A Mitzvah A Day

January

  • Recycle your bottles and cans from New Year’s Eve and donate the money.
  • Help your neighbor or a friend take down their holiday lights.
  • Let someone go before you today, at a store or in your car.
  • Drive a child home to help another parent.
  • Recommend a business you frequent to others. In addition, you can post about it on FB, Twitter or a blog!
  • Share your expertise to help teach another person something beneficial to their livelihood.
  • Say a prayer of gratitude when you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner today.
  • Provide cheer to someone who is ill.
  • Drop by unexpectedly with flowers for a friend, neighbor or elder. It will brighten up this winter day.
  • Take your “mitzvah dog” to a retirement center or nursing home.
  • Scoop Your Poop.
  • Don’t wait to be asked, offer something you can do to help a friend in need – see post January 12th.
  • Take your neighbor’s garbage up from the curb.
  • Invite someone to join you for a meal.
  • Support a Girl Scout. Buy some cookies today.
  • Behave with patience when you must wait.
  • Gladly hold the elevator for someone running to get it.
  • Offer to watch another child or drive them to school late so the parents can work.
  • Check in with a friend whose recently lost a pet or a loved one to see how they are doing.
  • Put away someone else’s weights or mat at the gym.
  • Do you have a great recipe that everyone loves? Make copies and give it to anyone who asks for it.
  • Use a recyclable bag with you on all your errands today.
  • When you order your coffee this week and stay to drink it ask for a “for here” cup ie. not styrofoam.
  • Give a Tisbest charity gift card in honor of a friend’s birthday.
  • Donate a book to a Children’s Book Bank.
  • Donate your used eyeglasses to the Lions Clubs Eyeglass Recycling Centers.
  • Fill a thermos of hot chocolate and pass it out to unsuspecting recipients ie. anyone working outside.
  • Light a candle to signify the end of Shabbat or at sundown acknowledge the passing of another day. Say a prayer of thanks.
  • Comment today on someone’s blog to let them know their words have positively impacted you.
  • Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
  • Stop to give directions to a stranger today.

February       Happy Random Acts of Kindness Week – February 10-16, 2014

  • Pick up some trash while you are out and about today.
  • Send a funny card to a friend undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Donate to your local Humane Society to end petlessness.
  • Visit a friend who’s going through a rough time and needs some cheering up!
  • Give someone a sincere compliment today.
  • Help make someone’s job easier!
  • If you have skills to help someone get a job like resume writing or appropriate connections offer them.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Help someone get to their car safely.
  • If you have a ticket to a game, lecture or event that you can’t use, gift it to someone who can use it.
  • Unplug from electronics and spend uninterrupted time with someone.
  • Donate your used magazines to a doctor’s office or hospital waiting room.
  • Treat a friend or stranger to coffee today publicly or anonymously!
  • Bring chicken soup to someone who is sick.
  • Help a friend do a mitzvah.
  • Know a kid at college? Send ‘em a care package!
  • If you are a listener, why not become a member? Support your local public broadcasting station.
  • Return a lost item.
  • Volunteer at a community fundraiser.
  • Donate a dollar today to a charity.
  • If you are a listener, why not become a member? Support your local public broadcasting station this week.
  • When a friend shares a grievance they have with you. Listen, try not to be defensive and understand that they share this with you because they want to connect more deeply.
  • Surprise someone by filling their tank with gas or having their car washed.
  • Introduce two people who should connect, either personally or professionally.
  •  Instead of giving something up during Lent take on daily acts of kindness or mitzvahs.
  • Make a meal for a friend in need.
  • Light a (yartzeit) candle or attend a service in memory of a loved one.
  • Attend or participate in a funeral for someone who has little or no family.
  • Acknowledge a friend who has just lost a pet.

