30 ways to serve in 4 minutes or less.


Here are 30 ideas on how to fit quick acts of service into our days. Every month I’m adding 10 new ones to the list. At first glance, these may feel too small to have a major impact in the world. But I still believe in the power of small acts of service. Even if they don’t change the world, they change us.

30 ways to serve in 4 minutes or less

  1. Fight indifference. Let yourself feel sadness when you see a homeless person.
  2. Put a Band-Aid in your wallet to give away when needed.
  3. Call someone you usually text and tell them you just wanted to hear their voice.
  4. Tell someone you forgive them. And mean it.
  5. Pick up an extra item or two from the grocery store to donate to your local food bank.
  6. Practice empathy. Take a few minutes and imagine the struggles of someone you know.
  7. Make a small online donation to a charity you support.
  8. Listen carefully. Many people yearn to be heard.
  9. Thank a teacher for their service.
  10. Contact an elected official via social media to quickly advocate for a cause you believe in.
  11. Tell someone a joke.
  12. Save someone from a work conversation they aren’t enjoying. “I hate to interrupt, but can I borrow you for two minutes.”
  13. Actually take your reusable bags into the store with you.
  14. Actually take your reusable cup into Starbucks with you.
  15. Pray for someone.
  16. Teach someone something. Anything.
  17. Text someone a specific compliment. (e.g. “I admire how much patience you have with me.”)
  18. Give someone you love your undivided attention.
  19. Hold a door open and wait while multiple people pass through.
  20. Take time to write a supportive comment to someone on Facebook.
  21. Hug someone.
  22. Share any online article that raises awareness of a service need.
  23. Let that busy person behind you go ahead of you in line.
  24. Leave change in a vending machine.
  25. Pay the toll for the person behind you.
  26. Thank a solider for their service.
  27. Discuss with a younger relative a piece of your family history.
  28. Cheer loudly for someone else’s kid.
  29. Give away an extra umbrella on a rainy day.
  30. If you love them, tell them.

How’s the list coming?

What am I missing?

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