Giving Back Bucket List: 36 Good Things You Can Do

I love to imagine a world where the words  “giving is loving” and “giving is better than receiving” aren’t just sayings, but put into action. Not only would it enhance the lives of others, but it’s also a powerful way to enhance your own. You can help make it happen. You can infuse your bucket list with a touch of kindness with my great ways to give back to your community or people around the world.

Giving Back Bucket List Pinterest

The Best Ways to Give Back


1. Adopt an Animal

Add a furry friend to your family and make a lasting impact. Adopting an animal not only brings joy to your life but also offers a loving home to a creature in need. The reciprocal joy of giving and receiving is beautifully epitomized in the companionship of a four-legged friend.

There are so many fur babies out there just waiting to be adopted by you. You can start your search at Petfinder.

Adopt an Animal

2. Babysit for a Single Parent

Offer a helping hand to single parents by providing some much-needed break. Babysitting may seem rather simple, but the support it provides is immeasurable. Ease the load for a single parent, allowing them a moment to breathe while you create some lasting memories with their children. 


3. Become an organ donor

Transform lives by becoming an organ donor—a decision that echoes compassion beyond one’s lifetime. By registering, you offer hope to those awaiting life-saving transplants. Your organs can give someone a second chance, turning tragedy into a beacon of hope.


4. Buy School Supplies for a Teacher

As sad as it may sound, many dedicated teachers have to dip into their own pockets to provide essential supplies for their students. Make a lasting impact by easing their financial load and buying some pencils, crayons, construction paper, etc (you can simply search teacher supplies on amazon and find everything they would need!).

By supplying classroom essentials, you contribute to a positive learning environment and show appreciation for the educators shaping future generations. 

Buy School Supplies for a Teacher

5. Collect Canned Goods for a Food Bank

Setting up a canned food drive isn’t just a nice thing to do; it’s a promise to help fight hunger in your community. When you gather non-perishable items, think about how each can make a real difference at someone’s dinner table. Your work means providing food for families going through hard times, making even small donations a big help. 

Collect Canned Goods for a Food Bank

6. Contribute to a Little Free Library

Spread the joy of reading by adding books to a Little Free Library. We have these cute book-sharing spots all over our neighborhood and they help to make reading easier for everyone. By sharing good books with your neighbors and even people you don’t know, you’re helping create a culture where knowledge is for everyone. 

Contribute to a Little Free Library

7. Dedicate Your Time to Help Someone Achieve a Goal

Be a guiding force in someone’s journey to success, showcasing that giving is loving. Whether helping a friend change careers or supporting a loved one’s dreams, your commitment fuels their success. The shared journey forms lasting bonds and memories, highlighting that your time investment is a precious and enduring gift.


8. Deliver Gifts to the Children’s Hospital

Bring smiles to children facing health challenges at the local hospital by giving them thoughtful gifts. Your small act of kindness can bring comfort and joy during tough times, showing that love has no limits. Whether it’s toys, books, or art supplies, your gesture provides a welcome break from medical routines, giving a sense of normalcy to the kids and their families. 


9. Do a Random Act of Kindness

Add some joy into your life by doing random acts of kindness. Whether it’s buying a stranger’s coffee or leaving a cheerful note, these little gestures spread positivity. The best part is the surprise joy it brings to both you and the person you’re kind to. 


10. Donate Blankets to an Animal Shelter

Want to help animals in shelters feel cozy? Just donate blankets. Animals in shelters go through tough times, and your gift gives them physical comfort and a feeling of security. It’s an easy but powerful way to make a difference in the lives of these animals as they wait for their forever homes. 


11. Donate Blood

You don’t have to be a superhero to save lives; sometimes, all it takes is donating blood. When you give blood, you become a lifeline for people who need transfusions in emergencies. Your selfless act helps in a cycle of care, providing a crucial resource that can make a big difference in someone’s life.


12. Donate Clothing and Household Items

As life goes on, our closets and kitchens start to accumulate things we don’t use. Maybe it’s time to purge what you don’t need. When you give away gently used clothes and household items, you’re not just tidying up; you’re helping people—men, women, and kids—who could use your kindness.


