It is one of those days when nothing seems to be going right. You are in a horrible mood for no reason at all. As you scamper across the street to reach your home, you drop your important paperwork on the road. Utterly agitated, you try to gather the loose sheets of papers that have come undone from a file and then a complete stranger lends you a helping hand. You both get up, the file tucked safely in your arm, and you thank them. They give you a warm smile and disappear into the crowd. Suddenly, the world doesn’t seem such a bad place.
Random acts of kindness can lift up anyone’s spirits, and you hold the power to make someone’s day with some small but selfless acts. How about you try some of these ideas and put on a bright smile on a few faces.
75 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas:
Examples of Kind Things to Do
1. ✧ Bring Toys to the Homeless Shelter
While birthdays and holidays is a joyful time for many, it can be extremely hard for children who don’t have a proper roof over their heads. If there is a homeless shelter for families near your place, consider giving away toys that your child has outgrown. If you can afford, you can even buy new toys for them. Watch the little faces light up as they unwrap the toys and merrily play with them.
2. ✦ Hold the Elevator Door
This is an example of a very simple random act of kindness! When your inside the elevator and see someone running for it, simply hold the door open for them.
3. ✦ Give a Stranger a Compliment
A nice compliment from a total stranger can do wonders. Remember that time when you weren’t sure about your glossy red boots? Then this young lad in a store commented how awesome they looked and that was all you needed to hear to make you happy for that day. Don’t hold back on compliments. Give them away. They are free after all.
4. ✧ Help Someone Put Groceries in Their Car
5. ✧ Send Flowers to Someone for no Reason
Unexpectedly send a colorful assortment of freshly cut blooms to your dear grandma or a teacher you greatly admired. They will be happy to know that someone was thinking of them.
You can find pretty and reasonably priced bouquets at 1-800-Flowers or ProFlowers. Not a great example of sending flowers for no reason, but I did just send this cute flower birthday cake to a friend of mine!
6. ✦ Run an Errand for Someone
If you are already heading to the post office or grocery store, an easy random act of kindness would be to offer to pick up postage or grab some groceries for a friend.
7. ✦ Make a Music Playlist for Someone
Older parents can sometimes be slightly tech-challenged. It could take ages for them to create a playlist of all their favorite oldies, so why not make it easy for them and make a list with all the best songs. They would be over the moon! Even if it’s not your parents, I’m sure you know someone who could use a customized playlist.
8. ✧ Mow Your Neighbors Lawn
9. ✦ Bake Cookies for the Office
This idea is perfect for almost everyone, I mean who can resist a warm platter of scrumptious cookies straight from the oven? Bring happiness to a boring day at work by baking some delicious cookies. Your colleagues will love you for that. Gobble them down happily along with your coworkers.
For some delicious cookie ideas see the Epicurious’ 113 Favorite Cookie Recipes (and send me a dozen of the spiced molasses cookies!). Don’t forget the cookie sheets! The Rachael Ray Yum-o! Nonstick Pans are amazing, or at least get yourself some silicone baking mats that make the process so much easier!
10. ✦ Read a Book to an Elderly Person
As people age it can get harder and harder to see the fine print of a book. They would probably love for you to read them a classic that they remember from childhood and this article can help: 25 Must-Read Classic Books.
11. ✧ Give Your Favorite Book to a Friend
12. ✧ Leave a Nice Note on Someone’s Car
No, a passive-aggressive note for someone who parks wrongly doesn’t count. Jot down a thoughtful and kind note and stick it on the windshield. It can be for a neighbor, a friend, your spouse or any random stranger. Add positive vibes to their day!
Struggling for ideas? Odyssey helps you of with 17 Of The Best Notes From Positive Post-It Day.
13. ✦ Let Someone Cut in Front of You in Line
14. ✧ Buy the Person Behind You Coffee
Next time you are at the coffee shop give the teller a few dollars to buy the person behind you their morning cup of joe.
15. ✦ Hide a Love Note
Slip in a love letter in her lunch, hide it in his wallet or write it on the shower wall. Can you imagine their sweet smiles when they stumble upon it and read the cheeky love note? Huffington Post has some of the best love note ideas (I may even steal a few of them!): 15 Love Notes From Couples Who Have The Relationship Thing Down Pat.
16. ✦ Pick Up Litter at the Park
17. ✦ Donate to a Friends Charity
It’s becoming more popular for people to opt out of birthday gifts and instead request donations to their favorite charities (especially on Facebook!). So, give a little to help a friends cause.