March   National Mitzvah Days – March 7-9, 2014 

  • Buy items to make your own Mishloach Manot (Purim gift basket) next week. See post for more information about Purim and Mishloach Manot custom.
  • Ask for forgiveness when you have made a mistake or treated someone badly.
  • Do something kind that honors your parents.
  • Give Blood.
  • Volunteer to help at a community event at your school or religious organization.
  • Donate your partially used gift cards to Gift Card Giver.
  • When you go somewhere leave it better than you found it.
  • In honor of World Kidney Day, learn more about donating a kidney.
    http://kidneymitzvah.com/Donateakidney.html
  • Shop local especially when they support an important mission you believe in.
  • Visit someone who’s recently lost a loved one.
  • Graciously offer to move seats so that two people can sit together in a theatre or elsewhere.
  • Check in on an elderly friend or neighbor.
  • Donate a bag of food to local food shelter.
  • Celebrate a birthday by giving your time or your resources. See post.
  • Invite someone you work with to carpool with you.
  • Set an example for your children with your actions. Have a discussion with them when your example falls short.
  • Collect the prayer books from your place of worship and return them to the book shelf.
  • Start a recycling project at your office or place of worship.
  • Apologize when you have misspoken to someone.
  • Help someone who asks for your advice or suggestions.
  • Donate diapers to a diaper bank near you.
  • Collect pop tabs for a Ronald McDonald House.
  • Give a shout out to a local business that gives you the kind of excellent customer service you want to promote.
  • Give gratitude for the opportunities to enjoy the flowering trees, ocean and other natural wonders.
  • Pick up litter at the beach or a park.
  • Invite someone who might not have a place to go, to celebrate an upcoming holiday with your family.
  • Send a contribution in memory of someone’s loved one passing.
  • Make (a cake) or give (flowers) to someone today even if it’s not their birthday.
  • Say a silent prayer of healing when you see an ambulance passing.
  • Surprise someone with a treat this weekend.

April

  • In honor of International Children’s Book Day, gather books your children have outgrown and donate them to a school, library or hospital.
  • Give someone at work a genuine compliment today.
  • If you have the skills, offer to help someone with their resume.
  • Choose to remain calm in your thoughts and actions.
  • Leave a parking meter receipt with additional time left on the meter for the next person.
  • Happy Passover! Eat Matza on the first night of Passover.
  • Make time to play a game with your child, even if it isn’t one YOU enjoy.
  • Bring a little something extra when you are invited to someone’s house for a meal.
  • Send a note of congratulations when you learn that someone has been promoted or secured a new job!
  • In honor of One Day without Shoes, donate a pair of shoes.
  • Contact an old friend to reconnect.
  • Share your umbrella with a stranger. See post.
  • Offer to watch a friend’s dog while they are on vacation.
  • Collect soaps at a hotel to donate to a local shelter or the Global Soap Project.
  • If you work with volunteers be sure to acknowledge them this week. If you aren’t yet a volunteer somewhere.
  •  Join Donor Registry. Be the Match.
  • Offer to provide a recommendation for someone looking for a job via a letter or LinkedIn.
  • Take reusable silverware today for your lunch at work or school.
  • In honor of Earth Day, pull weeds by hand rather than using a chemical weed killer.
  • Donate your outgrown stuffed animals to a local organization like the Shadow Project ( or bring them abroad where they can be redistributed).
  • In honor of World Book Day: Give a (book or books) away. See previous post.
  • Does your children’s elementary school have an Imagination Station, where kids can use recyclable goods to create art projects? Collect and donate these kinds of items to your local school.
  • Take all your change to a coin machine today and donate it to a favorite charity.
  • Donate your hair to Locks of love.
  • Learn about raising a guide dog puppy.
  • Compliment a stranger.

