Want to make a difference, but funds are low, here are some ideas that may help…

Clean out your pantry at home and donate what you don’t need, use or want anymore.  I mean everyone has a random can of something that’s been hiding in the pantry for a while right?  Kai Pantries are a great place to drop any excess off or your local food bank.
Recycle, as much as possible, set up a recycling system for your home or work, start small and get the hang of it, the planet will be grateful.
Thank an Essential Worker, if you see them, say thanks! or email or by way of social media, it only takes a minute to make someone feel appreciated and they’ve been more essential than ever lately.
Volunteer in your area, there is something for everyone on a small or large scale and even things that you can do from home.  Use your passion, whether it’s animals, kids, people or connection to find the right fit for you. Once a week, once a month, once a year, everything helps.
Shop Local, when you are spending – your town, your city, New Zealand, more than ever all of our businesses need us to support them whether your spending $1 or $100.
Give Blood.  It doesn’t take long and can help so many people and maybe even save a life.  Check out nzblood.co.nz to see if you are eligible to donate, where and when. 
Donate to your local Op Shop, if it doesn’t spark joy anymore, thank it for its service and pass it on for someone else to enjoy and your favourite Op Shop to profit from.
Adopt a Pet that needs a home, change their life and yours.  Pets find their way into shelters for many reasons, my in-laws just adopted a 7 year old dog before lockdown as the 96 years old owner was going into a rest home and they will all keep in touch – heart swell right there.
Adopt a Neighbour.  Whether it’s a quick hello over the fence, a wave out the window or having a cuppa, there are many Kiwis that have no family in the area or even in NZ.  You’ll get as much out of the relationship as they will.
Pass Books and Magazines onto family and friends.  You never know what they might find interesting, educational or motivating or donate used books to a local café.
Plant a couple of extra seeds in your veggie garden and share the love and produce around when it’s ready.  You might have fruit trees in your garden too, a bag of fruit or a few veggies may make a difference to someone’s budget.
When Baking at Home double the recipe and share the love with friends and neighbours.  It’s a special way to connect and catch up with folks.
Show your Happiness for someone else’s success!  Offer to help them to continue with their success, we all have different skills that we can share.
Welcome In new members to your neighbourhood and community, they will acclimate to the neighbourhood quicker and you’ll make a new friend or three.
Leave Messages with your favourite quotes in library books, on café tables, the bus or train.  You’ll brighten up someone’s day and maybe start a chain of good vibes.
Mentor or Tutor someone you know.  You might be an expert in a subject, have a love of teaching or a wealth of knowledge in business that could really help someone with their future plans.
Community Garden.  Find some like minded gardeners in your area and create a sustainable community garden.  Start small and watch how it grows as you meet new people and create a central hub for all those with green fingers.
Clean up an Area. It might be the local beach, walking track or park, by taking pride in a communal area you might just inspire others to keep it tidy or to work on tidying a different area.
Exercise / walk /run with a friend or neighbour, some folk like the company and motivation to exercise together, help them to get active and you in the process, it’s a win win.
Visit Aged Care homes in your community.  Call in and talk to the office manager and activities coordinator to see if you can share any of your time and talent – singing (if you can sing that is), reading, music or just company and chatting.
Tech Support. Teach the young and old in your community how to use a computer, ipad or mobile phone.  It might be the main way they could keep in touch with family and friends out of town or out of the country.  You remember how daunting it was with a new device but practice and patience does wonders.
Transportation.  Escort neighbours, friends or family to the shops when you’re going if they don’t have a car or carpool to work for companionship and to save some dollars on gas.  
Leave a review.  Pleased your local cafe has opened up again, or got a favourite local business that you support, why not leave them a review or contact them to thank them?
Jigsaw Puzzles, you either love them or you don’t.  If you do love them check with your local Op Shops if they need a puzzle checker.  I didn’t know it was a thing but it totally is, all puzzles are checked before they go out to sale.
Set Up a Driveway, street, neighbourhood whatsapp, facebook messenger group so everyone can communicate easily and help each other out if and when needed.
Start a Book or Cooking Club.  In person or online, there’s something special about sharing your thoughts on what you’ve just read or made.  The ripple effect from a club based around people’s passions can be magical 
Kombucha mania is sweeping the country, if you’re making it at home ask around and see if anyone is interested in learning how to make it or maybe a local is on the hunt for a scoby. 
Sport, if sport is your thang see if you can use your skill, talent and time to help a local school or club.  It will give you all, all the feels.
Phone someone you haven’t spoken to or connected with for a while.  It’s always nice to know someone is thinking about you and you sometimes don’t know what people are dealing with so a call for no other reason than to say HI can be real nice.
Turn Up to a Community meeting, a party, a club, a book reading.  Show up by yourself or take some friends and make that hosts day.  You know how it feels when you’re the host and you wonder if anyone is going to be there on the night.  
Share a Meal with a new friend, an old friend or a neighbour you know is alone.  Breaking bread together is a human universal experience, it can be so simple to do but so powerful for you both.

Any others you can think of?  Do please share them in the comments.

Author: Liz the Life Coach
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