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26 Random Acts of Kindness - How You Can Make a Difference and Pay It Forward

Updated on January 13, 2020
Victoria Lynn profile image

As a social worker and a teacher, as trite as it may sound, I'm always striving to make the world a better place in some way.

Famous Quotation about Acts of Kindness

No Matter How Small
No Matter How Small | Source

Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17th

Yes, that's right. There already is a Random Acts of Kindness Day, established in 1995. See what you can do on February 17th and every day.

Ann Curry's 26 Acts of Kindness

In 2012, random acts of kindness were spurred on as the 26 Acts of Kindness movement went viral. This movement was instigated by Ann Curry of NBC News after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where twenty children and six teachers were shot and killed in their elementary school. This event rocked the United States--yet another act of violence with more lives lost, this time including innocent children going about their regular school day.

Ann Curry asked what she could do as well as what could others do. What came of it was a resolve to do 26 Acts of Kindness in honor of the twenty-six victims at Sandy Hook. Her story and response, which follows, is inspiring.

What can you do to help?

Humanity One World (H.O.W.) is a group of writers who came together in their efforts to help heal the ills of humanity.

You can read more:

Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness

This is something I'm going to try to do, but I'm not going to limit myself to 26 acts. And I'm not listing 26 ideas, as those random acts could change as opportunities emerge, but here are some things I've thought of:

1) Pay for the person behind you in the drive-through. (We've heard this one before.)

2) Take homemade muffins to the neighbors--or the utility worker on your street.

3) Take a card with your phone number to the neighbors for the kids to use in case of emergency.

4) Donate your seldom used pet toys--and blankets--to the Animal Shelter.

5) Leave your quarter in the cart slot at your Aldi grocery store.

6) Let someone in front of you in line in a busy department store.

7) Donate backpacks and warm socks and caps to the homeless shelter.

8) Send a care package of goodies to a friend going through a difficult time.

9) Take doughnuts to the police or fire stations, or the greeter at Wal-Mart--or all of them.

10) Send a card to the Sandy Hook elementary school or to another place that has experienced tragedy and loss to let them know you're thinking of them.

11) Donate to your favorite charity.

12) Send a card telling someone you forgive them for past hurts.

13) Start a college fund for a new baby of someone you know.

These are only half of the 26 possible ideas for my own acts of kindness. This list may change as other opportunities present themselves. Random acts of kindness don't have to be extravagant. They can be as simple as opening a door for someone or as generous as tipping a server $100 for a $30 tab. An act of kindness can be as creative as leaving a lottery ticket on a windshield in a crowded parking lot. These are some of the examples you'll read about and see photos of as Ann Curry of NBC News explains her story.

Share a note and a tweet!

Ann Curry tweeted to ask "Who's in?" and found that many were. They followed with tweeting their completed acts of kindness. See the examples where many left notes with their acts, saying that they were doing this in honor of the 26 victims of Newtown, even numbering which one their recipient was. Neat idea! And, no, it's not about bragging. It's about sharing, encouraging, and spreading the hope that comes from kindness in all of these random acts.

Tweet with hashtag #26Acts to share with others. I've noticed that some are tweeting to @26Acts as well. If you feel the need to also let Ann Curry know what you've done, send her a message @AnnCurry.

#26 Acts of Kindness Poll

Will you participate?

See results

Make a difference one person at a time

Make a difference one person at a time. Who knows what lives you may touch and those they will touch in return.

See justateacher's hub, #26 Acts of Kindness, Ann Curry Style, for more ideas and inspiration. See also hubber healthylife2 from Connecticut, and what she is doing to make a difference in the very community that was affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.

#26 Acts Going Viral

Does One Small Act Make a Difference?

“No act of kindness is too small. The gift of kindness may start as a small ripple that over time can turn into a tidal wave affecting the lives of many.” – Kevin Heath

© 2012 Victoria Lynn


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