10 Simple Ways to Make the World a Better Place

young volunteer woman caring for elderly woman

“As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.” ~Paul Shane Spear

I have always wanted to change the world.

I remember being four years old, sitting glued to the television on Sunday mornings, not watching cartoons, but utterly captivated by World Vision. I cried about the injustices in the world, and begged my mother to let me sponsor Maria, the girl with the large, sad eyes who was around my age.

My mom patiently tried to explain to me that we couldn’t afford to send her money. I couldn’t understand, since we seemed to live in luxury compared to Maria.

Having been raised in a middle-class community of about 800 people in rural Newfoundland, I had never seen a stark divide between the rich and the poor. We all seemed to be the same to my four-year-old eyes.

My heart broke for Maria, and all of the other children on the show. I vowed to myself that someday, I was going to help people like her.

Throughout my childhood, I told everyone that I wanted to change the world. Many didn’t take me seriously. They’d say, “One person can’t change anything.”

Still, I knew I wanted to make a positive difference by helping people, animals, and the environment.

I started volunteering in elementary school, and became a vegetarian at the age of 13.

People asked, “Why bother? You know, that cow isn’t going to come back to life because you aren’t going to eat it.” And they very often said, “It won’t make a difference.”

I tried to explain that every action counted, and that we all had to make small efforts or nothing would ever change.

As time went on, people around me began to criticize less, and many friends and family members decided to try some of the things I was advocating.

Each time I did something to make a positive impact, it left me wanting to do more.

You may think that you need to be a world leader or a billionaire in order to make a difference.

I always believed that being a good person is about the small things. It’s about how you treat other people, not how many people you have power over.

If you’d like to make the world a better place, but aren’t sure how to fit it into your busy life, these ideas may help:

1. Volunteer.

Volunteering doesn’t have to consume all of your free time. You can volunteer as few hours as you would like! You can find an organization within your community, or you can even volunteer online, through websites that will allow you to help for even a few minutes at a time.

2. Donate blood.

This can be one of the most satisfying ways to make a difference. You can literally save a life with just an hour of your time.

3. Donate used clothing.

There are so many places and ways you can donate your used clothing. Some organizations even offer pick up services, Donate them to a homeless shelter, or an organization that sells them to raise funds.

4. Foster an animal.

This can be such a rewarding experience. If you’re able to part with the foster animals, they leave a hole in your heart, but fostering your next pet helps fill it, and you will be making a difference in the lives of so many animals in need.

5. Spread the word about various causes in your community.

See an interesting fundraiser that an organization is hosting? Share it on Facebook! See an animal that’s up for adoption? Share it. There are so many ways you can help an organization with just the click of a mouse.

6. Donate something you made to an organization that can use it.

I make jewelry, hats, scarves, and other crafty things in my free time. I’ve donated many hats and scarves to homeless shelters, and donate jewelry to a cat rescue organization for them to sell or auction to raise funds. You have talents—use them!

7. Join a bone marrow registry.

It’s incredibly easy to sign up to donate bone marrow, and you never know when you could save a life.

8. Spread some kindness.

Small acts of kindness can go a long way in making the world a better place. Think about a time when someone did something unexpected for you that brightened your day. Weren’t you a nicer person for the rest of the day because of that?

I’m willing to bet that anyone who receives an act of kindness passes it on in some way, even if it’s just by being in a better mood, and therefore treating the people around them with more kindness than usual.

Send someone a kind message. Give a small gift. Make something for someone. Tell someone how much they mean to you. There are so many ways to brighten someone’s day.

9. Change your diet.

Many people will argue with the validity of this strategy to improve the world; however, what you buy reflects what you value.

If you don’t want to become a vegetarian, try having one meat-free day per week. If you don’t want to reduce your meat consumption, how about buying some free range meat or eggs? Or, buy organic food products. There are many ways you can change your diet to reflect your values.

10. Make your purchases support your values.

Every purchase you make supports something. You can either support a large business that exploits people, animals, and the environment, or you can buy items that are local, organic, or fair-trade. It’s hard to change this all at once, especially if you’re used to shopping for bargains, but try changing just a few of your purchases to make them better reflect the things you value.

