10 Free and Almost Free Acts of Kindness Your Family Can Do Today

My family enjoys finding ways to volunteer and help family, friends and neighbors--but, we know that sometimes money can be tight.  We may not be able to pay for someone's meal or put together a care package to ship or buy craft supplies to make blankets or such.  This doesn't mean that we have to forego acts of kindness--we just need to find free and nearly free acts of kindness for the family to do as a group!  Today, we are sharing our 10 favorite free and nearly free acts of kindness your family can do as our submission to the Blogging from A to Z challenge.  K is for Kindness!

A family's hands linked together

Make and Send Greeting Cards or Letters to Family and Friends.  I think we all love to receive fun mail--and we don't receive much these days except bill or advertisements! My girls always loved to draw, color and share their artwork with family.  Take a bit to print some coloring pages or design fun greeting cards to send to family and friends who may be feeling a little down due to isolation or illness.  This is a great way to work on grammar and letter writing skills for older children and printing and cursive letter practice for younger writers.  Everyone--even the teens and parents--can benefit from some arts and crafts time and coloring!  Mailing these only costs the price of postage and art supplies you have on hand.
Create an I Need Help With... Board.   This is especially fun for children who love to be helpful to mom, dad and siblings--but, don't always know what needs done.  Have everyone write down 10 things that they could use help with and pin them to a bulletin board.  When someone has some down time--have them help someone else in the family.  My items may have "fold a load of laundry from the dryer" or "sweep the back deck" or "organize the sewing box". These are quick tasks that I tend to put off--but, someone else may enjoy doing for a change!

Volunteer as A Tutor.  My youngest daughter volunteers as a homework helper at our local library.  She works mostly with young, non-native English speakers.  Helping these eager young students practice spelling words or math facts --or write papers or work through textbook assignments is something that comes easy to her and is so helpful to the students and their parents! 
Become Pen Pals with Local (or Not-So-Local) Senior Citizens.  This is another great way to brighten someone's day and help them avoid loneliness and isolation!  Join a pen-pal forum like Pen Pal Seniors from Reachout America to post or find opportunities--or simply contact your local assisted living facility or nursing home to see if they could help connect you to a pen pal.  If you are concerned about the cost of stamps--discuss dropping off and picking up letters from your pen pal at a local facility instead.

pinnable image for a list of free acts of kindness activitites for families

Make an Extra Meal.  Have the kids help make a few extra servings of food or a dessert for dinner--and package it up to deliver to an elderly or isolated neighbor--or maybe make an entire extra dinner for a family in need. While feeding someone else--or another family--does have a cost--you may realize that you may not miss those leftovers--or maybe you have extra food or produce that needs used up.  Rather than waste the food--give it to someone else in need to enjoy. 

Create a Gratitude Jar or Journal.  Sometimes, we all need to stop and remind ourselves of the good things present in our lives!  It can be easy to swell on the negative.  This act of kindness is more of a self-care act--but, when we feel better about ourselves we are more likely to feel inspired to do something nice for others--and vice-versa! It is a great cycle to start! Every night before bed, make a point to spend a few minutes writing down 5 things that made you grateful during that day.  Store them away in a gratitude jar or a journal.  If someone in the family had a tough day--they may need to hear what others are grateful for to help lift them up (and remind them of some things that they may have forgotten during the day) too!

Donate, Donate, Donate!  Take a day or a weekend and clean out the garage or the basement or the attic--or even just a closet!  Take some time to find a place to donate everything that you no longer want or need from that clean out!  Task the kids with the challenge of trying to figure out where to donate something unusual like old eyeglasses or a musical instrument.  Sort the items and assign everyone a charity--and make them responsible for either packing up the donation items for drop off or arranging shipping for the item(s) if the charity isn't local. Many charitable organizations will give you pre-paid shipping labels to help you get your items to them.

Answer Questions for a Cause.  Sites like FreeRice, Bean Bean Bean and Free Kibble are a few sites where families can answer trivia type questions on a variety of subjects--sometimes with varying difficulty levels--and earn donations for good causes. One of my daughters teachers sometimes uses Free Rice for Spanish vocabulary practice for the classroom!

Help Someone with Yard Work or Housework.  Maybe you know a single parent family or an elderly neighbor or family member who doesn't have the time or health to tackle some outdoor work!  Mow a lawn, do some weeding, trim some bushes--maybe paint or repair a fence or a broken railing.  Raking leaves or shoveling snow are time consuming (and sometimes back breaking) tasks that many friends and neighbors could use help with. Maybe even help with laundry or dishes a few times a week! The kids will learn a new skill--and you will lighten the load of someone in need.

Offer Free Babysitting for an Evening.  Parents know how important a date night or night off can be when you have young children!  Maybe you know a young couple or a single parent who could use a break for a few hours or an evening.  Offer to babysit with no strings attached. Your family will have fun bringing out old toys and activities that they haven't played or done in a while--and the parent(s) will have a few hours to recharge and regroup!

None of these ideas cost your family extra money--but, they can bring big rewards and smiles to the faces of someone else!

Get creative and find easy ways to spread kindness and generosity as a family whether in your own home or throughout your community!


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