Meaningful Bucket List Ideas That Will Enrich Your Life

Bucket lists don’t have to be all about globe-trotting or completing outrageous challenges, they can also be touching, moving, meaningful tasks that will help enrich both your life and the lives of others. These can be gestures or actions large or small that have a positive impact on your friends and family, a stranger or even the planet or humanity as a whole.

If you’re struggling to come up with some ideas for your Meaningful Bucket List, read on to discover some enriching tasks that you can complete over the next few weeks, months or years.

1. Host a Charity Event

taking donations

Hosting a charity event can be quite an undertaking, but the sense of accomplishment you will feel when you have hosted a great event, and the pride you can feel at having raised money for a charity that you feel passionate about will make it all more than worth it!

Your charity event can be anything from a bake sale or group walk to a huge gala dinner or festival that brings together people fighting for the same cause. The main thing is that you gather together friends, family and a community around a project that is close to your heart, and have a wonderful time in each other’s company while also raising money for a charity or cause.

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Hold a charity event

2. Complete a Charity Challenge

charity run for women

Similarly to hosting an event, you could also aim to complete a charity challenge such as a 5/10km walk or run, a marathon, a charity bike ride or even a Zumbathon! This option takes the organisation out of it. It allows you to focus on completing both a personal challenge as well as the fundraising.

There are charity challenges hosted all over the world, so there is always something to get involved in, and the amazing thing is, no matter what your skills are, there’s a challenge for you!

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Participate in a charity run
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Do something crazy for charity


3. Be Someone's Mentor

teaching computer skills

Another way in which you can meaningfully affect another’s life is to become someone’s mentor. You have a whole wealth of life experience that could be of use to someone younger or less experienced than yourself, so reach out to those around you to see how you can help. You might be able to help someone improve their computer skills or confidence in public speaking or it may be that you can help guide someone through a process of realising their dreams; working with them to see their goals blossom into a reality.

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Be a mentor to someone
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Join the Big Brothers Big Sisters program

4. Invite a Neighbour Around For a Meal

Something that we should all probably do more of is to invite someone round for lunch or dinner that you might not normally spend time with. This could be an elderly neighbour that you know lives alone or a family around you that you see struggling. This can be an excellent opportunity to support someone in need while also simply building friendships and connections.

This could be a one-off event that you tick off your Bucket List. Still, you might also find that it brings both you and them meaning and fulfilment, so it may well be something you continue on a regular basis.

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Invite a neighbor around for a meal

5. Regularly Meet Up with an Elderly/Lonely Person

In line with the above dinner invitation to a neighbour, it can be a nice idea to regularly meet up with an elderly or lonely person in your community to simply sit down and have a natter. There are many organisations who help facilitate this as a charity project, but you could also informally organise this with someone that you know, perhaps through Church or a local community centre. This giving and receiving of friendship works both ways so it will be a win-win situation!

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Regularly meet up with an elderly/lonely person

6. Become an Organ/Blood Donor

Depending on where you are from, organ and blood donation can be an opt-in or opt-out process, but it is a really vital and valuable commitment to be part of. Some people don’t like to think about their bodies being cut up or used after they die, but if you can try to focus on the life-saving benefits it can have for someone it really seems like a no-brainer! Just imagine if you or anyone you know required an organ or a blood transfusion, you’d be wishing and longing for there to be as many donors out there as possible.

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Donate a kidney
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Become a registered organ donor
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Give Blood


7. Support a Homeless Person

a homeless person hunched over

Supporting a homeless person in any way, shape or form can be a meaningful thing to do as you really never know what someone else is going through. It might just be that your smile, $5 or free lunch really helps to change someone’s day and touches their heart when they feel like they have reached rock-bottom. Even just taking time out of your day to talk to someone, ask them how they are or hear about their journey can be really moving and impactful.

It may be that when you speak to someone homeless that there is something more you can do to support them, the point is, if you never ask, you will never know!

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Buy a homeless person a meal
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Help a homeless person get off the streets for good

8. Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter/Kitchen

If you have the time or resources available, then you might want to go one step further and actually offer your services to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. These projects create safe spaces for vulnerable people to feel supported to help them get back on track.

It might be that you’re able to really get stuck in with a project and work with them regularly, or that you can only help out on certain occasions. It’s worth speaking to your local shelter or charity to see where they need your help.

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Volunteer at a homeless shelter

9. Adopt an Animal

an adopt an animal sign

Adopting a rescue animal is a real challenge and commitment, so it is important that you feel both ready and responsible before making your final decision. Many rescue pets have troubling histories that has led to certain tendencies or character traits that can be difficult to deal with, but they are also often really loving and tender animals.

You’ll want to ensure that you are going to be their ‘forever home’, so try to pet-proof your home/garden and lifestyle before taking the plunge to adopt a pet. When you do, both you and the animal(s) involved will have a loving, fun and enriching experience.

