10 ways to pay it forward this Christmas


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Have you ever experienced someone’s kindness and felt inspired to pass that kindness on to someone else? Of course we have! This act is known as paying it forward.

Like exercise, kindness releases feel good endorphins. It makes us feel warm, fuzzy and happy inside. Being kind not only helps others, but it makes us feel good too.

By paying it forward this Christmas you can help yourself and others feel more joy and less stress. Even the smallest gesture can make a big difference to someone’s day.

Christmas is a stressful time. We’re busy trying to organise the big day, buy the perfect presents and keep track of our finances. Why not challenge yourself to take part in random acts of kindness and help spread some Christmas cheer? Here’s our 10 best ideas for paying it forward this Christmas.

1. Help a local food bank.

With soaring gas prices, universal credit cuts and the end of the furlough scheme, many families are feeling the pinch this year. Some parents will have to make the devastating choice between feeding the family or paying bills. Food Banks are desperate for donations at this time of year. Help them out by collecting and donating the food they need.

2. Check in with your work colleagues.

Show your appreciation for your work colleagues this Christmas. We’ve all had an unprecedented few years and now is the perfect time to show your colleagues how much you appreciate them. Grab a coffee with a colleague at lunch and let them know how grateful you are for their hard work and support. Or, organise a team get together to check in with each other, reflect on the year and see how everyone is doing.

3. Pay for a coffee.

A simple way to spread a little kindness this Christmas is to pay for the coffee of the person behind you in the queue. Some coffee shops use a pay it forward board which allows you to pay for a coffee for someone in need. Alternatively, you could give someone experiencing homelessness your fully stamped coffee loyalty card so they can grab a free hot drink. 

4. Donate to a Christmas event for the homeless.

This year, we’re excited to be able to hold our annual Christmas event with St Anne’s Resource Centre and Homeless Hampers. They’ll be hot Christmas dinners, desserts, gifts, games and prizes to make the day truly magical. To donate towards the Christmas event, visit our Just Giving page.

5. Holiday Baking.

Who doesn’t loved the smell of freshly baked goods at Christmas? Baking something with love and sharing it with others is the perfect way to spread a little festive kindness. Surprise your work colleagues with fun and festive treats or gift your baking to a family member or neighbour.

6. Choose your 2022 Charity Partner.

If you run a business, why not set yourself up for giving back in the new year by choosing your charity partner and committing to raise funds for that charity in the new year.

7. Stop and have a chat.

Homelessness is isolating. Many people we support tell us they go hours or even days without speaking to someone. Stopping to say hello and asking how they’ve been can really make a big difference to someone’s day.

8. Shop gifts that give back.

There are some fantastic companies that are using the festive period to give back. You can pick an awesome gift that also donates towards a cause you care about. A great example is the Keep Leeds Warm campaign. Awesome Merch have created incredible merchandise for Christmas, with all profits going towards Simon on the Streets.

9. Donate Items.

Many charities will be asking for extra donations this Christmas. Check out a local cause or charity that means a lot to you and see what items they’re asking for. Many charities are now using Amazon wishlists to ask for items, making it easy for you to donate.

10. Be kind.

This last one is a free and easy way to spread joy this Christmas. During a holiday season that’s busy and stressful for many, choose to be kind. Let the harassed looking parent jump ahead of you in the supermarket queue. Compliment your co-worker on their hard work. Smile and ask a person experiencing homelessness how their day is. Bring unexpected joy to someone’s day.

Acts of kindness, both big and small, are never wasted. We hope this list has inspired you to pay it forward this Christmas. Whichever action from this list you choose, you’ll be sure to make someone’s day.

If you’d like to spread some kindness to the people we support, who are experiencing homelessness, take a look at our Amazon wishlist or donate towards our Christmas event

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