10 great things to do today in 5 minutes or less

September 11 is a National Day of Service in the U.S., in memory of the tragedy that occured 12 years ago. While spending a few hours at a service event or volunteering is a fantastic way to remember those lost and help your community, there are tons of things you can do in just 5 minutes or less. And ya know what? You'll still make a huge difference. Here are our 10 favorites--tell us yours in the comments! 

Pen a love letter. And it doesn't have to be a mushy gushy "I've had a crush on you since pre-K" deal, either. Write one to Mom or Dad or a friend's brother who is serving in the Army abroad. Remember, "love" is all relative.

Stop at the store and grab someone else's favorite. A candy bar, a special juice, a ripe cantaloupe (hey, ya never know...). Pick up a special treat for someone who needs a little pick-me-up.

Introduce mutual friends. Got a bud who would totally dig your pal from rec soccer? Hook the two of them up. Think your creative writer BGF could learn a thing or two from your published author uncle? Invite him over for Sunday night dinner and get 'em chatting.

Sign up to donate blood. Put aside your fear of needles and focus on the cookie at the end of the hairy scary rainbow. Hospitals around the country desperately need the red stuff, so sign up now for your next local drive.

Tweet five compliments about your classmates. And dig deep--none of this "Angela is really pretty" stuff.

Nominate your favorite teacher for your school's Teacher of the Year award. Because really, she deserves it. 

Pick up trash and recycling on your way home. And, you know, dispose of it properly. Greening up your community will make ya feel good--and make a boring walk productive. Just be sure to wash your hands when ya get home.

Do a speed-tidy. Walk around your house and clear up/clean up the obvious things you know Mom or Dad would want to have taken care of. Think: Putting away books and magazines, straightening your room and decluttering the kitchen counter. If you work, volunteer or intern, you can do the same thing at the office.

Post a sweet sign on a telephone poll or bulletin board. You know those dog walker advertisements you see posted everywhere? Nab some inspo and then nice it up. Grab your computer, craft a cute flyer--we love the ones with the rip-off message tabs at the bottoms--and print it out. Then, post it around town and let the smiles roll in.  

Stop and really talk to someone. Instead of passing a classmate or acquaintance who looks a little down with just a smile and a wave, stop them and ask how they're doing, how they're last youth group meeting went, how they're last horse show was--anything at all to break the monotony and show them you care about them, really truly. 

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by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016