365 Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness
World Kindness Day has happened everyday since 1998-1999. It is always on November 13 and recently that week has become National Kindness Day. While I think that it's wonderful that people are recognizing this day, or week, and using it to bring kindness back into society (especially in the fight against bullying) I don't think that we need to focus on being kind to each other on a single day out of the entire year.
So, I've compiled a list of random acts of kindness. If you're in a classroom, consider putting a new act of kindness on the board or poster around the room, each day. You can also do this at home.
But the best way to bring kindness back into society, and create a better world for everyone, is to actually use these actions. But use them to your discretion. Obviously you wouldn't want to tell a five year old to help put a cart away in a busy parking lot with no supervision.
What are random acts of kindness?
Why are random acts of kindness so important?
I suppose you could interpret them in your own way, but I like to think of them as things that you normally wouldn't do. Taking someone's dish for them after they are done eating might not seem like a big gesture, but how often do you actually do it without them asking you to do so? What about putting away the towels after mom folded them? How often do you tell someone 'thank you' for their hard work everyday, not just on a single day or for a specific project that was assigned to them?
Those can all be random acts of kindness. Any act of kindness counts in my book. Some may seem like common courtesy and others may seem like things you would never do. Bringing a smile to someone's face is always the goal. With everything happening in society today, at every age, every race, and every gender, I feel like it's important to bring back these small gestures.
What if you could be that one person who makes someone believe that they really are special? Because we all are. We all were put here for a reason and it's a matter of being able to find out what that reason was. What if you could help someone carry on that smile to another person? Who carries it on to another? Don't break that chain, create it. Make someone's day. Make someone feel like they mean something. (because they do!)
Start inside your own home. Think about what you could change at work to make it a more positive working environment. Adults have a tendency to let life get the best of them. Help bring back kindness into the world. Help children grow up in a more 'happy' community. Do something kind for someone today-whatever it may be!
Collect goods for a local food bank.
Acts of Kindness 1-20
Give someone a hug
Tell someone that they look nice today
Let someone cut in front of you
Tell someone how much they mean to you
Take out the trash without being asked
Say thank you for something that you normally do, or would, not
Plant a tree, or bed of flowers. This can be done with someone else, or done in a place for everyone to enjoy the beauty of nature
Tell a joke to someone wearing a frown
Offer to take your neighbor or friend's dog for a walk for them that day
Pick up a piece of trash from the ground instead of stepping over it
Tell someone how proud you are of them
Put a post it note of a smiley face on someone's computer or desk
Leave a single flower for someone that you care about
Draw someone a picture
Don't put the blame on someone else for something that you are afraid to take responsibility for
Cut the neighbors lawn
Shovel the sidewalk
Shovel for your neighbor. They don't need to be elderly or injured to appreciate this gesture
Donate your time at a nursing facility
Send a card to someone in the military
Bake cookies for your coworkers on a random day, not a special occasion.
Take off your hat when entering a building, or eating dinner
Saying 'please' can go a long way
"I will if you will"
I know that this may not seem like a kind act, but hear me out. The next time that someone says something along the lines of, 'have a nice day', respond with 'I will if you will'.
You're getting that person to think about their own day and encouraging them to have a good day.
If you're in the position to tell someone to have a nice day, such as a cashier, instead of saying 'have a nice day' demand that they do by saying, 'Make it a good day'. Sometimes that is all it takes for someone to realize that they don't have it so bad, even if their day isn't going as planned.
The more smiling faces around the world, the kinder that we are to each other.
Give a compliment about your waiter to the manager
Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger. (and walk away, don't stand there to wait and see if they won)
Do you believe in the power of a smile?
Do you believe that a smile can brighten someone's day?
Compliment someone for their excellence
Volunteer to be a tutor
Be nice to your siblings
Babysit for free to a couple, or parent, who could really use a night out
Give someone a ride
Volunteer to read to students in a classroom, or at the local library
Write a note of appreciation to the custodian
Leave a note on your parents pillow to tell them why you love them and how wonderful of parents they truly are
Leave a large tip when you go out to eat
Buy a stranger a cup of coffee
Pay for someone behind you at the drive-thru
Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while just to say hello
Invite someone that you normally wouldn't over for game night with other friends
Anonymously slip someone in financial trouble a ten or twenty dollar bill.