18. ✦ Send a Care Package to a Soldier
Far away from their homeland and loved ones, and out in the open, soldiers sacrifice so much for their country. Thank the soldiers for their service by sending them a military care package and give a much-needed boost to their morale. It was one of my most memorable bucket list checks (I did it on my birthday!) and you can get some ideas of what to send and tips from my article.
19. ✧ Take a Neighbor’s Dog for a Walk
20. ✦ Tell a Boss About a Good Employee
Being a boss myself (of 30 employees!), many days we only hear about employees who are not doing such a good job, but turn it around and give kudos to someone who is doing great.
21. ✦ Feed Someone’s Parking Meter
Do you happen to come across a person who could use a little help? Feed their parking meter and save them some trouble! This was on my bucket list and I fed the meter of someone near my hometown. I hope they were happy!
22. ✧ Wash Someone’s Dishes
23. ✧ Make Dinner for a Family in Need
24. ✧ Pay for Someone’s Meal at a Restaurant
This random act of kindness idea is slightly challenging as you can’t deduce who will appreciate the gesture or who will feel creeped out. However, if you see a harried parent with teeny-weeny monsters or a couple who are celebrating a special occasion, go ahead and pay for one of the meals!
25. ✦ Babysit for Free
26. ✦ Do Someone a Favor
27. ✧ Thank a Teacher with a Gift
We all have a favorite teacher that we often think of. Send your teacher a heartfelt gift to express your gratitude. Oh, the patience they must have had to deal with you! By the way—Etsy has some of the best teacher’s gifts! Or, these Bring Me Some Wine socks would be perfect for the right recipient.
28. ✦ Give Your Seat Up on the Bus
29. ✦ Share Your Umbrella with Someone
30. ✦ Offer to Take a Photo of a Couple
Selfies don’t always work, especially when you are trying to capture you, your partner and the background. If you see a couple struggling to take a photo of a lovely moment, help them out and offer to click a gorgeous picture for them.
31. ✦ Reconnect with an Old Friend
32. ✦ Buy Local Products from a Small Vendor
33. ✧ Handwrite a Letter to a Friend
You can surely send an email or a text, but nothing can beat a good old-fashioned handwritten letter. It oozes out warmth and love. Share some secrets and love by writing a letter to your best friend.
34. ✦ Text Someone Good Morning or Goodnight
35. ✧ Write Down a Friends Best Qualities (and Give it to Them)
36. ✦ Send Some Nice Comments on Social Media
Don’t you hate it when you upload a picture on Facebook and nobody likes it or posts a comment. Ugh! Don’t be one of those! Be generous with likes and comments. They don’t cost anything! When a person shares a picture on their wall, leave a nice comment to cheer them up.
37. ✦ Buy Lemonade from a Stand
38. ✧ Leave Quarters at the Laundromat
39. ✧ Buy School Supplies for a Teacher
The salary of teachers can be consider low when the responsibility level is so high, and they have such big hearts! Most teachers have to buy school supplies from their own pockets. Show kindness to a teacher and buy some school supplies for them!
40. ✧ Be Welcoming to a Neighbor or New Student
41. ✧ Compliment a Parent on their Childs Good Behavior
42. ✧ Donate Towels or Blankets to the Animal Shelter
On a frosty winter night when the biting cold wind blows and the clouds roar with all their might, there would be a small puppy snuggled up in a warm blanket that you donated. All cozied up thanks to you! Don’t throw away old blankets and worn-out towels into the garbage bin. Give them away to your local animal shelter.
43. ✧ Leave a Positive Note in a Library Book
44. ✧ Answer a Question in an Online Forum
45. ✦ Make and Send a Handmade Card
Rather than grabbing a random card off the shelf, be creative and send some handmade cards with personalized messages to your loved ones. Add inside jokes, cheerful notes and don’t forget to mention how much you love them. They will cherish the cards forever!
If you are creatively challenged then, then just buy a kit that has everything you need in it.
46. ✧ Donate a Book to the Library
47. ✦ Bring Someone a Souvenir
Are you on a vacation? You must be having a time of your life exploring the dense tropical jungles and diving with marine creatures! When you go back home, do take a handful of souvenirs back for your friends and family! They will be happy to know that you were thinking of them.