May    

  • Share your mid-afternoon snack with a friend or colleague.
  • Offer a young mother some assistance when traveling alone, whether she accepts it or not she will be grateful for the offer.
  • When someone offers to assist you today, graciously allow them to do so. See post.
  • When you introduce someone to a group, give a positive, warm introduction.
  • Give someone who’s cold a warm drink!
  • When you are taking a walk in the morning, bring your neighbor’s paper to their front door.
  • Got old sneakers? Recycle them to make new sports surfaces.
  • Bring extra first aid supplies to use when necessary for other players on your children’s sports teams.
  • Gather items to donate to this Saturday’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive sponsored by the US Postal Service.
  • Today, is the last day of teacher appreciation week, show your appreciation in some way. It isn’t too late to volunteer before the end of the school year to help out. If you missed this during Teacher Appreciation week, it’s okay, teachers like to be acknowledged all year long :-).
  • Acknowledge someone who’s lost their mother this year. The first Mother’s Day without your mom can often be difficult. Send a card, make a phone call to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Remember someone today on Mother’s Day who might otherwise not be remembered.
  • Surprise someone today with an act of kindness.
  • When you travel, smile and applaud the work of your TSA agent. This unexpected appreciation just might make their day.
  • Recycle your batteries! Visit Earth911 for a donation location near you.
  • Visit a new mom and offer to hold her baby while she has a few minutes to herself for an uninterrupted shower.
  • Slide your club card for a stranger.
  • Use your phone to do a mitzvah this weekend. See post.
  • Volunteer to host a meeting at your house.
  • Write a heartfelt and sincere thank you note to someone whose made a difference in your life the past few months/year.
  • Donate your old cell phone to offer a lifeline to a battered woman.
  • Welcome a new neighbor to your neighborhood this week or weekend.
  • Offer a chair when you see someone looking to find a seat at a coffee shop.
  • Stop and listen to the canvasser on street.
  • Celebrate the holiday of Shavout. Enjoy a nice rest and dairy products.
  • Gather items to recycle. Beaverton Recycling Day.
  • Let someone know how they have inspired or influenced you.
  • Stop to let a pedestrian cross the street.
  • Volunteer to organize the coach gift from your sports team.

June

  • When someone offers to do a mitzvah for you, accept graciously. (This one bears repeating, often).
  • Send a card to a soldier. www.anysoldier.com
  • Surprise a graduate this week with a TisBest Philanthropy gift card.
  • Today, give a call, hug or shout out to someone you know and love who is a cancer survivor in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day or anyday.
  • Help a pregnant women tie her shoes or perhaps assist in some other way.
  • When necessary, offer support to a stranger in distress.
  • Switch seats on the plane so a family or a couple can sit together.
  • Host a Lemonade Stand. Join Alex’s Lemonade Stand foundation to support pediatric cancer or perhaps you can choose to raise funds for another non-profit you love.
  • Donate your travel size toiletries to a homeless shelter.
  • Write an unexpected thank you card today.
  • If a friend forgets his lunch share some of yours with him.
  • Help someone do an errand that allows them ease in leaving on a trip.
  • Give your miles to a friend or family member so they can attend an important event.
  • Go out of your way to return a missing item to it’s rightful owner.
  • Pop in to check in with an elderly neighbor this weekend.
  • Let parents know about Kids Bowl Free program. Throughout the US and Canada.
  • Earth Mitzvah of the day: Even if it’s not your habit at home, you can recycle at hotels that provide a recycling program.
  •  If you receive an unexpected gift perhaps you’d like to share it with someone.
  • Share your yoga mat.
  • Don’t push to the front of the line, use patience and kindness in the face of confronting thousands of pushy visitors. You will all get to see the attraction or tourist sight.
  • Help someone with their luggage at the airport!
  • If you see visitors taking photos, offer to take one of everyone together.
  • Thank the cleaning crew that keeps your home town parks and streets clean. Times Square looks so much better these days thanks to these folks.
  • Do not embarrass someone.
  • Provide an extra sandwich for a child playing with your kids.
  • Drop off a container of homegrown berries to your neighbor.
  • if your friend’s toy breaks give him one of yours.
  • Use your billboard or reader board to share inspiring messages with the world!
  • If you have expertise to share, offer it liberally.
  • Go out of your way to include another child at a gathering where the kids are not including him.
July
  • Recycle your paint cans.
  • Ask guests who are attending your Fourth of July barbecue to bring some extra items to donate to a local food pantry.
  • Offer those that enter your home a cold drink.
  • Let someone know how their actions effected you.
  • Put together medical emergency kits with your kids to donate to a local women’s shelter or community center like the Good Neighbor Center.
  • Be aware of what you say about others. Famous Jewish Tale reiterates perfectly: A Pillow Full of Feathers.
  • If you know someone who has recently experienced a loss, offer some of your time and attention to uplift their spirits.
  • Recruit others to help you with your organization’s volunteer needs. Sometimes people are just waiting to be asked.
  • Arrange a carpool with a few families to get to a camp to save on gas, time and connect with other children.
  • Donate usable items to a local non- profit.
  • Bring a cooler of popsicles to give out to the camp counselors at the end of a hot day.
  • July is block party month. Throw a potluck block party and get to know some of your neighbors.
  • Leave a place cleaner than you found it. This could mean a bathroom, a park, the beach or wherever your travels might take you!
  • Give yourself a day of rest, sleep in, take an afternoon nap and take care of yourself.
  • Buy products that give back in some way.
  • Spread the word about a local business to help the new proprietor succeed.
  • Build a lending library in your neighborhood so others can give and borrow books.
  • Notice an elder who could use some extra assistance perhaps an arm to cross a street or help with bags at the grocery store.
  • Be a meter fairy.
  • Buy or make a challah to have at dinner tonight. (If you want my challah recipe send me an email).
  • Give each of your children special undivided attention.
  • Forgive someone who has behaved badly towards you.
  • Let a professional who has helped you know that there recommendations/advice or service has worked for you.
  • Connect two professional colleagues that should know each other.
  • Give your time to raise funds for a non profit you love!
  • Give thanks and public recognition to those who have worked to make a successful fundraising event!
  • Flag down a driver to let them know their tail light is out or any other important detail they might need to know.
  • It’s traditional to bless your children on Friday night, (Shabbat) but if your schedule doesn’t allow or perhaps this isn’t your custom but you love this idea, find an opportunity this weekend when you are sharing time together to make a simple blessing over your offspring.
  • Treat someone to breakfast in bed!
  • Welcome a new neighbor to the neighborhood with or without some baked goods in hand.
  • Feed hungry animals before your feed yourself, even when you are hungry.

