When you look back on your day, was there someone who stood out that made a difference? Maybe it was your boss who recognized you for a job well done, or the woman who held the door open for you. Or maybe it was that car that let you in during rush-hour traffic. Whoever it is, there are people in our lives who are constantly making a difference, big or small. Here are 10 small ways YOU can make a big difference in the Columbus community.

1. Round-up for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank


What you do — pay up to  99 cents. What it does for others — puts healthy meals on the tables of central and eastern Ohio families. Ask your local Kroger cashier to round up to the nearest dollar when you check out. These extra few cents go a long way in providing healthy meals to Columbus families struggling with hunger.

2. Donate books to Columbus Metropolitan Library

Columbus Library

Spend a few hours cleaning out your bookshelf. Donations to the Columbus Metropolitan Library are integrated into the book system, so you may just be providing someone with his or her new favorite book! Read more on guidelines for book donations.

3. Make a “grand friend” at a Senior Center

Many senior centers are looking for volunteers to come and talk with their residents. Whether it’s listening to their stories, or sharing a little bit about your personal life, an hour of your day can make theirs. And you can never have too many friends! Check out more information on how to get involved at the First Community Village Senior Center.

4. Donate Blood

The American Red Cross is constantly looking for people to donate blood. This is a quick and easy thing you can do to save someone’s life! Click here to find donation sites near you.  

5. Support your local hospital

Nationwide Childrens Hospital

Many hospitals in Columbus, such as Nationwide Children’s Hospital, have a “Wish List” of items they would like donated or purchased for their patients. These items can be things such as toys, stickers, blankets and gift cards. Even something as simple as a box of crayons can help. See what’s on Nationwide Children’s Wish List this year.

6. Participate in a Park Clean-up

Help keep Columbus’ parks beautiful by volunteering for a park clean up. You can spend time outside while also making a difference for other park-goers by weeding, watering and litter pick-up. Choose a park near you to get involved.

7. Donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army


Spend an hour or so on a rainy Saturday and go through your closet. If you haven’t worn an item in the past six months, consider donating it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Find out more on donation guidelines.

8. Vote

Voting for issues and policies you believe in can make a huge difference in our community. Making an educated vote can help pass or not pass legislature that could drastically affect our city. Register to vote and view issues that will be relevant in the upcoming election.

9. Become certified in CPR and First Aid

CPR Classes

You never know when CPR and First Aid skills will come in handy. Today could be the day you save someone’s life! The Columbus Division of Fire, as well as many other local services, offer free CPR and First Aid training to the public. Grab a friend and sign up for a class today!

10. Random Acts of Kindness

Even if it’s just letting someone know you are thinking of him or her, taking three seconds out of your day can really put a smile on someone’s face. There are an infinite number of random acts you can do, but here are a few that come to mind: buy someone coffee, leave a note for a coworker, rake your neighbor’s leaves or shovel their driveway. Do something in your community to pay it forward. For example,  Yoga on High started a #karmayogaambassador campaign where they do random acts of kindness throughout the community. They then leave a little card that encourages the recipient of that act to pay it forward. These random acts inspire creativity and kindness that’s infectious!

Taking a few minutes out of your day for others does not only help our community, but it feels good! Tweet @ColumBUZZ614 or comment below with some of your favorite ways to make a difference.