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Random Acts of Kindness: 24 RAKs

Updated on March 18, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness - Scottish shoreline
Random Acts of Kindness - Scottish shoreline | Source

24 RAK ideas for you and the kids

This was written for Christmas but it doesn't have to be Christmas to practice random acts of kindness.

With all the commercialism at this time of year it is easy to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. Practising Random Acts of Kindness is one way to refocus.

Personally I have given myself a challenge to do one RAK every day of advent - from 1st December to 24th December. So here you will find my 24 ideas - some I just list, some have expanded explanations.

Now I would like to set you the same challenge. How many of you will join me? Let me know in the comments sections and include any ideas you have. They don't have to do the same as mine. Everyone must have wonderful ideas of their own they would like to share.

This is a great thing to do with the kids - you could even create an advent RAKs calendar for them to tick off every day.

Wishing everyone peace and contentment this holiday season. Read and pass it on and lets create a huge wave of kindness around the world.

Start a wave of kindness


Knitted Cowl and Crocheted Beannie

crocheted beannie hat
crocheted beannie hat | Source
knitted cowl
knitted cowl

Crafting for Charity

I cheated a bit and actually started a few days ago because I just couldn't wait. I'm keen on crafts and as anyone else likewise addicted will tell you, you reach a point where you have knitted or crocheted something for everyone you know but you still can't stop. So I was delighted to discover so many charities that accept knitted and crocheted items. My first RAK is crocheting a beannie for the homeless. It took me a couple of hours, helped me learn how to crochet (I've been meaning to do that for years) and made me feel good. In fact I also knitted a cowl remembering that not all homeless people are male - and - they don't have to be drab. This one is bright and cheerful and can worn around the neck or pulled up over the head when it is really cold.

There are a lot of charities that could use your help - look for:

  • hospitals that accept hats or blankets for premature babies or cancer wards that accept hats.
  • knitting for the troops - like the Warmth for Warriors charity in the US.
  • knitting projects for the homeless. Here the Big Issue charity foundation are holding a giant knitathon.
  • you could go indepenant - talk to the staff in a children's home or old folks home and ask if they would like a blanket. Or hand out a scarf, beannie or gloves to a homeless person on the street.
  • I even found one for knitting for vets - the Big Knit for Vets is a charity that provides vet care for working animals around the world.

These are just a few I've found and there are dozens of others out there, all you have to do is look for them. My friend Lisa has more ideas - I Crochet for Charity.

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After You...

This one cost us nothing and really we should be living by it anyway.

Consciously think about being kind to everyone, simple holding the door open for them, letting them go ahead of you in a queue or letting cars filter into your lane in a traffic jam can all make someone's day.

Smile at everyone you meet, especially the scowling ones, they probably need it most and who knows, it may be the only smile they receive that day.

Free Printable RAKS advent calendar from

from Coffee Cups and Crayons blog with thanks.
from Coffee Cups and Crayons blog with thanks. | Source

Be Neighbourly

In today's society we often don't know our neighbours very well. I know when I was living in Hull on a new housing estate I only knew the neighbours on either side of me and then only to pass the time of day since we were all working hard. Since then I have been lucky enough to live in a village where we all knew each other.

Why not take a few minutes to talk to your neighbours - ask if you can help them take out the trash, or rake up leaves in their garden, walk the dog or wash their car. You get the idea. When I moved to my present home - it is the middle house of three cottages, I just naturally put out their rubbish bins at the same time as I put out my own, I had been used to my village neighbour doing the same. So I was surprised when both neighbours were slightly taken aback by the act. Now they are used to it and one of us will put them out or take them back in whoever is home first.

Royal Arcade Keighley

Royal Arcade Keighley
Royal Arcade Keighley | Source

Shop Small

Let's face it, we are all going to be buying gifts, food, drink etc this season. So why not give at least some of your patronage to small local businesses? I found this lovely little arcade filled with small independent shops, sadly it was almost empty. Try farmers markets, craft fairs and Mom & Pop shops.

Don't forget local restaurants and cafes, repairers and tradesmen. I had occasion to use the friendly services of a local keycutter recently. Barry was kind enough to let me take his photo with a warning it was not to be used for immoral purposes. :) But seriously, the service was fast and friendly and so much nicer than the big impersonal chains. Please let's all try to support local folk.

Barries in Keighley

Barries in Keighley
Barries in Keighley
Barries in Keighley
Barries in Keighley

12 ideas for Random Acts of Kindness in no particular order

Free hug
give someone a hug whether they need it or not
Be neighbourly
do a neighbour a good deed
Book crossing
donate a book to your local library
After you...
let someone go ahead of you in a queue
Pass on a smile
smile at everyone you meet
Free parking
tape coins to a parking meter
Feed the birds
set up a bird feeder
visit an older person who would like your company
offer to babysit for free
Secret Santa
buy a gift for a child
Knit or crochet
make a beannie, scarf or gloves for charity
Drink up
buy a coffee or tea for the person behind you in the queue

Book Crossing

Have come across book crossing? There is even an organisation that supports it but you can do your own thing. The idea is to pass on a book you have read. Leave it on a park bench, in a bus or train, in a cafe or somewhere like that. Put a sticky note on the front saying something like - I am leaving this book for you - I hope you enjoy it and pass it on when you have read it.

Alternatively, you can donate a book to your local library. With all the budget cuts presently in place I am sure they will be grateful to receive it and as an avid reader who uses the library a lot, I will be too.