August

  • Take time to develop a friendship with someone who is older and perhaps wiser than you are.
  • If you must cut down a tree, plant another one.
  • Support a Harvest Share program in your community, where fresh fruits and vegetables are distributed during the summer through a local food pantry.
  • Make time to sit and enjoy your spouse, significant other or some other important person in your life.
  • When receiving feedback/evaluation both encouraging or discouraging try to accept it with an open mind.
  • Befriend a parent on an airplane. A few minutes of playing peek-a-boo rather than rolling your eyes when a young child is in your midst can mean a lot to a frazzled parent.
  • In an effort to green up your back to school season, reduce, reuse and recycle as many items as possible for this year’s school supply list.
  • Treat our natural resources as precious. Adjust your water sprinklers so you are not watering the sidewalk or drive way. Try a water gauge to determine how much water you are actually using.
  • When you meet someone recommend a class, organization, group or conference that might benefit them.
  • Surprise someone with flowers today. The flower vendor at the farmers market told me, food is for the body, flowers are for the soul.
  •  Rest! Give yourself time to take a long afternoon nap. You’ll be refreshed and more readily able to take on the world.
  • Help another biker who needs assistance.
  • If you have a store discount coupon that you can’t use give it to another shopper who can use it.
  • Help another biker who needs assistance.
  • Visit someone in the hospital.
  • Interact with someone who is different from you with respect and an open mind.
  • Give before being asked.
  • Today greet everyone as if they were an old long lost friend, with warmth and a smile.
  • Give a heads up to a pedestrian that you are passing on a bike, ring your bell or call out, “On your right/left.”
  • Accept with gratitude the gift of s’mores supplies offered to you by a stranger.
  • Take time to commune with nature, stop and smell the roses or sit and notice a river, it will benefit you and all those around you.
  • Take your neighbor’s garbage out while they are on vacation.
  • Invite someone over to share a meal this weekend.
  • Share your pack of tissues with the bawling stranger next to you at the movies.
  • If you’ve shopped for back to school clothes for your kids and you’ve uncovered other clothes that they can no longer use, donate them in your community. www.donationdropoff.org might be able to help.
  • Don’t wait until someone’s birthday to give them an appropriate or timely gift. It shows you are thinking about them all year long.
  • Leave some extra quarters in the laundry mat change machine.
  • Bake cookies for a friend’s bat mitzvah celebration.
  • Bring some flowers to a friend recovering from a surgery.