These are just a handful of the thousands of ways you can make the world a better place! Just remember that every single thing you do makes a difference. Don’t ever let anyone—yourself included—discourage you from trying to be a better person and help others.

Photo by Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire

About Samantha Hodder

Samantha Hodder is a nonprofit worker, educator, animal rescuer, and jewellery maker. She discusses topics like this (and more) on her blog, which can be found here:

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  • Birdy

    When I was a child I always wanted to change the world, unfortunately the people who told me ‘one person can’t change anything’ got me down a lot. The conviction in your beliefs is wonderful and inspiring. As I got older I decided these people were wrong and started making small steps the way you describe. Love this post!

  • I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! It’s so hard to not let all of those kinds of comments discourage you. I’m glad you have realized that they were wrong! Keep making a difference! 🙂

  • You sound a lot like me. Keep up the good work.

  • Very Interesting. Thank you

  • Guest

    I love this post and it really resonates with me. Thank you for the suggestions and purely for the shared belief in making the world a better place!

  • #11. Write a blog post like yours. Well done!

    Best regards,


  • 🙂 Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I love to hear that others have the same feelings about making the world a better place! 🙂

  • Hey Samantha – I so appreciate your post! I’ve been so very passionate about this approach to life for many years, and struggled with what is happening in our world today. On one side humanity is being more destructive than ever before… and on the other side humanity is awakening more than ever before. Your post is a great reminder for all of us that even with very minimal effort from each of us doing even just a little bit that combined makes a tremendous difference! Our family, the Radical Roldans @I Get It! Movement, are doing our part everyday and always opening to where we can do and be more to continue uplifting all humanity, animals and the beautiful planet we all call home. :o)

  • Richard

    I especially like the suggestion concerning diet; unlike the other suggestions, you often don’t see the immediate impact of your food choices. Maybe this topic can be expanded a bit more (such as the value of purchasing from local farmer’s markets).

    Very innovative suggestions!

  • Buying locally grown food is another very important way to make an impact with your purchases. Kind of a combination of ideas number 9 and 10. I’m glad you enjoyed the part about food. I definitely think that concept is something that could be expanded upon.

    Also, I love buying from farmer’s markets. 🙂

    Thanks for the insight!

  • Thanks, Kalyani! I’m glad you enjoyed the article and that you are passionate about making a difference as well. I love hearing from people that they too have been struggling with this and yet are overcoming it, and won’t let the world stop them from trying to make the world a better place.

  • The FreeBird Project

    I really like the message of your post. I love how you had a vision as a young girl to help change the world, and just by writing something like this, you are doing so. Your words inspire me to keep moving in the direction of helping others. Thanks for writing this.

  • sam

    Glad I read this post and comments.Its nice know there are people out there who have similar ideas.This is a huge inspiration for me.Thank you Samantha and all the others who have commented.

  • ana

    hi,i am 14 and i love to go through such articles and today,i got lucky and read your article and i think its fantastic.we have all been hearing the same dialogues-“what can one person do?what difference will it make?”but they forget that tiny drops of water form the ocean,and each one of them count.similarly,every act of ours,every effort of ours to change something,counts.if people get inspired and do that one act,make that one effort,that can cause a huge difference. thanks for the article.

  • Anurag Max

    <3 You are my inspiration! An important one (y)

  • Samantha Hodder

    I definitely agree! I’m glad you enjoyed the article and that you believe in the difference one person can make!

  • Great suggestions, Samantha! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Rajabu Hochi

    I absolutely agree with Samantha Hodder on the sprit to make the world better place to live. Keep it up and we are behind you to support any how any way

  • Rajabu Hochi

    Samantha you are my role model

  • Hannah crayola fan

    Meep. cray cray over crayolas!!!! ♥

  • Hannah




  • Woomy

    That quote from Paul Shane Spear said it all.

  • John

    First Nice Picture Samantha Hodder
    Second Your Article teahs the Life of how to be Compressive/Careful and lovely in life and that’s so good and cool Budda bless you! 🙂 <3

  • Oldsofty

    Did you ever sponsor a child from an improverished area? It is very cool.

  • Simon Rudduck

    Care about other people, and don’t let any world view cloud your understanding of others, especially if it was one you were born into.