13. Donate to a Local Nonprofit

In a world full of important issues, helping a local nonprofit connects your support with your community’s needs. Whether it’s education, healthcare, or the environment, your donation makes a positive difference.


14. Donate Your Hair to a Cancer Charity

Ever considered making a haircut a symbol of hope? When you give your hair to a cancer charity, you turn your locks into a source of strength for those going through treatment. Wigs made from donated hair aren’t just accessories; they represent resilience and confidence. 

Donate Your Hair to a Cancer Charity

15. Find an opportunity to volunteer

Volunteering is like stitching together connections and kindness, offering a meaningful way to help your community. It’s not just about benefiting the causes you care about; it also adds purpose and fulfillment to your own life.

Don’t know where to start? Visit VolunteerMatch who has opportunities in many major cities or check the United Way website.


16. Get First Aid Certified

In life’s unpredictable moments, being a first aid certified can make all the difference. It not only helps you be ready but also lets you help others when they need it. Your know-how is like a safety gift for those nearby, making the community safer. 

Get First Aid Certified

17. Give Someone a Reusable Water Bottle

In a world of throwaway things, a small action can start a wave of sustainability. Giving someone a reusable water bottle isn’t just a useful present; it’s a promise to take care of the environment. One of my favorites is the wide-mouthed 24 oz Hydroflask!


18. Handwrite a Thank You Letter

In a world filled with digital messages, a handwritten thank-you letter is a timeless way to show gratitude. Take a moment to write down your appreciation, turning regular words into a heartfelt gesture. Whether you say “thanks” in a different language or not, your handwritten note becomes a keepsake—a real reminder of connection in our fast-paced lives.

Handwrite a Thank You Letter

19. Knit a Scarf for Someone Who Needs it

As winter gets colder, use your knitting skills to bring warmth and comfort to someone who could use it. Knitting a scarf is not just a creative project; it’s a way to show care and kindness.  You can find several different How-To videos on YouTube, but this step-by-step video on How to Knit a Scarf for Beginners is one of the best.

Knit a Scarf for Someone Who Needs it

20. Learn How to Properly Recycle

Understanding recycling might seem like cracking a secret code, but don’t worry—it’s simpler than it looks. Plus, recycling isn’t just cool; it’s a crucial part of saving the planet—one well-sorted bin at a time!

For tips on proper recycling, check out these links:

Learn How to Properly Recycle

21. Listen to Someone’s Story at the Senior Center

In the busy noise of life, the stories of our elders often don’t get heard. Be a time traveler of tales by spending time at a senior center. Listening to their stories isn’t just like taking a walk down memory lane; it’s like discovering treasures of wisdom and experiences.


22. Make Care Kits to Pass Out Around Town

Spread kindness by making different care kits for people in town. Whether it’s Hygiene Kits, School Supply Kits, Holiday Gift Kits, Welcome Kits, Winter Care Kits, or First-Aid Kits—pick what you like.

If you need help (or ideas) on making them, check out these guides:


23. Mentor Someone

Whether you’re enjoying retirement or a pro in your field, how about being a mentor? Imagine being the Yoda to their Luke, skillfully guiding them through personal and professional growth.

It’s not just about them reaching their full potential; it’s a mutual journey of growth. As a mentor, enjoy the satisfaction of not only shaping protégés but also shaping yourself into a more experienced and accomplished guide.


24. Offer Your Skills to Someone

Ever considered using your writing, editing, or graphic design skills for a good cause? Imagine being a superhero, coming to the rescue to fix a website, solve computer issues, or organize financial chaos.


25. Organize a Community Clean Up

Take action against trash! Get your neighbors together for a community clean-up day. Spend a day with your neighbors, working together to clear litter and strengthen your bonds. With trash bags in hand and a common goal, you’ll not only clean up your area but also build a stronger, cleaner community. 

Organize a Community Clean Up

26. Participate in Fundraisers and Charity Events

Swap your weekends from “Netflix and chill” to “Fundraise and thrill”! Whether you’re running in a charity race or showing off your baking skills in a fundraiser bake sale, these events are like a special ticket to a joyful party of doing good.