September

  • Spend time with someone at a social gathering that you’d like to get to know more. Ask questions. Listen and learn about them.
  • Attend a public hearing for something that is important to you.
  • Sign up for a volunteer job at your children or grandchildren’s school this year.
  • Give something back when you carry your own grocery bags to the store and use the wooden nickels to give back to a non-profit.
  • Treat a mom to a special meal now that her kids have gone back to school.
  • Give your neighbor the ingredients they need to finish their recipe.
  • Let a driver know if they have a flat tire or a brake light is out.
  • Pick someone up at the airport.
  • Expand your table and invite lots of guests for the Jewish high holidays!
  • Send New Year’s cards to your family and friends near and far.
  • Be sure to ask forgiveness to those you have rebuked and mitzvah number two today forgive those that have made a transgression against you.
  •  Take the day off of work for Rosh Hashanah and allow yourself sometime to rest, enjoy apples and honey and hear or blow the shofar.
  • Gather items that can be donated to a food pantry this week and donate them in honor of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur where we fast for 25 hours.
  • Drop off some extra veggies to a neighbor who might not have an overflowing garden.
  • Come from a place of love with your teenager even when they are pushing all of your buttons.
  • Pass along ideas or the names of individuals who might be able to help a non profit’s mission and bottom line. Better yet make the introduction directly.
  • If someone you know is celebrating a holiday different from the ones you celebrate, make a point to acknowledge it with a card or a call.
  • Observe the holiday of Yom Kippur by not eating and drinking.
  • Donate a prayer book (or the money to buy one) to your house of worship.
  • Support a friend who is speaking or presenting at an event by your attendance
  • Take the time to honor an elder today. Consider their years of living make them wiser than you.
  • Build your own or help someone else build a sukkah.
  • L’shev B’sukkah —  Dwell in the Sukkah. See post about Sukkot holiday.

October

  • Shake the Luluv and Etrog.
  • Send a card to a friend recovering from unexpected or unsettling bad news.
  • Teach your grandparents how to text so they can stay connected with any teenage grandchildren in their lives.
  • Donate money to a charity in honor of your friend or family member’s birthday.
  • Sign up to chaperone an upcoming school field trip or at least load the bus.
  • Make a special meal for a relative coming home from a trip.
  • Remember a loved one today in thought and action.
  • Donate socks for a sock drive.
  • Do something special for yourself. Something you have always wanted to do. Give some consideration and attention to yourself, today and everyday. Namaste.
  • Send a care package to a freshman in college. Here is a great article about what you could include.
  • Mentor someone. Offer some of your time and expertise to someone who is newer in your field than you.
  • When you see another child doing something especially helpful, special or out of the ordinary, make an effort to let their parent know. It is so meaningful to hear about our children outside of what we see as parents.
  • Make a special trip to help an old friend celebrate a simcha (special event). Especially love how Wikipedia describes what a mitzvah it is to be in a state of happiness.
  • Act with patience.
  • Donate a purse for a purse fundraiser.
  • Return a lost dog to it’s owners.
  • Walk, Run or Bike for charity today. http://www.charitymiles.org
  • Giving people the benefit of the doubt can be a difficult mitzvah but very worthwhile. See blog post on this subject.
  • Sign a petition or vote for a friend or a non-profit to win a grant or an award.
  • Volunteer to shelve books at the local library.
  • Say a blessing when you see a rainbow. Here’s the blessing: Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who remembers the covenant, and is faithful to His covenant, and keeps His promise.
  • בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְהָעוֹלָם זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית וְנֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ
  • It’s baking season. Have a bake sale and donate your profits to Share Our Strength  or another great non profit that feeds people. Great way to include your kids or grandkids in a mitzvah project.
  • Spend time to learn more about the homeless community in your city.
  • Notify the manager if you notice that the toilet paper has been depleted in the bathroom or change it yourself.
  • Turn off the television, put away your computer or iphone and fully listen to someone who needs you.
  • Call, email, facebook, text or somehow let others know they are in your heart and mind when they are going through a difficult time and if you can bring them some soup even better!
  • If you have power and heat, invite others into your home who do not.
  • Donate blood or money to an official organization like American Red Cross that provides disaster relief to those effected by Hurricane Sandy.