  • 11eyes

    This world needs to rise up from damnation this world is already being burned but us as a people do not see our governments are making promises they can not keep this world will burn if no one helps stop it I hope no believe that some day I no we as a race of humans will make the world anew. For as long as I can remember I have saw the potential in other people BUT they do not use that potential they hide it away in fear to seem normal because society dose not want to hear the truth about there so called peaceful world not being oh “so” peaceful right now out there in the world so many crime so much unknown viruses this world is going up in flames every second some times I think the world can not be saved but then I remember where there is hope there is light

  • cookiebolt1 AnimalJam

    what I want to do for the community is to plant trees and gardens

  • A.M.

    Thank you for this post. I hope many people read this post and follow in your wonderful example.

  • Dan

    I definitely agree with #10. If you do not agree with Chinese “fair trade” and the way that they abuse their employees and poison us, do NOT buy it. Even if it costs a little bit more!

  • Samantha Hodder

    I didn’t notice your comment until now, and I just had to let you know that you made my day! Thank you so much for your kind words, for caring for animals, and for helping to make the world a better place. 🙂

  • Samantha Hodder

    I have done this a couple of times. Through formal programs, and more informally. It’s wonderful, and I’ve heard some very heartwarming stories about people who have formed long-lasting relationships with the child(ren) they sponsored. 🙂

  • Miles Andrews

    There’s a story about a boy on a beach, throwing starfish back in the ocean after a big storm washed many ashore. The beach was littered with starfish for as far as you could see. A man walked up and said to the little boy, “You will never be able to save them all, there’s too many.”
    The little boy replied as he threw another starfish back in the ocean, “I just saved that one.”

  • I’m really glad to see you included non-meat-eating in your list – this has been the most empowering change I have made in YEARS! 🙂 Thank you for this wonderful article <3

  • Bromandudeman

    We gotta make this world a better place where everyone is happy, its possible, those who say otherwise are dbags. It starts with us. When people do sh*t to us, we just go pay them with kindness in return. When people pretend to kno everything, just ignore the ignorant! We must put an end to hatred and discrimination, this bs has continued for centuries.

  • Besufekade

    God Bless Sam! God Bless! Seriously I am the son of probably one of the most generous people on earth and when they passed I felt like I was shit! A good for nothing! I still feel like that but less so! I will try to do these and see what happens!

  • Antony

    It doesn’t metter what the people say to you man, just do it. Though the others don’t do nothing, you’re doing your part, and it really metter! Do the difference. Back to the old work!

  • KYS


  • Pang Manmuang

    love you
    and im gonna be a part
    to make some changes in the world so

  • disqus_ctzLi2IUuU

    I think these lists are nice. You can always find at least one or two suggestions that will inspire. It’s also good to focus on what is important to you personally. Look at what actually makes you mad when you watch the news. Me personally, I want to find ways to help improve race relations and stop bullying, and keep improving equal rights for women, keep improving lives of children.

  • Erika Alatorre

    I read this and was ready to make multiple steps here, I thank you for giving me inspiration. However, I do not like or agree with number 4 encourages others to foster the life of an animal over the life of a human. Why would you put forster an animal over fostering a child?

  • Samantha Hodder

    That is such an excellent point. That’s something HUGE that people can do to make the world a better place! I wasn’t intending to place more value on fostering an animal than a human. I just thought of animal fostering as something a bit easier to do, so it made the list of ten simple ways. I was pulling mostly from my own life experience, and have fostered many animals, but have never fostered a child. Kudos to you for thinking of such an important item to add to a list of ways to change the world. 🙂

  • Samantha Hodder

    Those are excellent things to strive for. I love when people point out other ways we can be making a difference, although it does sometimes make me wish I had thought of them when writing this article. Having just 10 items on a list just isn’t enough! I should write a part two for this article. 🙂

  • Samantha Hodder

    Such a good idea. 🙂

  • sarah

    i love this article so much.if you dont mind can i copy this word to word for my magzine

  • Lisa Rosestars

    Thanks for reminding me that you do not have to be a billionaire to make a difference. You do not have to wait until you are financially successful to help change the world . Everyone can help make a difference. I needed to remember that.

  • amzad

    Its simple but nice

  • Николай Андросович

    Cool, posts, such like this one, always inspire me. Even I got more enjoy in learning english during reading. Thanks a lot 🙂