Showing Kindness? There's an App For That!
Mobile phones and the Internet are at our fingertips these days, allowing us to easily engage with loved ones and giving us a way to spread kindness to those beyond our friend and family circles.
If you’re looking for a few ways to bring some good to the world, these apps, websites, and creative ideas offer inexpensive and free ways to use the Internet to send joy to others.
Charitable giving is often one of the first things people think of when they imagine acts of kindness and generosity, and there are plenty of ways to give to your favorite organization or cause online. The following two sites are good examples of crowd-sourced donation hubs that allow the donor to specify exactly where they want the money to go:
Kiva - Kiva is an international nonprofit with a mission to alleviate poverty by crowdfunding loans to individuals and groups who are working to better their lives and their communities. Donors can choose which loan they want to fund and can search loans based on criteria such as location, gender, or topic. Donations start at $25, and as the loan is paid back, the money is returned to the account to be loaned again. Sometimes a loan is defaulted on, but in general, a single donation can give a helping hand to numerous people over time.
Donors Choose - Donors Choose is also a crowdfunding platform, but this one provides grants to teachers to tackle specific issues or projects in their schools and classrooms. Donors can choose a classroom nearby or find a project that speaks to them. Teachers submit impact letters and photos, so donors can see how their funds were used, and you might even receive a card from a student your donation has benefited.
Creating Stronger Bonds
In the effort to add a little extra good to the world, it can be easy to overlook what’s right in front of your eyes. Take a moment to text, call, or email someone who means a lot to you. Try these fun ideas to let someone know they’re on your mind:
- Send a picture to a friend of something that reminds you of them.
- Make a video of you singing a song, telling a joke, or acting out a scene from your favorite movie, and send it to a friend or family member who has been feeling down.
- Video chat with a friend who is feeling homesick or sad. Have a virtual dance party, read a book together, or play a game of charades.
- Engage in a silly, emoji-only chat with a friend or family member.
Everyone needs support and encouragement now and again, especially around topics like illness, pregnancy, depression, aging parents, and other life challenges and milestones. If you have experience in any of these difficult areas, you might be able to support or help someone else through an online forum. Carve out a few minutes in your day to sign on and answer a question or offer reassurance.
Random Acts of Kindness Apps
If you’ve ever had a stranger buy you a coffee, give you a genuine compliment, or take a moment to hold a door, you know that those small acts of kindness feel good. You can spread the same good feelings by doing similar activities. If you need some inspiration or a nudge to come up with your own acts, these apps can help:
The Kindness App – Choose one action from their list of more than 100 to do each day. This app has a snarky side, so it’s best for older kids and adults, but there are some good ideas for ways to spread joy.
The Great Kindness Challenge apps – Although geared towards kids (one is for schools and one is for families), these apps can help anyone add more kindness to their life by challenging them to complete a set of tasks, like smiling at 25 people or taking a board game to a senior center to play.
GISH (Global International Scavenger Hunt) – Who says that spreading kindness needs to be a serious affair? Pair up with friends (or even strangers) and complete tasks that are wacky, fun, kind, and often charitable. While there are prizes at stake, the end goal is to add a little more kindness and laughter into the world.
If your mobile phone is always by your side, use it for good and spread some joy. A little kindness goes a long way, especially with the help of the Internet!
Post by Christy Matte
Christy Matte is a Boston-based writer and contributor for Xfinity Mobile. She is a die-hard techie who enjoys video games, surfing the web, and any gadget she can get her hands on.