The holidays don’t have to be the only time to practice kindness and giving. Throughout the year, there are many opportunities to share small yet significant acts of kindness for people and animals. Try these suggestions to get started.

Donate to Animal Shelters or Animal Welfare Causes

There are plenty of organizations founded and run by animal lovers fighting to keep animals safe. Donating — whether in the form of supplies, time, or funds — provides much-needed resources for animals in need, and helps to keep these organizations alive and thriving. To help, research how to contribute to your local shelter or other non-profits whose missions speak to you. Remember, every donation counts, no matter how big or small.

Help Lost Animals Find Their Homes

Did you know that many communities have online groups dedicated to reconnecting lost pets with their guardians? Search your favorite social media platform or neighborhood forum to find out how you can get involved in these efforts. You may be able to help by sharing social media posts or hanging fliers around town. And of course, if you notice a stray animal near your home or job, please don’t pass them by. Consider that they may be lost and need help. If the animal is friendly, try searching for an identification tag for information about their guardians so you can help them safely return home.

Give Pet Food to Food Banks

Did you know that there are food banks and pantries designed to provide animal food for the elderly and those who have fallen on hard times? Now more than ever, a large number of fellow animal parents could use your help. Due to high unemployment rates, many adopters are facing financial hardships, making it challenging to provide for their animal companions. These food banks offer relief to help keep animals with their families, and many also provide food for stray animals who otherwise might face starvation. Contact your local shelter or veterinarian’s office for information about food banks in your area.

Treat Someone to Grooming or Vet Services

As mentioned above, many people around the world are facing financial struggles, and some are having to make hard decisions between their animal’s health and upkeep and other financial responsibilities. If you know someone in need, kindly treating their pet to a “spa day” or a check-up at the vet could make a huge difference. Give however you can — what matters most is that it’s coming from the heart.

You may never know it, but a simple kindhearted gesture can make an enormously positive difference in someone’s life. We hope these ideas have inspired you to seek opportunities for random acts of kindness in the near future.

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