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There’s a lot of good in the world that needs doing. Figuring out how to do it can be daunting.

The whales need saving, people need housing, the hungry need feeding, and the hurting need healing. The world is full of huge, complicated problems — and if we can’t solve them in their entirety, it can be tempting not to work on solving them at all. We have to fight that temptation.

Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, right?

We have to put a little bit of love into the world every single day. No matter how small or simple or insignificant it might seem, it’s not. It’s important — and it's something that we can all start doing today.

We're issuing you a challenge: Over the course of a week, commit to performing one act of love each day.

Day 1: Love like a good listener.

There are a million reasons not to stop and listen to what someone — your partner, your children, your friends, your coworkers — is saying. Today, no matter how busy you are or how unimportant each message might be, take the time to make the people around you feel heard.

All images via iStock.

And if you are the type of person who wants to take this a step further, you can really dig in with your listening skills and sign up to become a suicide hotline volunteer.

Day 2: Love like a lifeline.

We all know those people who are always there in a weird social situation to smooth things out and make us feel more comfortable. Today, let that be you! Whether it’s pulling someone shy into the group conversation or inviting the new coworker out for drinks, take the initiative to knock down obstacles and create new interpersonal connections.

Sure, it might seem uncomfortable or difficult at first, but you could be giving someone the confidence they need to feel welcomed and valued in their community.

Day 3: Love like a big spender.

Not everyone has loads of money to give away to every charitable effort they'd like, but there are always ways to provide monetary support.

If you have a little expendable income, take a look at your budget today and see where you can save $10 or $15 per month to give to one cause you care about.

If you don’t have expendable income, that doesn’t mean you can’t help fund charitable efforts. Websites like Free Rice and Free Kibble let you donate human or animal food by playing trivia games online. Charity Miles is an app that tracks your exercise and donates money for each mile you move. Pick a way to donate, and do it.

Day 4: Love like a social media influencer.

Knowledge and education are powerful tools for good, and the internet is an easy way to disseminate them to the people who need them most.

Today, pick something you think your followers need to learn. Is your community confused about LGBTQ legal rights? Do gender pronouns trip up people you know? Take a moment to assess how you can be an advocate for love in your online sphere. It can be intimidating to stand up for others when you know you have followers or friends who might disagree, but challenge yourself to follow through.

Day 5: Love like a vocal advocate.

No one ever said love was easy, and sometimes, love can get political. If the idea of wading into the world of politics makes you want to run away, this is the challenge for you. Visit the website 5 Calls, where you can pick a cause that is important to you and find the phone numbers and scripts you need to contact someone in Congress who can make a real difference.

Make just five calls for causes you love today — that's your challenge.

Day 6: Love like a neighbor.

It's so easy to neglect even our tightest relationships; it's even easier to overlook relationships with the people that we're physically closest to. Today, take a moment to extend a hand of friendship to a neighbor and make your relationship more than just geographical. Slip a nice card under their door or invite them in for a snack after work. It's easy to be a good neighbor — now go do it!

Day 7: Love like a partner.

To wrap up your week, challenge yourself to do something extra special for the person you love most, whether that's your romantic partner, your best friend, or just your partner in crime. What's a project that means a lot to them? Ask to participate or help them out today. Does your spouse love to fish? Your soulmate like to cook? Your best friend love playing sports? Even if it's not your cup of tea, show your partner that you love them by taking an interest in what they do. Even if it's just for a day, it will go a long way.

With one week of love, make a lasting positive impact.

Your little acts of love will make you a kinder person, will make the people around you feel loved, and will add a little bit of much-needed good to the world.

There are plenty of good reasons to give time or money to your favorite nonprofit.

Some people do it for the tax write-offs. (Hey, whatever works!)

Others do it because it makes them feel all warm and tingly. The Wall Street Journal recently cited a study that found "donating to charity may actually improve a giver’s physical and emotional well being."

But the best stories of giving, the ones that move us the most, are the ones that start and end with a pure, selfless desire to make the world a better place.

92nd Street Y, a cultural nonprofit in New York, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently ran an essay contest called #MyGivingStory to find out more about why people give back.

Here are the two winning entries, as written by Kenan Rahmani and Jenny Mosier, respectively.

Kenan Rahmani gives to help Syrian refugee children build a better future.

Photo by Karam Foundation, used with permission.

Kenan Rahmani's winning essay:

"A couple months ago, the world was moved by a photograph of a young lifeless Syrian child washed up on a Turkish beach.

The death of this boy, Alan Kurdi, was just one out of thousands of stories of Syrian children who have been killed in the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Millions of Syrian children have forgotten what it is like to be a child, to go to school, to look forward to the future with hope. Karam Foundation helps remind these kids — and the world — that Syrian refugee children are #NotInvisible. Through a variety of education programs and direct assistance to families in dire need, Karam restores hope to the world's most vulnerable.

Since 2012, I have been donating to Karam Foundation (a Chicago-based nonprofit), which helped over 322,000 Syrians and 72,000 children in 2014 alone.

