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21 Ways to Start a Giving Habit for 2021

Giving Habit for 2021 - 365give
Share Happiness!


More than most years, many of us are looking forward to a more hopeful 2021.  What better way to start 2021 than with 21 ways to give? Giving every day will maintain a happier state of being. One small give will start your brain neurons firing and put you in a good mood. Read about this under our happiness research so you can start off your best year possible. Start with the ideas that speak to your heart, and let the rest be water off a duck’s back. They are easy, fun and take just a few minutes. Need some extra motivation or support? Find a buddy to start a giving habit together. Better yet, who in your circle needs cheering up?  Ask this person to be your giving habit buddy. Now let’s get started with your daily giving habit for 2021!

Virtual Gives – Giving While Staying at Home, Pandemic or Not

  1. Offer to Read Someone a Book – a child or a senior. This could be a chapter at a time via video chat or live on social media, or even via phone through a senior’s window to maintain a safe distance. My kidlet’s Dad and I used to tussle over who got to read the next chapter to our son and his friends.  We both wanted to know how the story ended.  How the story actually ended was with a next generation of diehard readers.
  2. Send Gratitude Messages – Take a break from your work or homework and smile your way through a half hour of sending gratitude messages. I’ve had folks on the receiving end tell me they’ve never before received out of the blue appreciation.
  3. Thank a teacher – Who was or is your favourite teacher? Do they know? Well why the heck not?  Send them a note telling them how they made a difference. Most importantly, tell them why they are a favorite teacher.
  4. Record a Book for the Blind. You’ll both enjoy the story and learn something!  Schools, libraries and universities need volunteers to record books, articles and magazines for their sight impaired students or those with reading disabilities.  You may even gain a college degree worth of learning.
  5. Make Some Happy Mail! – Next time you send a dreary piece of official mail, press some awe-inspiring leaves or petals and pop them in the envelope. This will make an office worker (and you) smile.
  6. Want more ideas on how to give from home, pandemic or not? See our 365give COVID-19 virtual giving ideas or check out these volunteer ideas you can do from home.

In-Person Gives – Giving is Happiness x 2

  1. Leave an Unexpected Note – Leave a note for a friend, colleague or family member in a surprising place. 10 years after a friend wrote me a note, I found a poem tucked in my high school band shirt pocket, ending with the line, “I wonder how long it will take you to find this?”  Thanks Andrew!
  2. Give Someone A Compliment – Have you ever noticed a fabulous pair of glasses on a store clerk, or a sunshine-inducing smile on a fellow human? Did you tell them?  Why would you keep a positive thought to yourself? Spread some happiness and give a compliment. Both of you will feel great.
  3. Surprise Someone With a Small Gift – Bring flowers to your hair stylist or your morning barista. Many folks are having a tough year.  Tip generously or bring a gift to those that make your day easier, and more joyful.
  4. Share your talent – Are you a musician? Perform some music outside the windows of a seniors’ centre.  An aerobics instructor set up a boom box and offered exercise Tuesday outside my local seniors’ centre.  What’s your talent to share?
  5. Be Kind To Others On The Road – If you don’t drive, Mother Earth thanks you. If you do drive, let someone into traffic, or stop to let a pedestrian cross the road.  You will both smile.
  6. Bring someone an unexpected cup of fragrant hot tea or ice cold lemonade.
  7. Be Neighbourly – It’s winter in Canada (my home). When you shovel snow off your sidewalk, shovel your neighbour’s walk as well.  Depending on where you live, the same goes for raking leaves, cutting grass, or sweeping a walkway. Bonus – think of how fit you’ll get!
  8. Shop Local – ‘Nuff said.
  9. Give To People Who Are Without a Roof – I live in a wet climate, so I carry socks in my backpack to give to homeless folks I come across during my day. What’s most needed where you live?
  10. Give Aways – I carry $1.00 in each of two pockets. I give $1.00 to the first two buskers or homeless people I encounter.  What can you afford to carry in your pockets? A snack, a smile, a bottle of water? Be creative.
  11. Donate To Help Others – Are you tripping over too many toys? Wash those once loved toys your children lost interest in, and deliver them to a women’s shelter.
  12. Decrease Your Clutter To Help Others – Most of us have too much stuff. This makes our bank accounts slim and puts a strain on our planet.  Commit to giving one item you don’t need to charity for each of your 21 giving days.
  13. Donation Challenge – Want a bigger challenge? Give one item to charity today, give two items tomorrow, three the next day. Enlist your friends to help with this goal and get everyone to start giving. By the end of 21 days you will have given away 231 items.  Your house will be cleaner, you’ll know where to find things, and a local charity will benefit from 231 items you won’t miss.
  14. Challenge Your Friends Neighbourhood to Donate – Challenge a friend to do the same with their friends and neighbours. By the end of 21 days you will have donated 462 items as a group.  How cool is that?!
  15. Donation Challenge at School or Work – Want to turn this concept into a game with an inspiring prize of your choosing? Watch this video to be inspired!

Giving Makes Happiness Spread Around The World

When each of us gives to others, happiness spreads. Starting a daily giving habit in 2021 will do just that. You are happy, whoever receives your give is happy, and anyone who sees you giving is happy. Check out how you can give every day to spread happiness around your home, your school or your workplace using The 365give Challenge!



Ingrid Kastens
Ingrid Kastens
Ingrid feels privileged to live, work, and play in Vancouver, Canada, on the traditional, unceded, ancestral territory of the Coast Salish peoples. She has spent her life contributing to community, both personally and professionally, as the former CEO of an award winning (47 awards) not-for-profit and now as a consultant dedicated to making the world a better place through volunteering and activism, Ingrid has combined her fondness of writing with the 365give mission as a volunteer writer with the focus on changing the world and ourselves through giving. Ingrid is an enthusiastic reader and writer who loves the outdoors and experiential learning through travel.

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