By definition philanthropy is the desire to improve the welfare of others. It comes from a Greek term, which translates to mean “love of mankind.” What is more kind than showing your love of mankind through helping out others?

Common philanthropic acts of kindness

Everyday, businessmen, churches, volunteer groups, and nonprofit organizations set out to identify individuals who are in need of assistance and then provide them with that assistance. The goal is to give the underdog a leg up in the hopes that the act of kindness elevates them into the role of a successful, well-adjusted, useful member of society. The acts of kindness are given with little or no expectation of repayment, and often these actions do exactly as intended—they elevate the receiver into a better position.

Some examples of these kind philanthropic acts include:

  • Sponsoring scholarships for underprivileged kids
  • Creating intern programs for retired senior citizens
  • Providing free daycare to single parents
  • Mentoring minority women entrepreneurs
  • Sponsoring a job fair for immigrant workers

What you can do

You do not need an organization behind you to do a kind philanthropic act. Anyone can become cognizant of need and make a concerted effort to fill that need, not because they want their efforts repaid, but because it is the right thing to do. The stay-at-home mother of three can volunteer to lead a Girl Scout Troop in an underprivileged neighborhood. A retired grandfather who gardens can take fresh vegetables to shut-in senior citizens or donate the goods to a women’s shelter. A teenage boy can see bullies cornering a younger boy and make it a point to be his protector. A family of four can make two Thanksgiving dinners and share one with a family who has recently lost a parent.

The ultimate goal

The goal is to see a need and fill it because you have a love of mankind. You truly want to see your fellow man succeed, and you have it within your power to help. The good news is many people naturally operate at that level, but even if you are not one of those people, you can train yourself to look for ways to give back.

It may take even more practice to give up the idea that the people you help should be thankful or owe you something for your kindness. Like any other love, your love of mankind must come with no strings attached to be a truly philanthropic act of kindness.