Micro-Volunteering: 13 Small Ways to Make a Huge Impact

A busy schedule doesn’t have to get in the way of giving back to those around you. Get started today.

“No act of kindness, however small, is wasted.” –Aesop

Do you remember the last time you passed along kindness? Was it when you surprised your coworkers with treats on a Friday, bought coffee for the person behind you in line or simply held the door open for someone coming in after you at the grocery store?

Acts of kindness don’t always have to be grand. As a matter of fact, even the smallest gesture can completely change someone’s day. In a world overrun by busy schedules and time-sensitive projects, taking a second or two to do something for someone else is needed now more than ever.

“Many people regret not volunteering, but feel they can’t fit it into their jam-packed schedules,” says Director of Community & Volunteer Engagement Karen Horowitz. “For those of us who feel this way, we just need to re-frame how we think about volunteering.”

Small acts of kindness, or micro-volunteering, are things that everyone can do in spite of a busy schedule. And the busier you are, the more opportunities you have to make someone’s day.

Here are 10 ways to pass along kindness that are small but make a huge impact:

  1. Hold the door open for someone walking in behind you
  2. Pay for a stranger’s coffee
  3. Ask someone how their day is going
  4. Call a family member or friend to check in
  5. Surprise your coworkers with treats
  6. Help someone at the grocery carry their bags to their car
  7. Mail a card to someone you love
  8. Donate food to your local food bank
  9. Give someone a compliment
  10. Lend an ear to someone in need

Bonus – three ways to pass along kindness with NVFS:

  1. Share one of our Facebook posts or Tweets with someone you think would benefit from them
  2. Drop off in-kind donations to our thrift stores, Hunger Resource Center or shelters, or donate online
  3. Refer someone to us if you think he or she may need help. See all the services we offer here.

“All of us micro-volunteer every day – that is we give back by helping our communities in brief bursts of time. It can be as simple as helping a stranger unload heavy items from their car or taking a minute to share a post from your favorite organization while browsing social media during your lunch break,” concludes Horowitz.

Random acts of kindness don’t always need a reason behind them, and that’s what makes them so special – spreading joy simply because you can.

For more ways to spread kindness throughout Northern Virginia with NVFS, please see our website.

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