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Rescue a dog
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Adopt a cat
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Become a native wildlife carer/rescuer

10. Support a Local Social Non-Profit Enterprise

Supporting a charity or local social enterprise doesn’t always have to involve donating money, it can also come in the form of volunteering your time, expertise, skills or presence at an event. Many local-level social enterprises are run on very low budgets, and they can use all the support they can find!

Go along to events, launches or information evenings to learn more about local projects and help to support them by spreading the word to people you know or passing on connections that might be useful.

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Support a Local Social Enterprise

11. Create a Children's Charity Box at Christmas

Each Christmas there are a number of charities that help facilitate the giving of Christmas gift boxes to children in need all over the world. This can be a great way to get your kids involved in charity-giving and also teach them more about inequality and injustice. Explaining that not everyone around the world has access to things like toiletries or toothbrushes, and helping your children create boxes including these items, can be both a fun and educational activity.

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Create a children’s charity box at Christmas
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Donate toys at Christmas

12. Support a Crowdfunder/Kickstarter Project

There are Kickstarters being created all the time online, but every now and then there is an idea that really catches your eye. Whether it’s an idea that you’ve been dreaming of for a long time or an invention that you never knew you needed but now feel like you can’t live without, there is a start-up business out there that could really use your support.

Donate to the project, become a stakeholder or simply share the idea across social media. Whatever you do, someone, somewhere will be very happy!

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Support a crowdfunder/kickstarter project
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Start a crowdfunding project for someone in need

13. Help Someone Learn Your Language

teaching english to kids

Many of us don’t really feel as though we have shareable skills that can be of meaning to others (outside of our work), but in actual fact, everyone has one skill that is useful to someone else out there: our native language skills! We live in such a global world today that integrates people from all different countries and cultures, and being able to communicate is such a vital skill.

Whatever language you speak, there is bound to be someone out there who wants to learn it, so offer up your services either online or IRL and see who you can help. You don’t even necessarily have to have any teaching qualifications. Simply having a conversation is an excellent place to start!

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Help someone learn your language​
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Learn sign language

14. Pay For a Stranger's Meal/Groceries

Paying for a stranger’s meal or groceries is a random act of kindness that can really touch people’s hearts. It doesn’t matter whether the receiver knows who you are or not, the point is that it’s a little bit of pay-it-forward kindness that they’ll never forget. Randomly paying for someone’s meal is something that, if it happens to you, you are much more likely to do it for someone else in the future. Think about it as both positive karma for yourself as well as raising the happiness and consciousness of society.

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Pay for strangers meal at a restaurant
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Buy a strangers groceries

15. Partake in a Tree-Planting Session

planting a tree for charity

Perhaps you’re not much of a people person, but you still want to be involved in something meaningful. In which case, you might be more interested in planting trees. This is something that you can do on your own, with friends, or as part of an organised event.

Let’s be honest, there can never be too many trees, so getting involved in tree-planting is a wonderful way in which you can help the planet and feel more fulfilled as a result.

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Plant a tree
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Plant a tree on earth day

16. Sponsor a Child's Education

If you have some disposable income and want to do something meaningful, you may want to help sponsor a child’s education. In many countries, education is not free, so it’s often the case that families simply can’t afford to send their children to school, or they can afford to send one but not the other.

This can be really difficult for the families involved, and it doesn’t always take much (by Western standards) to allow a child to go to school. Sometimes, all that a school might require is that a child pays for their uniform and then the rest of the education is free.

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Sponsor a child’s education

17. Forgive Someone

Another Bucket List idea that can be meaningful for both you and perhaps the other person/people involved is forgiveness. This may seem like a strange Bucket-List mention at first glance but offering someone your forgiveness or even just relieving yourself of the weight of the angst you feel from not having forgiven someone, can actually be really refreshing.

It might be that you don’t even tell the person that you’ve forgiven them for whatever they said or did that caused you pain, but the knowledge that you have let something hurtful go should help you feel relieved and revitalised.

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Forgive someone
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Forgive the person that hurt me most

18. 365 Random Acts of Kindness in a Year

Lastly, if you really want to go the whole hog and up your ‘meaningful’ game, then you might want to challenge yourself to complete 365 random acts of kindness. This, of course, works well over a whole year, doing one little act of kindness each day. You might start with smiling at someone in the street or buying your colleague their favourite coffee, but you could move on to even more creative or elaborate ideas as the year progresses!

This is a sure-fire way to make you feel purposeful, connected, kind and all-the-more meaningful!

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Do 365 random acts of kindness in a year

Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration about what you could add to your Meaningful Bucket List that will help to benefit both you and others.

Let us know what you might add to your Meaningful Bucket List in the comments below!

For more meaningful bucket list items try these mega bucket list pages: CharityFamilyPersonal Growth

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