
2. Plant a tree (or more!)
Who says you can only give back to people? Mother Earth is in dire need too, so why not pick up a shovel and plant a tree? Better yet, rope a few more people in and make it a community effort to plant more trees in your surroundings.
There are an estimated 3.04 trillion trees around the world that serve crucial purposes such as producing oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, decreasing toxicity in the environment, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! So, by planting a tree, you’d not only be making a difference now, but you could also potentially be impacting generations to come too.
3. Donate your time or skills
NGOs, non-profits, and other organisations that are supporting communities on the ground can always use an extra set of hands and minds to contribute to their important social work. In addition to that, studies have shown that people who engaged in volunteer activities saw an increase in mental health, physical health, life satisfaction and social well-being.
Whether it’s volunteering your time at shelters and foodbanks or lending your skills and services to non-profits in need, gifting your valuable time and skills can make a world of difference in the lives of many. Follow our social media pages to learn about the social causes that you can contribute to.
4. Random acts of kindness
While all the other suggestions above are great ways to give back with purpose, sometimes it’s also in the smaller, random acts of kindness we perform throughout the day that can leave a lasting impression.
And if you need a little extra motivation, studies show that engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins (the brain’s natural painkiller). Studies also show that perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age two times slower than the average population!
So, whether it’s giving an unexpected compliment, buying someone in need a warm meal or holding the elevator doors open for a neighbour juggling a handful of groceries, let’s remember to be kind to one another.
5. Give someone the Gift of Life
RYTHM Foundation’s Gift of Life initiative emphasises the value of the wondrous gift we’ve been given in the form of our time here on earth and the importance of celebrating this gift by paying it forward to others.
This includes celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and other important milestones in our lives by spreading some of that positive energy back to the communities around us.
“We started this because we wanted to do something meaningful for birthdays, to say ‘thank you for this life’. We wanted everyone to take this tradition forward and do the same for others. That’s what Gift of Life is for us, it’s to give back,” says chairperson of RYTHM Foundation, Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran.
Find out more about the Gift of Life and how you can nominate someone in need to receive our support here.