When you decide to do something nice for someone, just carry out your random act of kindness, wish them a great day, and walk away. An act of kindness should come with no strings attached, so don’t ask for their phone number, invite them to dinner or a party, or Facebook stalk them later that night.
Just knowing that you made someone else smile or feel appreciated should be enough to brighten your own day. Check out our 101 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas below.
Random Acts of Kindness
1. Everybody loves a free treat once in a while, why not make someone’s day better by paying for his/her meal or morning coffee? Not only will the person on the receiving end appreciate the gesture, but the cashier and spectators will likely smile and be inspired to continue random acts of kindness.
2. Any relationship should be a two way street. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, ask how they’re doing, and let them know you still care about them. A simple “I miss you” or “I’ve been thinking about you” can go a long way. You really never know what someone has been going through and this simple gesture could make all the difference.
3. As Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Donate books or educational material to your local library or school.
4. Leave a treat for your mailman or garbage collector. Better yet, if you’re home when they come by, personally hand them some water, Gatorade or snacks.
5. Passing by a homeless person is an everyday occurrence and most people don’t even bother to acknowledge them. If you don’t feel comfortable giving a homeless person money, give them food or a gift card to a restaurant nearby.
6. Praise a coworker for their presentation or diligence on a recent project. Make it even more meaningful by doing it in front of others, especially their boss.
7. Leave money and a note in a public place. Don’t think about where the money will be spent; simply leave it knowing a passerby will find the money, read the note, and appreciate the small present.
8. Try to compliment at least one person every day, even if it happens to be a stranger (this may even prove to be more genuine). Just offer the compliment and walk away without asking for a phone number or date.
9. As we get older, everyday tasks become more tedious and exhausting; offer your assistance to an elderly person who’s carrying their groceries, crossing the street, etc.
10. If you notice the person behind you in line has fewer items or is a mother with young children, let them go ahead of you.
11. Some individuals get bullied or taken advantage of – stand up for someone who is being mistreated.
12. Leave laundry detergent and a bag of quarters at the Laundromat. Leave a note and ask the stranger to pass on the kindness.
13. Remind your children why you love them regularly. Always build a child’s self-esteem and encourage them to try new activities, foods, or challenges.
14. It’s very common to forget how long you paid for a parking meter. If you pass by an expired meter, or one that will expire soon, put a quarter in it. It would also be nice to put a quarter in the meter before you leave, if you notice someone is waiting for your spot.
15. Cutout 25 to 100 paper hearts or smiley faces, and on each one, write one thing you love or find special about your wife, girlfriend/boyfriend, or friend. This can make an incredibly sweet anniversary idea.
16. Volunteer your time to a charity, local soup kitchen, shelter, or youth group. Donating money will be helpful, but giving up some of your personal time is a lot more meaningful.
17. Send flowers or a card to a friend going through a tough time. You never know when a simple sweet thought can save someone’s life or provide them with the hope and support they need.
18. Next time someone is rude or inconsiderate towards you, don’t get angry or defensive. Instead, express compassion for his/her situation and try to understand why they are upset.
19. When someone is talking to you, rather than thinking of what you want to say next, just listen to them. Really listen to what they are saying. Sometimes the best conversationalists are great listeners.
20. For some, it’s not easy to be social, so talk to a shy person who is sitting alone at a party or bring him/her into your group’s conversation and make them feel included.
21. Plants are not only good for the environment, but they can easily brighten up someone’s day. Plant flowers or a tree in deserted parts of your neighborhood.
22. Ask and remember the names of people you encounter on a daily basis. Everybody needs to be treated with respect and the simplest way of showing respect is calling people by their name.
23. Leave kind notes in random places for people to find. A few kind words written on a Post-It, left on desks or even on public restroom mirrors can change anyone’s mood.
24. Donate blood. According to the American Red Cross, one donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
25. Help someone who is stranded or has a broken down car on the side of the road. Even simply calling AAA or the Metro Roadside Assistance can be a big help.
26. Visit an animal shelter and rescue an abandoned pet. After a natural disaster, such as a flood or hurricane, rescue stranded pets.
27. Help elderly relatives and neighbors by doing small repairs and chores around their home, especially those that are difficult for them to do.
28. Once you’ve finished reading a newspaper or magazine, leave it at the coffee shop, doctor’s office, or even on a plane for someone else to read.
29. Carpooling isn’t just for soccer moms. For your next outing with friends, road trip, or even drive to work, organize a carpool. Not only is it good for the environment, it will also allow you to spend more time getting to know your passengers.
30. Take the time to acknowledge the good service you receive by a waiter or sales associate by telling their manager.
31. Help a co-worker, especially a new one, by showing them around the office or offering advice/help on a project they’re working on.
32. If you know your significant other isn’t a morning person, don’t get upset with them if they’re not as excited as you in the morning. Instead, be understanding, give them the space they need, and leave them a fresh cup of coffee.
33. Offer free professional advice to someone in need. If you run a business, pick an underprivileged group and giveaway your service or product for free.
34. Help a friend in need. Some people find it difficult to ask for help. If you know someone who is struggling with a life-changing decision or finances, bring him/her groceries, fresh baked goods or offer to take them out to change their mood.
35. Dedicate a song to a friend on their favorite radio station.
36. When someone has done something nice for you, write a thank you note or card. It will make them feel appreciated for their kindness.
37. Grow your hair out and donate to Locks of Love. Your hair must be a minimum of 10 inches long and free of bleach.
38. Donate your old clothes to local or international charities.
39. Rather than giving you gifts on a special occasion, ask friends and family to donate to charities. Similarly, in lieu of flowers for a funeral, designate a charity or foundation and ask people to donate.
