Everybody is thinking about charity this time of year and how they can give back.  For African-Americans in particular, I think we are missing opportunities to give back right under our noses in our own communities.  Instead of giving $100 to your local big box charity, think about saving your money with these random acts of kindness that will only cost you $10 or less.


  1. Buy $10 worth of Dollar Store gloves and give them away to kids in your community.  I can count on two hands the number of children I see in my community in the dead of winter with no gloves, scarves and hats.
  2. Know a budding business owner, give them a $10 Gift Card to Vista Print for Business Card.  New Black business owners are you usually using funds from their day jobs to fund their businesses.  They appreciate all the help they can get.
  3. Know a couple that just had a baby, offer to get them takeout on a Friday night (may be a little over $10, but worth it).  They will be so happy to be able to forgo finding dinner for a night.
  4. Know someone in your neighborhood whose down on their luck?  Maybe someone just lost their job or experienced a death in the family.  Put 50–100 paper hearts or smiley faces in a box. On each heart write a special quote, bible scripture or compliment. Give your neighbor the box and tell her to pull out a heart or smiley face anytime she feels down.
  5. Reading is fundamental and most Black teens don’t get nearly as much exposure to the world as their ethnic counterparts.  Find a teen you know and send them a magazine subscription that is out of the ordinary.  A men’s magazine or fishing magazine might be the boost he needs to see the world differently.

Cynthia Mendoza

Hello. Welcome to BrownMamas.com a blog for Black moms looking to thrive while raising kids in this hectic world and the headquarters for Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a Pittsburgh support group for Black moms. Here I write about raising my three boys, living in and loving Pittsburgh, dating my husband, gardening and all kinds of other stuff. Thanks for visiting. Stay long & come often!

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