November

  • Befriend a parent traveling with a small child and offer them a hand if you can.
  • Look through your closets and donate coats to a community coat drive.
  • Change seats on the airplane so a family can sit together.
  • Help someone get to an exercise or yoga class by inviting them and driving them over.
  • Guard your tongue.
  • Do a small errand to help a neighbor in need, like a trip to the post office, a bank deposit, picking up something at the grocery store or picking up their child.
  • Bring something as a token of appreciation to the nurses caring for a loved one in the hospital.
  • Send an email note to an author whose book you loved.
  • Bring dinner to someone recovering from surgery.
  • Say you are sorry and forgive someone who has angered you.
  • If your mom asks you to do something, do it the first time she asks.
  • Share your umbrella.
  • Make yourself available if your kids need to talk.
  • Help a friend see what they are capable of and encourage them to go for a dream, even if it seems scary.
  • Give a few oranges or apples to the man you pass every day on your way to work with a sign asking for help.
  • Buy a subscription to a local magazine for someone new to your town or someone you are hoping will move to your town.
  • Buy a copy of a newspaper like Streetroots in PDX that is sold by vendors who are experiencing homelessness and poverty to earn an income.
  • Invite someone for Thanksgiving who might not have family nearby.
  • Give an unexpected present to someone to make them smile.
  • Let someone use your cell phone if they forgot theirs. (Even if it’s a stranger!)
  • Help someone at the gas station who needs help putting air in their tires.
  • Wear a smile on your face today and greet everyone you see warmly and with appreciation.
  • Support Giving Tuesday today! With a charitable gift for someone this holiday season. Tisbest Philanthropy gift cards come to mind…
  • Adopt a family for the holidays. Visit your local Jewish Child Family Service or Salvation Army website to learn more about these programs.
  • Donate a toy to a Toy Drive in your community.
  • Be generous with your advice and time to help another find work.

December

  • Throw some change into the Salvation Army bucket.
  • If you hear an upbeat story on the radio or read it in the newspaper and think someone you know would benefit from the story, pass it along.
  • Make spontaneous plans to go out to lunch with your retired parents when your kids have a day off from school.
  • Maimonides, the 12th century Jewish philosophy created a famous eight level Ladder of Giving. His highest level of giving was helping someone become self sufficient, through a loan, helping them find a job, partnership etc.
    During this giving season why not support a non-profit like Dress for Success. This non profit has at it’s core a mission to help women become self-sufficient. Happy Holidays.
  • Hold the elevator that extra few seconds for someone and when they enter the elevator smile and greet them.
  • Scoop the poop!
  • Do you have some of those unredeemed cards? Perhaps you’d like to gather them up and donate them to Gift Card Giver where they will be sent to worthy non-profits.www.giftcardgiver.com
  • Stop to offer your assistance to someone experiencing car trouble.
  • Help organize the food collection or set up for a holiday event this season.
  • Shop Local.
  • Invite your children to spend some of their holiday money on an item for another family in need. Let them pick out the item and help you prepare it for delivery.
  • By a pre-assembled bag for a food bank at your local supermarket. They usually add about $5 to your bill and are a great way to support the need for emergency food in our communities.
  • Give an hour of your time spontaneously.
  • Bring joy and beautification to your celebration of a mitzvah.
  • Lighting an extra Shabbat candle tonight in memory of the three dozen people who lost their lives this week due to senseless violence. Don’t feel hopeless you can make a difference with your own actions.
  • Take time for personal reflection, journaling, meditation, yoga. It can help you stay centered and balanced through difficult times.
  • Contact a friend, acquaintance or loved one who has lost someone this year. With all the troubling news it’s probable that their grief has been exacerbated and knowing someone is thinking about them and is lending an ear might be very helpful.
  • Attend a life cycle event like a Brit Milah (circumcision).
  • Surprise your spouse whose sick in bed with a bouquet of flowers.
  • Acknowledge and recognize someone else’s holiday celebration.
  • Make a year-end donation to a non-profit.
  • Attend a life cycle event like a Bat Mitzvah!
  • Final mitzvah idea of the year, inspired by my friend Erin who says, “she is ending the year on a note of gratitude. Writing letters and putting them in the mail for those who inspired her….starting the new year with your best foot & words sent forward” simple and beautiful idea for this last day of the year! Send some of your own gratitude notes.