19 Simple And Thoughtful Ways to Pay It Forward in 2019

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19 Simple And Thoughtful Ways to Pay It Forward in 2019 - Smile Sign

The new year brings out the best in all of us, whether we’re looking for a fresh start in life, a new beginning of an exciting chapter, or a healthier you. One of the best ways you can enhance your happiness and fulfill your well being is to give back to others. Pay it forward this year with our list of ways to give back and get that serotonin moving through your body.

1. Buy someone coffee.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – Starbucks coffee

I’ll never forget the first time I was at the Starbucks drive-thru and the stranger in front of me paid for my drink. It’s small gestures like buying someone’s coffee or favorite cafe beverage that can totally turn their day around. You never know who you’ll leave energized with good vibes before they even have their daily dose of caffeine!

2. Donate some  toys.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – clean out toys and donate them

Do your kids really need all of their toys? (Plus, they just got more over the holidays.) Do a clean out of gently used toys, books, or any other seldom used items to donate whatever isn’t getting played with. Your kids will also a valuable lesson and take great pride in learning to give back!

3. Hold the door.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – open the door

Something so easy we should always do for others. Take the extra time to hold the door even if you’re in a rush. It’ll also let someone know you were thinking of them and made a point to make their day a little easier.

4. Donate to a school.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – Collin with school supplies

There are numerous schools without the funds to provide the proper school supplies for their young students. Common items like glue, pipe cleaners, erasers, crayons, and even pencils can be a huge help for classes and their hard-working teachers.

5. Send good vibes.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – people shaking hands

Smile at someone today and every day — it’s SO simple! It’s also refreshing to be surrounded by people who smile, wave, and say “good morning!” or “hi!” A friendly greeting will always send positive vibes and make everyone’s day a little brighter.

6. Donate coats to the homeless.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – winter coats to donate

Warm hearts and bodies by donating winter coats to the homeless! Gather up your gently-used and seldom worn coats, and check with local schools, churches, and shelters who collect these items for the less fortunate. If you don’t have any coats on hand, you can always check for a great sale to donate brand new jackets.

7. Give blood.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – Donate Blood to help Hurricane victims

Giving blood is a sacrifice that takes minimal time and effort but will save many lives. From disaster relief missions to hospital rooms, this is one amazing way to give back – and it helps in more ways than one.

8. Have a selfless birthday.

hip2save birthday celebration

This year, instead of asking for gifts, ask for donations to give to your favorite charity. Take this special day and give back to others in need.

9. Volunteer somewhere.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – volunteers

With so many natural disaster areas from hurricanes, wildfires, and other tragedies, there are numerous places in need of volunteer work to help rebuild. Need some other ideas? See if you can give your time to an animal shelter, church, youth group, or local school.

10. Leave positive notes.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – positive notes to pay it forward

Write a little note to give a stranger or a friend for some encouragement today! Jot down a positive body image note and sneak it in some jeans at a clothing store, or leave a post-it note with words of encouragement on random cars. You could even practice this in your own home by leaving a message on the mirror to inspire a family member or roommate. All of these will be sure to brighten anyone’s day.

11. Give the right of way.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – good driver car

We all know that stressful feeling when you need to switch lanes during rush hour traffic. Or what about when there are a million cars before you can make a turn? It feels so great when a thoughtful driver gives you the right of way. Be that person each day, and take the extra time to smile, wave, and share the road.

12. Pick up trash.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – bottles environment clean-up

We all need to be kind to Mother Earth and keep her clean (everyone loves living in a cleaner environment). Pick up some trash when you see it. Not only will you be making the planet a better place, but you might even inspire others to follow your lead.

Speaking of recycling, did you see this post on recycling cans?

13. Send a care package.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – sunshine box contents

Put together a care package for an active military member or an elderly resident at a senior center like this DIY Sunshine Box. These people might not receive mail often, and elderly residents may not have family or friends visit them regularly. Letting someone know they’re not forgotten can go a long way.