27. Pay for Someones Meal at a Restaurant

Add a dash of kindness to your day by paying for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant. Imagine the surprise on their face when they find out their dinner is on you! It’s like a random act of kindness paired with a generous spirit.


28. Pick up litter in your community

Roll up your sleeves and become the unsung hero of your neighborhood by picking up litter. It’s like giving your community a makeover, one piece of trash at a time

Pick up litter in your community

29. Plant a Tree

Embrace your inner tree hugger and make a lasting impact by planting a tree. It’s like giving a gift to the planet that keeps on growing. Choose a spot, dig in, and watch your sapling transform into a towering symbol of environmental awesomeness.

Plant a Tree

30. Run/Walk a 5k to Support a Cause

Step into philanthropy sneakers-first with iconic run/walk events across the USA. Join the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, where each stride funds breast cancer research. Or, hit the pavement for St. Jude’s Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, turning your miles into miracles for young patients. Lace up for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, promoting cardiovascular health step by step.

No matter which cause you’re passionate about, running or walking in these events turns exercise into a strong force for positive change, leaving your mark on a healthier, happier world.

Check Active’s 5k Race Finder for runs near you and use this guide to start preparing: How to Train, Run & Finish Your First 5k Race


31. Send a Care Package to a Soldier

Elevate your generosity by sending a care package to a soldier – it’s like delivering a bit of comfort to those bravely serving our country. Pack essentials, heartfelt notes, and perhaps a taste of home to brighten their day.

Organizations like Operation Gratitude and Any Soldier Inc.  help with this caring mission, making sure your package gets to deserving heroes. 


32. Share Some Inspirational Articles with Someone Who Needs It

Ignite the inspiration fireworks! Be the hero who gifts more than just stuff. Sprinkle some magic with articles that kick negativity to the curb (like the ones on Bucket List Journey :p), reminding folks that dreams are like Wi-Fi – sometimes you just need the right connection.

So, share stories of success, motivational tips, and growth tricks. Let’s turn the world into a giant pep talk. Because, honestly, who needs another coffee mug when you can give someone the spark to conquer the universe?


33. Shop Local

Ditch the big-box stores and go on a retail adventure that supports your community. It’s like shopping with a side of hometown pride! Explore local markets, boutiques, and artisans, discovering unique treasures while giving a boost to neighborhood businesses.

Your purchases become investments in the dreams of local entrepreneurs, helping to create a close-knit community. 


34. Start a Community Garden

Sprout some community spirit with a green twist! Starting a community garden is like sowing the seeds of friendship – they grow stronger with a dash of water, a sprinkle of shared laughter, and a lot of sunlight. Grab your shovels and turn that empty space into a blossoming spot for both veggies and neighborly vibes. 

Start a Community Garden

35. Support Local Farmers

Embrace the farm-to-table idea and support local farmers who cultivate your community’s bounty. Instead of getting lost in a big supermarket, explore the stalls of farmers’ markets for a fresh and charming experience. Your shopping directly supports the efforts of hardworking growers, turning each bite into a tasty win for local agriculture.


36. Walk or Bike to Work

Swap the steering wheel for some sneakers or a bike chain, and turn your journey to the office into a fitness feat. Walking or biking to work is like a daily dose of cardio with a side of eco-fabulousness! It’s a traffic-beating, nature-embracing, and health-boosting adventure, all wrapped up in a daily dose of fresh air.

Tip: Want to level up your walking/biking game on your way to work? Consider trying a different route!


Adding ways to give back on your bucket list not only makes a positive impact on the world but also brings lasting joy to your heart. Whether it’s adopting a pet, supporting local farmers, or sharing inspiring articles, each choice spreads positive energy.

The real beauty of giving back is not just how it affects others but how it enriches your own life. So, as you check off these experiences, you’re not just finishing a list; you’re adopting a lifestyle of love and generosity. Happy giving!

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Annette White the Owner of Bucket List Journey
Hey Bucket Listers!
I'm Annette.

I’m a goal obsessed mid-lifer, traveler, experience collector, fear crusher, digital marketer and author with big bucket list dreams. Let's Connect!

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