February 17th 2017 marks National Random Acts of Kindness Day. If you’re not sure what it is, it pretty much does what it says on the tin. Whilst kindness is encouraged not just for one day but everyday, sometimes we can forget in the business of day-to-day life, so this Friday is a little reminder to celebrate kindness in society no matter how big or small. These famous quotes have got us inspired:
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” (Mark Twain)
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” (Aesop)
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” (Scott Adams)
Research shows that those who perform acts of kindness or good deeds feel more positive emotions. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky from Stanford University found in her research* that good deeds were the direct cause of an increase in well-being. Whilst Dr David R Hamilton** claims kindness brings about an emotional warmth, which produces a hormone called oxytocin that lowers the blood pressure and helps keep the heart healthy. So there you have it, even research proves if you do good, you’ll feel good.
Here are three ideas for helping others and you don’t just have to do it on February 17th:
Use your skills to help
A different type of social network, impossible.com invites people to share their skills for free and help others in an online gift economy. Users post offers and requests for help and these are then matched to the expertise. From designing websites for a not-for-profit charity to yoga classes, there’s a whole range of skills and talents that people can offer.
Pay it Forward
Give back with an app. There are lots of apps out there to help you practice kindness and the free Nobly app is just one of many. Helping you spread random acts of kindness as simply as browsing on Facebook, it lets you inspire others to do a good dead. Share your story of kindness, track the impact it has on others and continue the chain of good deeds. Up is another app which allows you make someone’s day by sending a positive and encouraging messages to your phone contacts anonymously via text.
Leave your book in a public place
A neat take on donating your old books, if you’ve finished a book you enjoyed, why not leave it on the train or on a park bench for someone else to read. You could leave a little sticky note saying ‘Read me and pass it on’ and encourage them to do the same. It’ll be a nice surprise for anyone who picks it up.
Giving to charity is another way to give back and dish out some generosity for worthy causes. If you already give to charity or are wary about it, then you might want to know that you benefit from relief from certain taxes like income tax if you make donations. Giving to a charity or community amateur sports club are tax free. The tax will go to you or the charity, depending on how you donate. Find out more on the gov.uk. Just remember to keep records of your donations so you can take them off your taxable income.
Another financial benefits of charitable giving is being financially disciplined. If you regularly donate to charity then you may have learnt how to be disciplined with your money and manage your outgoings every month. This can have a positive impact on your finances, since you’re less likely to overspend and you’re encouraged to budget.
Doing our bit
At Callcredit, who own/provide your Noddle credit report, we’re aware of and encourage the importance of giving back. Spreading kindness not just to humans, our team in Lithuania helped clear up a local zoo, as autumn can leave a mess of leaves scattered everywhere. They also went to a homeless animal shelter and walked some of the animals.
Our team over in the UK got stuck in with tidying up an overgrown farm in Yorkshire in prep for a new kids play area. Some great team bonding happened too.
The Client Services Team helped Leeds Irish Health and Homes, who find sheltered, retirement and supported housing for older people, hold a Christmas party for the people they have helped.
We hope you’ll be inspired to offer up a random act of kindness no matter how big or small this Friday 17th February, and any other days you like.