A bride asked guests to do kind acts instead of giving gifts. Here are 10 you can do on your own.
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KIND®


It's normal for a couple to be showered with gifts when they celebrate their big day and walk down the aisle.

But Leigh Clark wanted her guests to do something a little different. She wanted them to give their gifts — in the form of kindness to the world.


Leigh is a big believer in making the world a better place through acts of kindness.

In a phone interview, Leigh told me she caught the bug a few years ago when she decided to do one act of kindness every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas:

"My first act was delivering meals to underprivileged families on Thanksgiving. I was able to give this giant sheet cake away to these kids who were playing with their parents nearby. The amount of joy that they radiated back at me was so amazing that it was like I was hooked. And that's when I understood for the first time in my life that happiness doesn't necessarily come from within. It can be reflected back to you."

So when her wedding was approaching, she knew that asking guests to do good deeds would be an amazing way to celebrate love — and not just between her husband and herself, but the world.

The response was overwhelming. And it wasn't just her wedding guests who opted to join in. Other acquaintances and childhood friends hopped on board, too.

Jillian Bhatia, a childhood friend of the bride, got her family involved. She and her kids, Rohan and Vivi, pitched in and donated supplies to a local women's shelter.

Bridesmaid Emily Schairer and her daughter, Chloe, brought pet supplies to a local animal shelter.

London-based Caitlin Blewett, another of Leigh's childhood friends, bought some frozen yogurt for the office security guard.

As Leigh told me, "If you're doing the right thing while going about your day and trying to make the world a nicer place, the world smiles back."

Fortunately, you don't have to wait for a wedding invite to go out into the world to commit acts of kindness.

Here are 10 super easy acts of kindness you can do to continue to spread the love and make the world a kinder place:

1. Thank someone who's supported you in the past, like a teacher, friend, or mentor, by giving them a hand-written letter.

2. Spend a couple hours volunteering at a local nonprofit organization.

3. Donate goods to a local shelter.

4. Buy lemonade at a child's lemonade stand.

5. Call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you.

6. Send kind words to someone getting a lot of hate on social media.

7. Send groceries to a friend who is busy and/or going through a difficult time.

8. Put a quarter in an expired parking meter to help a stranger avoid getting a ticket.

9. Send flowers anonymously to a receptionist or security guard.

10. Leave an encouraging note somewhere on a store shelf or in a popular library book.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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