Or you could donate a book to a charity shop.

Food Bank Collection

Food bank collection
Food bank collection | Source

Donate food to a foodbank

Sadly more and more people are living below the poverty line and food banks are springing up to try to help. Even if you can only afford to buy one tin of food to donate it will help. Check local supermarkets to see if they have collections. Same for local churches and charities. The Samaritans always have collections and I'm sure there will be one near you. Think about adding just one or two items in your weekly shopping and together we can make a difference.

Remember to only include non-perishable food. Think about what might make a meal for a family.

Non-Perishable food to include in donating to a food bank

tinned meat
tinned fish
tinned vegetables
long-life milk
longlife juice
pasta sauce
tinned tomatoes
tinned soup
tinned fruit
tinned rice pudding
tinned sponge pudding
tinned custard
instant mash potatoes
baking powder
jars of baby food
baby milk
baby cereals
sweets and candies
Think about things that would make up a meal for a family. Non perishable goods only and don't forget to add a treat to brighten their day.

Be a Secret Santa

our local secret Santa collection for
our local secret Santa collection for | Source

Be a Secret Santa

We have a great charity locally that works with the library to collect gifts for children who would otherwise have nothing to open on Christmas day. You pick a card from the Christmas tree. It will have a child's name and age on it. You buy an age appropriate gift, attach the label to it and hand it in to the library.

If you don't have something similar in you area, ask at children's homes, retirement homes, churches or hospitals. If they don't have a gift collection scheme maybe you could inspire them, even offer to help them set it up and run it.

Gifts don't have to be expensive but they do need to be appropriate. No point giving a bag of toffee to an old age pensioner with no teeth.

12 more Ideas for Advent RAKs

Drink up...
buy a coffee or tea for the person behind you in the queue
I'll do it...
volunteer - check out volunteering organizartions in your local area
donate food to a food bank
Shop Small
use local shops and tradesmen
Pick you up
give someone a lift in the car
Spread a little sunshine
buy flowers for an older person
Trolley up
leave the £1 coin or token in a supermarket trolley
Thank you
said thanks to your postman and garbage collectors
donate toys, clothes etc to a charity shop
give anyone who waits on you a good tip
Rake it up
offer to rake leaves for a stranger's garden
You've been jingled
wrap sweets or cookies and leave on a stranger's door

Toy Donations

Get the kids involved. Let them go through their own toys and donate any in good condition. They can be given to hospitals and nurseries, children's home and charities such as the Red Cross and the Samaritans. Or they can be donated to charity shops to sell.

If they are feeling generous, they might even consider holding a yard sale or you could take them to a car boot sale with their friends selling old toys. They can then donate the money raised to a children's charity.

Free Hugs Video

Free Hugs

I wish I had the courage to take part in a free hug campaign as in the video - but I do give out hugs whenever and wherever I can. Often that is friends but I have been known to hug a neighbour who helped me unlock my door and my car mechanic who rescued me when I locked my keys in the car.

The wonderful thing about hugs is you can't give one without getting one back so you are in win win situation.

And so it goes on...

There are literally hundreds of ideas for Random Acts of Kindness for you to enjoy. And I do mean enjoy, for you get back more in satisfaction and self respect than you ever give out. Give openly, give without expectation of return, not even a thank you and you will make the world a better place. You don't have to spend money to make a difference, just be willing to make a start.

Pass it on... list of 7 acts of kindness to pass around

One final Random Act of Kindness suggestion

Read this and pass it on. Let's get as many people as possible joining in.

Are you taking part in this advent RAKs challenge? tell me your ideas

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    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 3 years ago from Scotland

      I Love it Ann

    • annmackiemiller profile image

      annmackiemiller 3 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      thanks to you all for taking the time to visit and comment - hope you pass it on. bright blessings. Ann -

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      This year it seems even more important than ever before to give from the heart. I am shocked by the amount of people in need. Many do not ask for help and it is only through the grace of God and a watchful eye that they are found. Blessings to all who are in need this holiday season.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 3 years ago from Kent, UK

      You have some excellent ideas here! Several of them I already do, so I probably can't count them. I think I may push my boundaries a little more and write to a prisoner.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 3 years ago from UK

      What a wonderful page! When I first started thinking of Random acts of kindness I was thinking of big things that needed planning and organising. However reading this it is also, even more so maybe, the little everyday, good manners type of things as well that can brighten every ones day and make people feel appreciated. Yes! Taking bins out, letting people out in crowded traffic, holding a door open, social sharing a rescue dog that needs a home, donations of food/blankets/cleaning stuff etc to animal rescue organisations, making a home for wildlife in the garden, thank you, a smile... They are so very easy to do and just incorporate into your life. I haven't set out to do the challenge as such, but I do these things. I think it is really lovely that you are doing this and you have also given me ideas to do more. Thank you :) and sending a Hug!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      What a delightful hub Ann. My wife and I already work for a charity making and delivering small knitted and crocheted teddy bears, knee rugs, beanies, tiny baby clothes etc to people with cancer or premature babies etc which we do all year round. We also support a local food bank distribution centre and donate to other charities when we can. I can't take the challenge because we live in a rural area with no close neighbors but I will do my RAKs whenever I can. This is a very worthy challenge. Well done.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I need to update my Christmas Kindness hub to feature yours. Let's keep spreading the word.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 3 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Excellent ideas and overall excellent idea.