Bring soup to a friend or family member fighting a cold
Listen to someone
Offer your assistance in tedious tasks
Clean up your local parks
If you can afford to do so, the next time that you're at the post office pay for upgraded shipping for the person behind you
Bake goods for the local firefighters or police officers
Tip the garbage man
Write to a stranger in the hospital (I know that children's hospitals LOVE handmade cards of encouragement)
Be there for others during a stressful time, such as an illness or natural disaster
Rake leaves at your neighbors house
Smile & say hello to a stranger walking down the street
Adopt a stray animal
Pick up an extra bag of animal food to give to a friend or neighbor who has that pet
Let someone merge during traffic hour
Wave to someone who lets you cut in front of them while driving
Host a kids night at your house so that other parents can have a night off
Donate your old books
Read to someone who cannot. Whether it is someone who cannot see or someone who is illiterate.
Give a troubled soul a notebook and tell them to write down their thoughts and feelings
Get a stray animal fixed.
Adopt an exotic animal from the zoo
What makes my day
Take a moment to think about your own life. When was the last time that you held open the door for someone behind you? When was the last time that you offered to put a cart away for someone else? Did it matter if they were elderly or a mother of four? Do you remember the last time you witnessed a kind act?
I don't know about you, but my parents raised me to be polite. Hold open the door if someone is behind you, say thank you, apologize if you bump into someone. The biggest pet peeve I have is when I go out in public (local stores seem to be the worst) and people, which I have to say that it is almost always women...adult women who should know better, and someone bumps into your or purposely cuts you off. There is no acknowledgment, not even a mumbled 'sorry'. Most of the time they just continue on their way, or shoot you a dirty look..like it was your fault that they rudely cut in front of you or hit your cart.
So, do you know what makes me happy? When I am entering or leaving the store and I see a young man hold open the door for someone else. Isn't that sad? That seeing someone do something that I was raised to know as common courtesy, actually stops my thought process to think, 'Wow..what a nice young man'. Shouldn't that be something that we see so frequently that we shouldn't have to stop and focus on how strange it is for someone to actually be nice to another human being?
Host your own toy drive
Give someone a compliment rather than a sarcastic remark
Reconnect with an old friend through a letter
Collect donations for your favorite charity
Start a kindness box in your office, home, or classroom. Have people put anonymous compliments about a specific person into the box and read it once a week, or month, to everyone involved.
Donate school supplies to your local school or church
Get an extra newspaper for someone on the train
Volunteer your time to do an art project with children
Compliment a complete stranger on what they are wearing
Give a driver the parking spot that you were about to take
Help someone struggling with heavy bags
Remind someone under stress to breathe
Randomly email an inspirational quote
Give away a piece of candy (make sure that it's fully wrapped) to people that you meet at the store, bank, or other retail locations
Leave a thank you note for the mailman
Take someone new under your wing (especially if you're in school)
Stick up for someone who is being picked on
Invite someone new to sit at your lunch table
Start a 'pay it forward' in your own community
Make amends with someone that you never thought you would
Treat a friend to a movie for no particular reason
Fill the fridge with groceries for a friend or family member
Buy groceries for someone that you know is going through a rough patch
Befriend someone new in the neighborhood
When you see a child doing an act of kindness, provide them with a sticker
When a stranger does something for you, such as holding open the door, stop and make it a point to tell them how kind of a gesture that was
Laugh! It can bring a lot of smiles
Write a letter to an old teacher to tell them how they had a positive impact on your life
Send an anonymous gift to a friend
Donate children's books to after school programs or child care facilities
Leave your change with the cashier so that the next person in line who needs a few extra cents can use it
Buy dinner for a complete stranger
Share your own stories of kind acts with others, it might inspire them to do the same
Make holiday decorations that you can donate to schools or facilities in the community that can use them
When you are baking, make an extra one to bring to your neighbor
If you know someone who was recently injured or ill, make it a point to call or stop by to see if they need anything
Spread awareness for your favorite charity by talking about it to others, creating a website about it, or even emailing the people in your address book to tell them about the wonderful work that they do and how they can help
Don't judge someone based on their looks
Holding Open The Door
How often do you hold open the door for someone?
If you don't understand something, ask about it. Don't laugh at it, or them, or jump to conclusions before you know the story.
Sit next to someone on the bench and ask them how their day is going
Smile, even when you aren't having a good day
This is a personal one. If you do something like cleanse your house with white sage and you have some extra, offer it to your neighbor and friend to see if they would like to do the same
Share a funny joke that you heard
Give someone your old cookbook
Get to know someone of a different race
Help someone fix their flat tire
If you see someone broken down, ask if they need a phone
Give someone a hug
Become pen pals with someone in another country
Listen to a child's problems.
