Random Acts of Kindness Ideas


Recently, my mom started an Instagram account called LunchBoxQuotes. She started it as a way to share a tradition of putting notes in her children’s lunchboxes during all their years in school and to share some quotes or thoughts she finds inspiring. The first one she put up was one from Joseph B. Wirthlin:

Kindness is the essence of greatness

It’s such a simple though but yet, so profound. I think that the virtue of kindness has gotten lost in today’s world. People find it easier to not say hello to strangers, to avoid going out of their way, and may find it easier to say something mean rather than a compliment. This isn’t the case for everyone, but it’s a trend that I’ve seen more and more as I’ve gotten old. Quite frankly, it makes me sad!

I’m not perfect – I am guilty of avoiding people at the store, not signing up at church for service, and for saying less-than-kind things about people. It’s something I continually work on, because I know when people are kind to me, it makes my life so much happier. Kindness is also something I want to instill in my children, because I believe it’s an attribute that will bring the most success and joy in life. One of my favorite hymns we sing at church is called, “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?” I absolutely love this rendition by Alex Boye and Carmen Rasmusen Herbert (she was on American Idol one season!)

There are so many ways to be kind — being willing to serve; sitting by someone at church you may not know; a simple smile even! Being kind doesn’t take a lot of work, but it can make a huge difference in someone’s life. I was recently asked to be a part of a six-month program with Hallmark, where we have a different theme or product to talk about each month. This month, we were encouraged to talk about anything we wanted, and they sent us a bunch of “just because” cards from their Studio Ink Greeting Cards line.  Here are a few of my favorites that I think anyone would love getting:

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As I looked through this, I thought it would be fun to create a list of random acts of kindness. There are probably very few people who regret being kind. However, I’m willing to be there are many people who regret being mean, rude, or just disinterested. It’s my goal to participate in more random acts of kindness in the future, and I hope this list will help you do that as well!

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1) Pay for the person’s meal behind you at a drive through restaurant.

2) Make or buy dinner for a friend – drop off a gift card or send one via email (here are some meals that are great to take to other people)

3) Bring donuts or bagels to work

4) Leave quarters in a vending machine or washing machine for the next person.

5) Leave any coupons you don’t need on top of the products at the store.

6) Carry around snacks/drinks in the car to give to homeless people. You could buy one of these packages in bulk so you always have a nice variety.

7) Draw a picture (or have you child draw a picture) and send it to someone in the mail

8) Write a letter or send a “just because” greeting card to let someone know you were thinking about them

9) Write a letter to someone (teacher, parent, ecclesiastical leader, etc.) who has made a difference in your life and thank them

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10) Leave a larger tip than you normally would

11) Offer to watch someone’s children so they can take a break

12) Tell a random parent you see that they are doing a good job

13) Smile!

14) Let someone go ahead of you at the grocery store

15) Buy a cookie for a child at the store

16) Donate children’s books/toys to a doctor’s office, a shelter, a daycare, etc.

17) Help someone carry their grocery bags

18) Drop off a book to someone who you think might like it

19) Make goodies for your neighbors

20) Let your spouse sleep in

21) Make your spouse/child/roommate etc. breakfast in bed (invest in a breakfast in bed table to make it even easier!)

22) Put a tip in a tip jar somewhere

23) Buy a Cassie Kit – A friend from college started this with his wife to honor his sister who passed away. I think it’s an easy and wonderful way to bless the lives of other. It’s only $5 per kit!

24) Leave random sticky notes with fun or kind quotes on the mirror of a public restroom

25) Take someone’s cart back (or, gather up carts that others left behind)

26) Offer to give someone your cart as they are walking up to the store

27) Let someone have the better parking spot

28) Send flowers to someone anonymously (or pick them from your yard!)

19) Doorbell ditch a homemade treat

20) Go to a retirement center and visit with anyone who looks lonely

21) Pay the toll for someone behind you

22) Leave nice comments on random blogs

23) Compliment someone randomly (whether you know them or not!)