40. Anonymously pay for another diner’s meal at a restaurant.
41. Help a friend or family member who is looking for a job by writing a referral, recommendation letter or offer them advice on how to make their resume stand out.
42. Fall and winter seasons (depending on where you live) require a lot of outdoor home maintenance. After raking the leaves, mowing your lawn, or shoveling the snow off your driveway, help your neighbor out by doing the same for them.
43. Volunteer at a senior center or adult day health care center. You can volunteer at a nursing home by putting on a talent show, organizing bingo and card games, or even offering dance or music lessons.
44. If you have extra coupons at the grocery or department store, ask the clerk to apply it to the customer behind you.
45. Many libraries, malls, and schools hold group readings for kids. Volunteer to read at the next organized event.
46. Business owners can donate to charities of their choice by contributing a percentage of that week’s sales.
47. Adopt a soldier. Send letters and care packages to show support for our Armed Forces.
48. While shopping, help out the sales associates by picking up or folding clothes others have not put away.
49. Pet sit for a friend or family member while they go on vacation.
50. Leave an extra big tip for the waiter/waitress after excellent and courteous service. Leave a note of gratitude with your tip.
51. When a friend asks to borrow some money, give it with no strings attached.
52. Moving can be difficult and frustrating – offer to help a friend or family member who’s moving.
53. Bring coffee, snacks or baked goods (brownies) to the office once in a while.
54. Volunteer to tutor at your child’s school or mentor a new hire at your company.
55. Take a few minutes to write a review or comment on a Facebook Page of a blog or business you like. Writers, bloggers, and business owners really appreciate that!
56. Ask people what they need and how you can help. You never know when someone you know might be dealing with mental, emotional or physical issues and could use your love and support.
57. Hold the door open for someone.
58. Help someone who is lost. Offer to call their loved ones, give them directions, or if their destination is nearby and you feel comfortable enough, take them there.
59. Offer to babysit for free so the parents can enjoy a few hours to themselves.
60. Throw a close friend or family member a surprise party.
61. When in a crowded place, offer your seat to a pregnant woman, elderly or handicapped person.
62. If you know someone who is caring for an aging parent, help them by offering to spend some time with their parent while they get a little break.
63. Tell someone you love them – a spouse, significant other, child, parent, grandparent, or friend.
64. Expand your circle of friends by getting to know an acquaintance, co-worker, or neighbor.
65. Write kind words on a sidewalk with chalk. And if you’re talented or artistically-inclined, draw a mural or a few uplifting images.
66. If finances permit, buy a few umbrellas and leave them in public places on rainy days.
67. Be kinder to yourself. Remember, in order to take care of others, you must first take care of yourself.
68. If you know someone struggling with their weight or trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle, offer to work out with them or come up with a healthy menu/diet plan.
69. Some high school students are confused about what they want to study in college, and some college students are unsure about their future career. Give a class a presentation on your industry or occupation to educate them on different career fields.
70. Give an inspirational book or card to someone who needs some motivation and optimism.
71. Support your community by shopping at local businesses. The easiest way to do this is by shopping at your local farmer’s market.
72. Teach and remind your children to be kind, respectful, and considerate.
73. Gather any toys or clothes your children have outgrown and go together to donate them. It will show them how giving back can positively affect people.
74. Show your children how Teacher Appreciation is important by calling or writing a thank you note to teachers. A young adult can send a letter or email to teachers who made a difference in their academic success.
75. Volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen with your children and help prepare and serve food to those in need.
76. The winter months can be very harsh, particularly on the East Coast. Gather blankets, coats, shoes, or other winter necessities and donate to a local shelter or the homeless.
77. Hand out balloons or bubble gum to children. Similarly, you can buy gift certificates and hand them out to random strangers.
78. Buy and donate stuffed animals to police and fire departments. Firemen and policemen use these toys to help calm frightened children during emergencies.
79. Be a good neighbor and bring over a glass of lemonade, iced tea, or any cold beverage when you notice them working outside.
80. Buy flowers and leave them on the hood/windshield of a random car.
81. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
82. Offer a security guard a free coffee, latte, or drink.
83. Visit hospitals and donate coloring books, crayons, comfort food, balloons, video games and toys to the children.
84. Remember to always be polite: greet people with a smile, say “please” and “thank you”, and tell them to “have a great day” when leaving.
85. Make a “Get-Well” card or sign for someone you know. It can be for a stranger in an assisted-living facility, a colleague, or peer.
86. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
87. Fix someone else’s broken property. This can be a mailbox, gutter, roof, garage opener, computer, etc.
88. Help out the community by cleaning graffiti from neighborhood walls and buildings.
89. Become a pen pal with children from the local hospital or even those from around the world. Companionship, encouragement and a few kind words can go a long way in shaping someone’s future.
90. If you’re a teacher, send home a note sharing a unique positive experience with the student. Parents love to hear how well their kids are doing in school.
91. Drop off unopened toothbrushes, toothpastes, combs, and other necessary hygiene products at your local shelter.
92. Don’t give into road rage. Give up a parking spot or let someone pass in front of you on the road.
93. Leave money or an encouraging note in your favorite childhood book at the library.
94. Anonymously send someone a small gift. Pick a distant relative, a third-world child in need, or someone sharing a challenging and emotional experience online, and send them a thoughtful gift.
95. Treat a friend to the movies, a concert, festival, etc.
96. Let go of your competitive spirit and let someone else win for a change. You never know how a simple “win” can help another build their confidence.
97. Donate diapers and wipes to a pregnancy or women’s center.
98. Buy your friend’s mom flowers.
99. Volunteer to be the designated driver and make sure your friends get home safely.
100. Be nice to someone you don’t necessarily like.
101. Bring home a souvenir for an individual who wouldn’t be expecting it. They will surely appreciate the fact that you thought of them.