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Updated on June 15, 2017 by Sarah Hartland Sarah Hartland

53 Good Deeds YOU Can Do This Summer

You probably didn’t wake up this morning thinking, “I can change the world,” but the fact is, you can. Jesus’ simple direction for us to “love one another,” (John 13) is key. In “Your Next 24 Hours,” Convoy of Hope president Hal Donaldson writes,

[Good deeds] have the power to change everything. Perhaps you’ve accepted the lie that one person can’t make a difference in a world where hatred siezes the headlines and and anger marches through the streets...But what if every person was a relentless force for good? Overnight, a revolution of kindness would dethrone a culture of greed and self-centeredness. The world would be a different place. You have more power and influence than you think.

In the movie, “Sweet, Sweet, Summertime,” young Caleb and his friends eagerly form what they call the “Thank You Crew,” in an effort to change their town with good deeds. Their summer becomes unforgettable as their simple acts of kindness begin to have transformative effects.

The "Thank You Crew" from "Sweet, Sweet, Summertime"

And good deeds are much more than the stuff of movies; they’re an accessible way to change the world, one person at a time. Donaldson wrote in “Your Next 24 Hours” “One decision can change the course of your life and the lives of others too.”

Here are 53 good deeds you can do this summer:

1. Mow your neighbor’s lawn

2. Leave a sticky note with words of encouragement where a friend will find it

3. Compliment a stranger

4. Ask a friend if you can run an errand for them

5. Support businesses that donate to great causes

6. Bring cookies to a neighbor you haven’t met yet

7. Ask a stranger if they have any prayer requests

8. Bring a bouquet of flowers to the nurses at a hospital

9. Bring your dog to a senior care center (call ahead first and ask permission)

10. Listen actively (put your phone away!)

11. Keep water bottles and small amounts of cash in your car for the homeless

12. Leave an especially generous tip and a thank you note for a server that seems stressed

13. Instead of throwing away items you don’t want, donate them

14. Send a letter to a soldier or veteran

15. Tithe your time to help someone younger than you get ahead

16. Let a car merge in front of you

17. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile

18. Pay for someone’s coffee

Paying for someone's coffee is a simple good deed that will brighten their day. | PureFlix.com

19. Send an encouraging story via email to someone who needs a boost

20. Keep a $5 bill in your wallet or purse and give it to a kid who does a good deed

21. Visit your kids at school, stay for lunch

22. Leave genuine compliments on social media

23. Put some extra quarters in someone’s parking meter

24. Give your leftovers to a homeless person

25. Send a note to your boss when a coworker does something awesome

26. Offer to babysit for free for a couple who needs a night off

27. Smile at a stranger

28. Give someone a book you think they would love

29. Pick up litter

30. Pay someone’s library fines

31. Write a compliment on a friend’s blog

32. Hold the elevator

33. Say thanks to a janitor

34. Donate pet food to a local animal shelter

35. Give cans of food to a local food bank

36. Wash someone’s car

37. Bring an extra sack lunch to your child’s school, so a kid who forgets won’t go hungry

38. Help someone load or unload their groceries

39. Say thank you to your mail carrier

40. Return your shopping cart to the correct place

41. Let someone else take the closest parking spot (walking is good for you anyway)

42. Take care of a friend’s pet while they’re on vacation

43. Help someone move

44. Compliment young siblings that are kind to one another

45. Buy lemonade from a lemonade stand (give a little extra)

46. Share your favorite songs with a friend

47. Offer to mentor someone younger

48. Do an extra chore around the house

49. Write a recommendation letter for a friend looking for a job

50. Stack chairs after church

51. Tutor a kid

Volunteering is good for you and the people you help. | PureFlix.com

52. Volunteer at a community event 

53. Share something that made you laugh with a friend

The first chapter of “Your Next 24 Hours” (which you can read here) discusses the incredible impact of the late Paul Walker (“Fast and Furious,” “Eight Below”). Donaldson said of Walker, “He understood that life is always better when everyone in the community is better.”

Whether you form a “Thank You Crew” like the kids in “Sweet, Sweet, Summertime,” or simply perform some good deeds on your own, your kindness makes a difference.

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