(NewsUSA) - There are people all over the world who are struggling and in need of help. One could be right next door. While it's not always possible to help out financially, or donate a large amount of time to a cause, there are easy ways to perform simple acts of kindness every day. Not only does the person performing the good deed feel great, but these small gestures add up to make a big difference.

Contribute to the community with these simple deeds:

* Gather gently used books. Contact schools, libraries and other institutions, such as hospitals and senior centers, to see if books are needed. Involve a book club or other community organization to increase the donation.

* Call area schools and ask about volunteering. Many schools are looking for mentors and tutors. Depending on each school's policy, sometimes volunteers need to attend a short training session before starting. For parents, lending time to chaperone a field trip is both fun and rewarding.

* Consider donating blood through an American Red Cross blood drive. The need for blood is constant as approximately every two seconds a patient in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Just one donation can save up to three lives. After each donation, Red Cross donors are treated to Keebler cookies, beverages and other snacks as a way to say "Thank you" for their act of kindness. To learn more about the "Be a Good Cookie. Get a Good Cookie." campaign and for blood donation eligibility, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

* Head to the local park for a clean-up. Get friends to chip in to help the community as well. Separate trash from recyclable items and dispose of each appropriately. See efforts materialize in a clean green space.

* Organize a clothing drive with co-workers or friends. Schedule home pick-ups for a specific day, and donate gently used clothing to local charitable organizations. You'll be helping others, and you'll have more room in your closets.

* Collect those canned fruits and vegetables, and take them to the local food bank. Check with them to see if they have a "wish list" of items that they need. Some of those things, shelf-stable or non-perishable, may already be sitting around your house. It's also great way organize your pantry.

There are so many ways to give back. Simple acts of kindness are often the most valuable to those in need, and they are the easiest to perform. Whether saving a life, feeding a family or mentoring a student, every kind gesture brings a smile to more than one face.

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Easy Ways to Give Back

American Red Cross blood donors are being treated to cookies as a way to say "Thank you."

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Category: Lifestyle