But two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see firsthand the difference that Karam makes, by volunteering on one of the organization's Innovative Education missions in southern Turkey, just a few miles from the Syrian border at the Ruwwad Syrian Refugee School. 40 volunteer mentors and experts from around the world joined, among them dentists, doctors, psycho-social workers, artists, journalists, and even a culinary arts mentor!

These children have seen the worst of this world. Many of them had been rescued from their homes after they were bombed by Syrian government barrel bombs. Some of them had recently fled the horrors of ISIS. Many had lost fathers, mothers, or brothers and sisters. All of them had lost their homes. Despite the ugliness they have witnessed, they yearned to learn, to play, and to smile. They were just as innocent and enthusiastic as any child I have ever met, yet the trauma of the Syrian war was impossible to ignore.

Photo by Karam Foundation used with permission

My co-mentor and I prepared a week-long Student Council workshop for the high-school students to give them an experience in democracy, a concept they had only heard about while growing up under a dictatorship. At first we sensed cynicism from the kids as we discussed basic tenets of democracy and encouraged students to nominate themselves for office, but as they started to design campaign posters and work on their speeches, we noticed how invested they became in the process. By the last day, the excitement filled every classroom as the students debated and held elections. A brilliant young woman, Wafa, from the 12th grade became the first President of the Ruwwad Student Council.

During this time, other mentors taught the school's 750 children cooking, journalism, filmmaking, self-defense, computer programming, and philosophy. They were examined by dentists and eye doctors, many for the first time in their lives. They painted the grim halls of their school with colorful flowers, instructed by a muralist from South Africa. By our last day of the mission, the school and the students had been transformed, and so had each of the volunteers who had travelled with us.

As Syrian refugees are rejected and shunned in many countries, with politicians equating refugees with the terrorism they fled, Karam seeks to empower refugees instead. Karam has chosen to invest in Syria's youth. Karam gives them the tools of mentorship and innovative education so these kids become global citizens equipped to succeed and create opportunities to build a better future for themselves, their communities, and their country.

This Giving Tuesday, I hope people around the world will choose to support Syrian refugees who have suffered unimaginable loss but still believe in building a hopeful future. Karam Foundation changes lives every single day. I witnessed for myself how lives can be transformed, and futures built, when dedicated individuals put humanity above everything else.

That's what inspires me to give."

Jenny Mosier gives to keep the memory of her son, Michael, alive.

Photo by Jenny Mosier, used with permission.

Jenny Mosier's winning essay:

"It was the week after my son turned six years old and also started kindergarten that we knew something was wrong.

My son, Michael, had always been a healthy, energetic little boy who loved sports and learning. On August 25, 2014, he boarded the bus for his first day of kindergarten, and he turned six years old just two days later. Life was really good, and with Michael's little sister Lila (then 2.5 years old), our family felt happy and complete.

Suddenly, at the end of that week, Michael began complaining of double vision. We would learn on September 4, 2014, that he had an inoperable pediatric brain tumor called DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma), with a median survival of nine months from diagnosis and essentially a zero percent survival rate. With hopes that he would be the miracle, he underwent 30 radiation treatments, followed by chemotherapy, but unfortunately Michael continued to deteriorate.

On August 24, Michael had been jumping across trampolines with his friends for his birthday party, and just weeks later, he had lost the ability to walk on his own and relied on a wheelchair. Over a period of months, his body weight doubled due to the steroids necessary to reduce the inflammation in his brain. He lost the functioning of the left side of his body, and over time he would also be unable to speak, chew, swallow, and then finally breathe. Michael passed away just 8.5 months later on May 17, 2015.

His story is tragic, but also unfortunately representative of what kids facing DIPG have to confront.

The way that my son approached his illness, however, was anything but ordinary. While his body failed him bit-by-bit every single day, his mind remained intact, and he fought with every ounce of his being. Michael continued to go to school whenever possible, and he met each day with determination. Michael became known for his checklists. Each morning, he sat down with his father and wrote a list of everything he would accomplish that day, and despite his exhaustion from the treatments he endured, he would not go to sleep unless the list was completed. He inspired thousands across the world — from more than 60 countries — to donate money for pediatric brain cancer research, resulting in him earning the award as the top fundraiser in one of the largest brain cancer events in the country.

Michael is without a doubt the strongest person I have known.

Photo by Jenny Mosier, used with permission.

I give to Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation not just to honor my son — though of course that is a part of it — but to carry on the fight that he began. I give because hundreds of children each year are diagnosed with DIPG, and they deserve HOPE. They deserve people fighting for them, and that is now what I do every day.

Our family has given and will always give financially, and I have also resigned from my job as a lawyer to dedicate myself full time to this cause. We will fight to find a cure to DIPG because we want the next family sitting in a waiting room with their normally healthy child — who finds out they have DIPG — to have options to save their child's life.

We will complete the final item on Michael's checklist: Defeat DIPG."

Cheers to Jenny and Kenan, two excellent humans who are showing the rest of us how it's done.

We should all take a little time this holiday season to find our own reason for giving back. Maybe, like Jenny, the answer will be right in front of us. Or maybe we'll have to look a little harder.

Either way, after reading these incredible stories, it's hard not to be inspired to go out and make a difference.