Teach a child the difference between confidence and bragging
Get someone started with their vacation fund. Set them up with a piggy bank and a few coins in there to motivate them
Share your own stories. Sometimes talking about serious situations can be all that it takes for others to not feel alone
Get to know a stranger
Don't judge a homeless person. If you're really that curious, ask them their story.
Don't laugh AT anyone, laugh WITH them
Never quit. That next attempt may be the one that changes the world.
Show respect towards your family members
Do your best to prevent bullying
Think before you speak
If you have nothing else to offer, offer your support
If you just read a good book, give it to your friend to read next
If you see someone crying, ask if there is anything that you can do
Sometimes silence can be the kindest act of all.
Send a text picture of something that reminds you of someone, and send it to them.
Buy someone a treat while you're at the store
Watch someone's bike when they need to go in the store
Make a mix tape for a friend
Make it a point to get to know your significant other's friends
Buy someone a journal and randomly place inspirational quotes in it
Tell someone that you care
If you see someone drop something, stop to help them pick it up
Stick up for someone that you know will not stand up for themselves
Offer your advice, but don't get involved until you are asked
Don't take away someone else's spotlight
Buy an extra tube of chapstick in the winter and give it to someone on the streets
Buy a coffee for someone on the streets
Ask the cashier how their day is going, not just in passing but be genuinely interested in their answer
Give your nurse a flower
When you do a favor for someone, ask for them to repeat the gesture in return
Hand sew someone a pillow
Paint someone a picture
Knit a friend a scarf
Give a winter hat or pair of gloves to someone in need
Buy a candy bar that an organization is selling, even if you don't like that candy
Get involved with your favorite charity
Make a new friend
Give someone your textbook instead of selling it back to the school or online
"There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear."
Don't let someone bring you down
I know that I've been in the position where it seems silly to try to help another person. This is especially true, at least for me, when I visit places like Chicago. I'm not comfortable donating actual money to someone sitting on the street collecting donations with a can. I would rather buy someone a sandwich, pick up and extra soda from the store and give it to someone. But a lot of times, not every single time, those people sitting on the street don't want food or beverages. They want your money, so that they can do what they wish with it.
Don't let things like that change your views. If someone doesn't want a sandwich, just walk away. If someone doesn't want your advice, move on. Don't let a single person, or a single act, change your opinion on the rest of the world. Try next time. Eventually you will be helping someone who could truly use it. Isn't that worth it?
Tell the truth
If you see someone laughing at another person because of their physical differences, stop that person laughing and tell them that differences are what make people unique.
Have your entire family volunteer at a soup kitchen, not just on a holiday
Don't give up on your dreams, you never know who you might be helping in the future
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
Helping those with a disability
Have you ever helped someone with a disability?
Read to a child
If you're angry, don't have an outburst. Keep your calm. It is better to say nothing at all than to hurt someone during an outburst.
Leave someone a compliment on their facebook wall, or myspace page
Rake the leaves without having to be told
Another personal experience through a friend. Buy someone's pizza. A family friend was at a local pizza place and the only thing that he had on him was his ATM card. I'm not sure if it was on with a Visa symbol on it or not, but the place ended up not accepting the only card that he had on him. A gentleman behind him gave him two 20 dollar bills and told him to pay it forward the next time that he was there, because the first time that he was at the same pizza place someone else had bought his pizza for him. Just another example of paying it forward.
Start a kindness blog. Allow others to share their own acts of kindness.
Donate your time to a local animal shelter
Put change into an expired parking meter or one that is about to run out
Call a distant relative to get back in touch
Instead of collecting donations for your favorite organization, hand out things like bottles of water or sealed snacks with a business card attached about the organization you want to bring more attention to.
Pay a bill around the house
Pay a bill for someone going through financial struggles
Be kind to the earth by hanging your clothes out on a line rather than using the dryer
Tell someone that you believe in them
Sponsor a children's sports team
Make a funny face at someone who could use a laugh
Make a kindness coupon book to give to someone and let them cash in whenever they want. Think about putting things for high fives, smiles, hugs, or anything else that can bring happiness to someone.
Give a friend a shoulder to lean on
Stop in to visit your neighbors at a random time
Help someone cross the street
Don't stop at helping someone carry bags, help them actually put their groceries away
Send someone a 'Kindness Card'. It's a card that states why you think that person is so wonderful!
