(BPT) - Kindness takes many forms — sometimes it’s volunteering at your local animal shelter, and other times it’s a thoughtful compliment to a friend. Last year proved that giving back, no matter how large or small the gesture, can have a much-needed impact on our communities.

Southwest Airlines®, for example, is inspiring its employees, customers, and community partners with its Acts of Kindness campaign in honor of the airline's 50th Anniversary. Their goal is to reach one million Acts of Kindness by year’s end! To help inspire kindness, Chase has made a contribution to Southwest to facilitate the donation of 50 million Rapid Rewards® points that will be shared among five chosen charities. These organizations are all Southwest partners and include the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, United Negro College Fund, Team Rubicon, Student Conservation Association and Ronald McDonald House Charities®.

There are plenty of daily opportunities to share Acts of Kindness, which can often cause a ripple effect, inspiring others to give back as well. Here are some ideas to help guide your give-back efforts.

1) Pay for the car behind you at the drive-thru

Acts of kindness are contagious, but sometimes you’ve got to be the one to set things in motion. Think back to the last time you had a bad day, was there someone who was able to turn that day around? It can be as simple as a smile on the street or even a grander gesture like paying for someone’s order in the drive-thru line. These moments of thoughtfulness help us remind others that we see and appreciate them, inspiring them to do the same. What’s more, you can leverage these purchases to rack up points on credit cards like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase to donate to more charities, paying it forward exponentially.

2) Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while

The power of community was evident last year, as we came together to support our essential workers, our at-risk populations and our friends, family and neighbors. It’s important to remember to check in on these friends, family and acquaintances now more than ever. It can be as simple as picking up the phone to call an old friend or a family member or organizing a letter-writing project for families staying at a local Ronald McDonald House. Especially as we gear up to reconnect with many of our loved ones across the country, it’s important to make sure that all of our community members feel supported and seen.

3) Donate and give back

Whether you have the financial means to donate to a charity that resonates with you or have extra, non-expired canned goods or clothing that no longer fits, all are welcome and much-needed ways to support your community. Research organizations within your micro- and macro-communities that resonate with you.

No matter how big or small, however you decide to give back has meaning. Whether it’s joining in Southwest’s Acts of Kindness by signing their Acts of Kindness pledge, writing a “thank you” to an inspiring teacher, or donating to organizations, let’s come together to support each other moving forward.

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