14. Take clothes to the shelter.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – donate clothes pile pay it forward post

Call your local shelter and see what items they may be in need of. I often call the local women’s and children’s shelter to donate all of our gently-used clothing (that way I know they’re going to a good cause).

15. Feed the animals.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – pet food animal shelter donation

Animals need love, too! Buy some pet food and yummy treats to donate to the animal shelter so they don’t have to worry about their next meal before finding a forever home. Shelter pets can also use clean blankets to snuggle with. Ask your local shelter what they need.

16. Compliment someone.

Compliment someone - Stetson wearing Union SuitGive someone an unexpected compliment. Tell them you love their hair, their outfit looks amazing on them, or tell them how great they are at something. Whether you know them or not, they’re likely to think about it all day and be in a good mood with their newfound self-confidence.

17. Shop small.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – collin with macbook

I once read a quote that said when you buy online from a small shop, there’s a person somewhere doing a happy dance in their living room because of your order. Not only will you be supporting our economy, but you’ll be making a difference in an individual’s home.

18. Help a stranger.

simple thoughtful ways to pay-it-forward in the new year – person hand walking cane

Don’t be a spectator. Help that person who has their hands full of boxes, help someone who needs to make it safely cross the street, or assist the mom of three at the grocery store by loading up her bags and taking her cart back. These are selfless acts that will be unexpected and appreciated.

19. Make time.

Make time for the people you love - Collin with Ma Time is the greatest gift of all. Have a friend or relative that you haven’t seen in a while? Give them your time, listen to them, see how they’ve been doing, and enjoy quality time well spent. We’ll even give you bonus points if you buy their coffee or lunch. You can even gift time (it’s true)!

What will you be doing to give back in the new year?

Please let us know in the comments below!

Up Next: It’s Hip to Give! Enter to WIN $100 Gift Card to DONATE to Your Favorite Charity

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Comments 37

  1. Tam Murillo

    I LUV this post! Thank you 🙂

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re very welcome! SO glad you enjoyed it, Tam! Thanks for the kind feedback!

  2. Ivan

    #3 is something my Mom taught me and I’m teaching my kids.

    • Heather C.

      SAME! 🤗♥️

    • J

      My parents also thought me #3. It definitely saids something about the person when they don’t.

    • animity

      But then you have the people that are rude and say “I can hold my own door!” But I do agree, always hold the door for people!

  3. MrsFelix1004

    Whenever we dine out and get a military discount or use a coupon we always add the amount we save to our tip for the waitress or waiter. We also pick up the check if someone wearing a veterans hat or an older couple at least once a month.

  4. Carrie Sink

    A friend and I did some shopping last month. When we came back to our car the car next to us had the cutest note on it. It really made our day and it wasn’t even our car!!!

  5. Sarah

    As a tiny little Etsy business owner, I 100% agree with #17. There is actually a pretty big happy dance that my whole family does every time someone buys our jewelry.

  6. Heather

    This post is great, so many kind ideas, I love it! Thanks for sharing! ❤️

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re SO very welcome, Heather!

  7. dbld amb

    Agree with the compliments option. Thats actually how my husband and I met. He randomly came up to me and commented on he loved my shoes and how great they made my outfit look.

  8. babymair

    Thx Collin and team for this post .My two boys Love Your site .So they want to print a copy and try to do at least on thing on the list each day ..We will set a clothing box,a dry food box,and a toy box ,in the garage. They can put an item in there to donate. So 4 every good thing they do in a 24 hr.period they will get 25 cents. They each will have a jar .Then at the end of the year they get to donate to whatever charity they want …I know this is a really great way to teach my boys to always be a better person. Keep up the good work and God bless.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      How cool! Many thanks to you and your boys for being valued readers! We sure appreciate YOU all! ❤

  9. Terry

    In 2016, my Dad was 89 years old and a Veteran of WWII. He always wore his Navy WWII baseball cap proudly. I took him shopping every week. One day at the grocery store a lady came up to him and thanked him for his service and insisted to pay for his groceries. It caught him by surprise, and, of course, refused. But, like I said, she insisted. He never stopped talking about that! RIP Dad.

