A small act of kindness can go a long way, not only to the receiver, but also to yourself. Need some inspiration? On several places online I found the following ideas for acts of kindness:
For your family and friends:
Include a note in your child’s or spouse’s lunch box.
Send a ‘Thank You’ card to someone who’s helped you when you really needed it.
Send unexpected bouquet of flowers to someone you appreciate.
Renew an old friendship by sending a letter or small gift.
Let your grandparents or parents know how they’ve impacted your life.
Email a friend to thank them for being there for you through hardships.
Share kind, positive quotes that inspire you.
Send something nice to your partner to tell them how much you appreciate having them in your life.
Offer to babysit for free for a couple or a single parent who could really use a short break.
Ask a teenager for their opinion. And then really listen to them.
Call an estranged family member.
Offer to take a friend’s child to ball practice.
If you can, help someone with a financial issue.
Take your child/niece/nephew for an ice cream cone and ask them about their favorite things. Tell them what you’re grateful for.
Ask a friend or family member how they are doing right now, after a time of adversity.
Send a gift anonymously to a friend or family member.
Tell your children why you love them.
Write a note to your mother/father and tell them why they are special.
Make a list of things to do to bring more kindness into the world, and have family and friends make a list. Exchange lists and do one item per day for a month.
For one week, act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart. Notice what happens as a result.
Kindness to strangers:
Write something nice about your waitperson on the back of the check.
Give your place in line to another person who seems to be in a hurry or a parent with restless children.
Hold the door.
Help someone struggling with heavy bags or packages at the mall or grocery.
Give a tip just because. Write a card of thanks and leave it with your tip. Be sure to be specific in your thanks.
Help the seniors at a grocery store.
Let a manager know you compliment a sales clerk for their pleasant service.
Wipe rainwater off shopping carts or hold umbrellas for shoppers on the way to their car.
Offer to take a picture of a group, family, or couple who have a camera.
Take blankets or warm clothing to a homeless person.
Give your pocket change to someone who needs it.
Give another driver your parking spot.
When drivers try to merge into your lane, let them in with a wave and a smile.
Leave a treat or handmade note of thanks for a delivery person or mail carrier.
Contact your community action program to find out of someone who is in need of some assistance and provide it for them.
Collect goods for a food bank.
Purchase a couple extra bags of dog or cat food or clay litter and take to the animal shelter.
Give clothes to a shelter or thrift store.
Give a bag of groceries to a homeless person.
Give toys to the children at the shelter or safe house.
Have a charity day at work, with employees bringing nonperishable food items to donate.
Treat someone on the streets to fresh fruit.
Collect canned goods for a food bank.
Merchants can donate a percentage of receipts for the week to a special cause.
Buy or donate books for a day care or school.
Donate needed supplies to the humane society.
Drop off books and magazines to hospitals, nursing homes and doctors offices.
Donate to local causes you hear about or families in need.
Spend time at senior community.
Sing at a nursing home. (if you can sing anyway…) If you play a musical instrument, visit a senior center or hospital and give a brief recital.
Visit a nursing home just to spend a little time with residents. Find out if you can bring a dog that would be great with elderly folks.
Visit a nursing home and spend time visiting with someone who doesn’t get visitors.
Read to an elderly person.
Visit hospitals with smiles, treats, and friendly conversation for patients.
Volunteer at a hospice.
Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
Visit or donate time to an animal shelter.
Volunteer at a local nonprofit or ask them what you can do to help.
Do as many kind things as you can by being anonymous. It is a wonderful feeling.
Write anonymous, loving post-its for strangers to find.
Leave an extra big tip for the waitperson.
Pay for the person behind you in the movie line or the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through.
Slip a bit of money to a person who you know is having financial difficulty. Even better if they don’t know where it came from.
Post a list of random kind acts in a public place.
Give flowers to be delivered with meal delivery programs.
Send a bouquet of flowers to a hospital and let the hospital know it should go to someone who doesn’t receive any visitors and is alone.
For just 5 bucks: Lots of acts of kindness are free, but try and see how many people you can be kind to by spending only 5 euros or dollars:
Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine.
Tape some change to a payphone with a card saying it is for whoever needs it.
Pay the toll or coffee for somebody behind you.
Leave flowers in front of someone’s house.
Bake cookies and give them away.
Put quarters in the laundry machine for the next person.
Send cards with beautiful messages to anonymous people.
Give someone a chocolate heart, just because.
Treat someone to a cup fo their favorite coffee.
Leave a scratch ticket at a public place.
Buy a stranger a free pizza or a dessert.
Write a list of what you are grateful for RIGHT NOW and share with friends, friends and/or coworkers to promote an attitude of gratitude.
Interview people about what they’re thankful for, create a scroll from their responses and hand out a copy to everyone.
Write notes of appreciation and bring flowers or goodies to teachers or other important people, such as the principal, nurse, custodian, and secretary.
Tell a bus or taxi driver how much you appreciate their driving.
Write a thank-you note to a mentor or someone who has influenced your life in a positive way.
Send a nice card to an elderly person who’s been an influence in your life.
Express appreciation to workers who provide you with goods and services that don’t usually get noticed, for example, the police, firefighters, store clerks, behind the scenes restaurant staff, maintenance staff, etc.
Deliver fresh-baked cookies to town or city workers.
Write a letter to an old teacher who influenced your life.
To people who are ill:
Call or visit a homebound person and ask how they are feeling that day.
Ask what they need, eg run an errand, drive them to appointments, take care of their kids.
Cook a nice meal for them.
Sign up for an organ donor card.
Be a good neighbor:
Stop by to say ‘Hello’, take over a baked treat or help with a project.
Mow a neighbor’s grass.
Wash a neighbor’s vehicle.
Let a neighbor know how much you value their friendship. When preparing dinner make extra and drop it off to a neighbor.
Run an errand for someone.
Help an elderly neighbor to care for their pet.
Put a flower on your neighbor’s porch.
Kindness at work:
Tell your boss that you think he/she does a good job.
Tell your employees how much you appreciate their work.
Let your staff leave work an hour early.
Send a gift anonymously to a coworker.
Have everyone in your office draw the name of a Random Acts of Kindness buddy out of a hat and do a kind act for their buddy that day or week.
Be a friend to a new coworker.
Write a note to the boss of someone who has helped you, praising the employee.
It’s easy being green:
Practice kindness towards the environment. Participate in beach or park cleanups.
Pick up litter, you can start small: pick up three pieces of trash wherever you are.
Stand outside a supermarket and give people reusable shopping bags.
Plant a tree or a seed or a flower.
Reduce air pollution by carpooling, taking public transportation, biking, or walking.
Recycle all aluminum, plastic, and paper materials.
Cut down on the energy you use by lowering the heat and turning off lights and unused appliances.
Say something nice to at least one person you meet today.
Give the gift of your smile, along with a small piece of paper with a smiley face and a note that says “Pass it on.”
Give out have a nice day stickers.
Set up a lemonade stand on a hot day and give it out for free, or for a smile.
Say a friendly hello to 5 strangers today.
Pay a compliment at least once a day.
Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously.
I’m sure you can come up with a lot of other acts of kindness!
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