Invite a troubled friend over for a cup of coffee or tea
Help someone pick vegetables from their garden
Teach someone how to make your favorite recipe
Host a bake sale to raise money for charity
Bake a cake with a friend
Teach someone how to skate
Give you pet a bath
Stop and appreciate the beauty of nature, it will encourage others to do the same
Give someone a makeover
"Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns."
Give away a piece of jewelry that you own to someone who truly adores it
Buy someone else's pumpkin at the pumpkin patch
Pay for dinner before you eat, so that no one has the chance to pick up the bill or argue over it
Be yourself. It's the kindest thing that you could do!
Offer to pet sit for a friend or neighbor
Help without having to be asked
Be positive. Only say positive things. It will not only rub off on others, but attract positivity as well.
If you bump into someone, say that you're sorry or 'pardon me'
Be open to new experiences
Be kind to your body and exercise
Reward someone for their own kind acts
Set the table
Give someone a party just for being them
Decorate a frame. Put a picture of you and your best friend in it and give it to him/her
Feel proud of yourself
Write someone a silly song or poem
Move on (take this how you will)
Treat your family out to a fun day of mini golf or go karts
Encourage your children to get involved with volunteering
Give someone else the coupons that you aren't using
If you find a great clearance deal at the store, be sure to tell others about it so that they can get the same deal
Don't pressure someone to do something. If they say no, let it go.
Choose a random day to take your friends bowling
Offer to host a 'girls' night if you know that your friend is going through a rough patch. Thing makeovers, nails, sappy movies, and chocolate.
Offer to host a 'guys' night if your buddy is going through a rough patch. Think beers, sports, pool, and pretty ladies.
Treat others how you treat yourself. You wouldn't go around talking negatively about yourself..so don't do it about others.
If you can't totally forgive someone, at least take the first step
If someone truly hurts you and you cannot forgive them, let them go. Take the first step in the healing process
Tell someone what they did wrong. Express yourself calmly through words. Don't get worked up. Don't just hold a grudge or stop talking to someone. They deserve to know what they did wrong.
Sponsor a child
Fly a kite with a friend
Offer your time to the local college for skills that may need to be taught
Tell people about sex trafficking. It's not a kind subject, but it is important enough to shed light on. You never know who could help.
Leave a random post it note of an inspiring saying on the bathroom stall door
Help someone achieve their goals
Simply say something nice
Be a buddy, not a bully
Put together a letter writing kit (include stationary, pens, envelopes, and stamps) and give it to a nursing home or hospital
Put change in a vending machine
Fill someone's gas tank
Leave an old book at a place where someone else can read it
Leave a stamp at the post office so that someone else can use it
Visit someone in the hospital who hasn't had any visitors
Make it a point to bring a special gift to a nurse or doctor at the local hospital
Tell someone that they are pretty
If you read a funny comic book cut it out, and leave it for someone else to read
Write a letter of appreciation to someone in the community
Write a review for your favorite book and encourage others to read it, but be sure that it's an inspirational story or a good meaning behind it.
Donate your clothes
Donate your old toys
Leave some change in a payphone for the next person to use
Write a letter of recognition for a student who has been extra kind and gone out of the way to make the lives of others easier.
Listen to a stranger's story
Smile when you answer the phone. You may not realize this, but you can actually tell the difference.
If you work in customer service, ask someone how their day is going and listen to them if they need to vent.
The next time you call customer service because something is wrong, keep your calm. It isn't their fault. Make your point, but don't get mean.
Share your umbrella on a rainy day
Do an art project with children
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Leave a gift on the front porch for a friend or neighbor
Get a group together to send care packages to people in the military
Get a group together to send care packages to a local woman's shelter
Pick up a t-shirt when they're on sale to donate
Buy someone a movie they keep talking about wanting to watch but never have the time, and leave it for them without them knowing who it is from
Have the neighborhood kids over for a bon fire and teach them how to make s'mores
Share your favorite object
Help a friend put together a shelving unit or other furniture that needs to be put together
Offer your services to help paint for someone who is elderly, or pregnant
If you know someone that looks up to you, take them out for lunch or just to spend time together
Show that you're thankful for what you have
Compliment someone. It can't be about a material object or their physical appearance.
Run a blood drive
A picture is worth a thousand words. Create a display of a thousand kind words.
Respect diversity. Does the color of someone's skin actually matter? Don't judge someone based on their looks. Befriend people because of who they are, not what they look like
Offer a ride to someone who has been drinking
Pay someone else's parking ticket
Reach out to someone who is being bullied. Be their friend, even if you can't prevent others from being cruel
Wake up early to make breakfast for your household
Give someone your full attention
Do something kind every day, not just once a year.