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Aww, SO sweet! Thanks a bunch for sharing your precious memory with us, Terry!

  10. Bunny

    Thanks for posting the pic of you Collin with Ma. Us “old time” Hip2Savers miss her too! <3

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)


  11. lindak

    I’ve been donating supplies to the elementary school my sons attended. The neighborhood demographics have changed and most students need assistance. The same office manager is there 25 years later and we always have a good visit too.

  12. Kristen

    If I see a person wearing a service hat, I will buy a gift card in the store or restaurant that we are both in and give it to them. My Dad is a Veteran so my heart is with helping Veterans.

  13. Pamela

    Thank you for this post and all of your comments. What a great message especially at this time of year!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re welcome, Pamela! Happy Holidays!

  14. Bri

    I love the Hip2Save hoodie worn in #14, where can I get that? It would make a great gift!

  15. Crystal

    I had an extra coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond this week so I handed it to the gentleman in front of me in line. He thought that was the nicest surprise and laughed that he always was a “sucker” and paid full price! Even the smallest things can make someone’s day!!

    • Sara

      What a nice thing to do Crystal! Way to pay it forward!

  16. hollyp1234

    I absolutely love this post! I am going to send this out to our entire office. Thank you.

    • Sara

      What a great way to brighten their day! We’re so glad you enjoyed this post!

  17. Momof3

    Thanks for compiling this post! Another reason why I love Hip2Save!!

    • Sara

      We’re so glad that you enjoyed this post!

  18. Danielle

    I love my Starbucks tea, Iced and Hot. When I earn rewards from Starbucks, I don’t like to waste them on a drink that is basically the same price as a soda at some places. I save my rewards and I offer to buy drinks for people. I had 5 drinks saved recently, and I contacted the manager at my favorite store and told her that anytime she wanted a free drink from Starbucks to let me know, and I would order it for her. She used it not only for herself, but as a pick me up for her associates during this hectic shopping season. The store is 90 miles from me, and it was so easy with the mobile order. Holy Cow, without the rewards, one of the drinks would have been approximately $8.00.

  19. Maggie

    May I add one more for pet lovers? FOSTER A DOG OR A CAT for your local shelters and rescues! You actually save two lives: the one that gets your foster spot, and another dog that will use the open kennel at the shelter that you just freed up. Once they find a nice forever home, you’ll likely get updates and pictures — wonderful feeling to see them happy and know you were the “bridge” out of the shelter toward their nice, new life. If you think it’s “wrong” for good animals to be put down for no reason other than lack of space at a city shelter, you can make a wonderful difference by stepping up to save lives. Good rescues and shelters will temperament test before fostering, and also pay for vet care (including spay/neuter), heartworm/flea meds, and even provide food if you need it — you just provide the love, house-training, and structure to make them adoptable. Many trainers also offer free classes for foster volunteers to help make the dogs ready for adoption.

  20. May

    Love this post! Makes one think! I remember my daughter received a sunshine box from a friend half across the US when she was on bed rest and a difficult pregnancy this year. The joy it brought her..made me happy cry. It was so unexpected and definitely brightened both our week. Good reminder. I shall do the same in the coiming months.

  21. Melissa

    I do most of these constantly. I love the feeling of random acts of kindness. This holiday season has been a real struggle for me though. I got laid off on November 16th but I love the holidays so I’ve been donating, paying for people in the drive thru, and giving as much as I can. Our children’s home/center knows me by name because of my big monthly donations thanks to couponing. I still spend a lot when it all adds up. Oh well. I keep saying unemployment isn’t going to stop me for Christmas. 😂 Thank goodness for credit cards (I know, horrible way to think!)

  22. Karen Wimmer

    Collin & Company,

    I just want to tell you how much we love your site. This post on giving is so wonderful. Good works are powerful! Thank you for all your hard work and thoughtfulness. May God bless.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Aww, You are SO very welcome! Thanks a bunch for the sweet comment! We sure appreciate YOU! 💕

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