24) Drop off someone extra vegetables and fruits from your gardens to someone

25) Give up your seat on a bus

26) Buy dessert for someone at a restaurant anonymously

27) Clean someone’s windshield – leave behind the windshield scraper or a can of de-icer

28) Host a neighborhood lawn party

29) Send a thank you note through the mail

30) Hold the door for someone

31) Find someone who is moving to give extra boxes to

32) Talk to the cashier at the store about their day

33) Buy lunch for someone

34) Help someone move (or offer to help clean)

35) Drop off a pizza to someone who just had a baby, had surgery, or you just think might need a break from dinner making

36) Volunteer somewhere – soup kitchen, homeless shelter, animal shleter, etc.

37) Leave tickets sitting around randomly at an arcade or fair or give them to a young child

38) Send extra copies of a nice photo to the people who are in them

39) Send a care package to a soldier, missionary, or college student

40) Pick up trash off the street

41) Leave laundry detergent behind for someone at a the laundry place.

42) Leave a Redbox code and a box of popcorn at the RedBox machine

43) Leave a nice comment on someone’s picture or status on Facebook or Instagram


Disclosure: This post was compensated and sponsored by Hallmark. All opinions are 100% my own.

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  • Thank you for the great ideas! Often we forget that as we give we are blessed in return, and making others happy blesses me for sure! I plan on using your ideas with my children.
  • I like the idea of leaving notes for retail workers. I work at a four star hotel in the banquet department and we have to work all the major holidays, while some guests can be rude and demanding there have been some who have thanked us for working. This might seem small, but it makes my day so much better. Random acts of kindness puts a smile on so many faces. I know I quite often do small things for people just because.
  • I read your blog you have shared a very good views about kindness. I agree with you the virtue of kindness has lost in today’s world. You have good views about kindness. I would like to inform you that government has opened many organizations for helping needy peoples. One Good deed organization is one of them who help needy peoples.
  • your random acts of kindness list was great ! may i also add, living in Ohio , the winters can get very cold !!! at the dollar tree store they sell gloves in a 2 pack for $1.00 , or a really nicer pair for a $ as well depending on which i get at the time . i try to keep these in my bag whenever i am at a bus stop waiting for my ride. you would be amazed at how many people havent any gloves this time of year.hats , scarves , and disposable hand and foot warmers too !!!!!one very cold winter day i saw 2 elderly people shivering on the sidewalk , asked the driver to pull over. how far are you going. climb aboard, i paid their fare .many people have offered me a place in line when i ive only had a few items .everyone usually holds the door open !!!my most favorite act of kindness , when you see a veteran , thank each one for their service !!!!possibly making a new friend , sharing some tears , and knowing they have not been forgotten !!!
    • Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas. They are great! I love the idea of getting gloves from the dollar store.
  • I enjoyed your list of random acts of kindness very much. I am a great believer in doing any random acts of kindness whenever the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes a smile can do someone a world of good and lead to a short (or long chat). As I grow older I find it so much easier to give a stranger a compliment, a helping hand or just some time and attention. What's surprising is how little it takes to cheer someone up and how satisfying it is to me to feel I possibly helped someone.
    • Thank you for your thoughts - I really appreciate the time you took to share them. Kindness goes such a long way - there's so much hate and sadness in the world, even the smallest act of kindness can make the biggest difference :)
  • Thanks for this great list! There are a couple I do regularly, and was looking to up my game so I created a note on my phone with my favorites from this list. I'll peek at it when I'm stuck in lines (instead of playing Candy Crush! haha) in case they remind me of a way I can bring a smile to someone in my vicinity. I'm actually going to keep post-its on me now because I like your idea of leaving a note on a mirror. Actually, it made me think of another implementation: retail workers often get stuck with crappy hours and crabby customers during the holidays, so there are certainly places I could leave encouraging notes for them (e.g. on the "employees only" door that's at almost every retail store). Now, off to see if I can find some sweet quotes for those in case I have writers block :)
    • Thank you so much for your comment! It makes me so happy that you found this list helpful. I think this world needs just a little more kindness, and it sounds like you are doing just that. I love the idea for leaving them on the door at retail stores - I can't imagine how hard it can be working there (especially during the holidays, where people seem to take such a joyful time and stomp on it!) Have a great night!
  • Thank you for the gentle reminders and very good ideas to make another's day! Merry Christmas to you all. Blessings & belief.Jocelyn Knight

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