Help and inspire someone in need but don't get involved unless you're asked
Let someone else decide what to watch on the family television
Return someone's lost belongings such as a phone or wallet
Avoid conflict. You may not realize it, but that alone is a HUGE kind act. The less fighting, the happier we are.
Work as a team
Change begins at home. Create a kinder world by showing respect to each other.
Write down someone's name on a piece of paper. Now, write down 5 kind words that describe that person and give it to them anonymously.
Buy a stranger popcorn at the movies
Host a day in the park. Get together with your community. Meet the people in your neighborhood and feel comfortable around them.
Offer to throw out the trash when out at lunch
Shake hands when you meet someone knew
Start a coin jar. When it's full, donate it to your favorite organization.
Make it a point to show your pearly whites to at least ten different strangers during the day
Buy a phone card and give it to someone less fortunate
If you have items that are still good, but you just don't use, post them online for free
Put on a play for a nursing home
Volunteer your time at the local theatre
Donate your old eye glasses to an organization who works with the needy
Make a holiday basket filled with various baked goods to bring to a homeless shelter
Bring word search books, crossword puzzle books, or any other brain challenges to the local nursing home
Take time to make a game night as a family.
When you buy a pair of new shoes, donate your old ones.
Take out an extra twenty when you go to the bank and randomly slip it to a stranger.
Give someone a loan to start their own business. You have to start somewhere, don't you?
Pledge to be drug free
Reach out to someone. Listen. Don't talk, just listen. There's nothing greater than a friend who can just be there for you
Surprise a child at their birthday party with something that they love
"Don't wait for people to be friendly, show them how."
Exchange contact information (email, if that's all that you're comfortable with) with someone that you just met who was having a bad day. Keep in touch with them
Go an entire day without cursing
Don't name call
Be nice to everyone, including someone who was rude or ignorant towards you
Stay after a party and help clean up
Ask permission to borrow something that you usually just take
Express yourself without anger, even when you're mad
Pay for a friend to take a yoga or meditating class with you
Treat a friend to a concert
Buy someone the shoes, purse, dress, top, or whatever it was that they liked at the store and give it to them anonymously.
Let your parents, or whoever raised you, know that they did a darn good job!
Keep your promise
Water a plant at a building that appears to be dying
send an e-card
Give a high five
Provide someone with encouragement for their dreams, no matter how unrealistic you may think that they are
Buy ice cream for a stranger on a hot day
Offer your computer knowledge to someone who needs help
Make it a point to visit your grandparents
Leave random post its around the house with kind quotes on them
Make dinner when it's least expected
Invite a friend for a walk
Wave at your neighbors while driving
Give someone a piece of gum
Buy dessert for everyone while out to dinner
If you see something that reminds you of someone, buy it for them
Treat someone to a manicure or pedicure
Host a party for no particular reason, just to get friends together
Take an elderly person to get their hair cut and/or styled
Buy someone a haircut
Buy something handmade instead of buying something from the store, help out the working man ;-)
Pick up a gift card for a small amount the next time that you're at the store and give it to someone on the street, at random
Become part of a program like Big Brother/Big Sister
Put a new roll of toilet paper on when it gets low
Subscribe someone for their favorite magazine
Buy someone something off of their online wishlist
Consider donating to Characters of Character (you didn't think I could put 365 kind acts and not slip that one in there, did you?)
Show someone that they have something to be proud of!
Do what you are told without having to be asked twice
Bring flowers to an unmarked grave
Let someone know that it will be okay
Give an extra dollar at the plate at church
Don't just walk past someone asking for donations. Hear them out. If you still don't agree with what they're mission is..then don't donate.
Give someone a second chance
Apologize for something you said or did wrong
Provide someone with inspiring words
Pour an extra cup of coffee and give it to someone around the house, or office, without them having to ask
Teach someone the importance of quitting smoking
Be friendly to your little siblings or cousins, don't push them away if they want to spend time with you
Listen to your parents
Get involved with a local organization who helps build houses for the less fortunate
Poke fun at yourself for your own flaws when someone else is feeling down because they are being picked on
On a cold day, buy a movie ticket and give it to someone less fortunate living on the streets
Start a conversation with someone that you don't know
Say a prayer for someone that you don't know
Behave for your parents, babysitter, or teacher
Leave Hershey's hugs & kisses on a coworkers desk
Let go of a grudge
Forgive someone for their mistake
Open your house to someone that you don't know