This cute little bugger from Thailand was my favorite souvenir:
48. ✦ Let Someone into Your Lane
49. ✦ Give Someone a Reusable Water Bottle
Do you know a person who causally buys packaged water bottles and throws them away after gulping down the water? Oh, our poor planet! Hand them a reusable bottle and tell them to bring their own water in it from now on. Join the movement and say no to plastic waste!
My favorite bottles are from Hydroflask because they will keep your drinks cold (or hot) for hours!
50. ✦ Give Someone a Hug
51. ✦ Bake Someone a Cake
A delish cake from a bakery looks quite tempting but does it have that exact dose of love you wish to shower? On your loved one’s birthday, skip the trip to the bakery and surprise them with a lovely homemade cake full of affection! Even if it turns out horrid, (don’t worry, it won’t!), they will truly appreciate the gesture.
Of course you can simply use a box cake mix (it’s the thought that counts!), or pick a recipe from Southern Living’s 25 Most Baked Cakes of All Time.
52. ✧ Take a New Acquaintance to Lunch
53. ✧ Knit Something for the Needy
My grandma really enjoyed knitting, it’s one of the things I remember most about her. Whenever I used to visit her, she would be surrounded by colorful balls of yarn. The thing was she never made anything for herself. The rainbow scarf was for a friend, the yellow jumper was for a baby and the red sweater was for an aging veteran. If you love to knit, weave the yarn into something beautiful for needy people.
You can find several different How-To videos on YouTube, but this step-by-step video on How to Knit a Scarf for Beginners is one of the best.
54. ✧ Buy a Round of Drinks for the Bar
55. ✧ Bring Your Partner Breakfast in Bed
After a tiring week, we could all use a little pampering. If you find your partner particularly down after a stressful week at work, whip up a hearty and fulfilling breakfast and bring it to bed. Nothing is better than waking up to the whiffs of freshly brewed coffee and warm, gooey waffles.
Need some ideas of what yumminess to cook? Check out these delicious breakfast in bed recipes. If you don’t have one of those cute trays for the bed, this one would be perfect!
56. ✦ Participate in a Fundraiser
57. ✦ Take 15 Minutes to Really Listen to Someone
You may think she is simply nagging, but have you ever truly paid attention to what she is actually saying? When someone talks their heart out to you, don’t make a face and zone out. Instead, invest a few minutes and really listen to them. Go an extra mile and offer them a couple of helpful tips as well.
58. ✧ Leave Money on a Vending Machine
59. ✧ Send a Random Thank You Email to Someone You Admire
That acquaintance you hardly ever talk to once did you a small favor that you forgot about. How about sending a thank you note over an email? They will appreciate the fact that you remembered. Moreover, if there are people around you that you admire, express your feelings over a quick email.
60. ✦ Put Your Phone Away When You’re with Family or Friends
61. ✦ Donate Your Clothes
I love clothes! Every few weeks or so, I go out and buy a couple of pieces that inevitably end up being worn only once or twice before it get shoved to the back of the closet to make room for new stuff. There are always plenty of clothing items that I don’t need in perfect condition ready to be passed on. If you have a huge collection of clothes that you don’t plan of wearing, don’t hoard. Donate it to a charity and send them off to a new home.
62. ✧ Tutor Someone
63. ✧ Plant a Tree
This random act of kindness is simple enough, but it can save the world. Make sure to plant a few greens and watch them blossom into a scenic foliage. Care for them and don’t forget to water them regularly. The earth deserves it!
64. ✦ Spend Time with Your Grandparents
65. ✦ Help Someone Try Something New
When I was a gawky and awkward teenager, I was terrified of so many things, especially anything that was out of my comfort zone (which was just about everything!). Sometimes all it took was a friend giving me a little push to do something new.
If you find someone battling with trying something new, give them a little nudge. Even better, offer to both try something new together.
66. ✦ Call Your Mom
67. ✧ Share Your Favorite Recipe with a Friend
Don’t you simply loathe it when people sit over the ‘family recipes’ and giggle when you ask the secret ingredient? Don’t be a miser when it comes to food. Share the recipes without any fear. Nobody can steal the love that you make your dish with! So, how about telling your friend the best way to make your grandmas Shepherd’s Pie or great aunts famous chocolate chunk cookies?
68. ✦ Compliment Your Boss
69. ✦ Make Someone Laugh
Is your colleague being too grumpy lately? Find out what is bothering them, and if they still don’t give in, crack a few jokes to turn that angry scowl into a huge smile. Laughter can instantly lighten up the mood and you know how to have your pal in stitches.
70. ✦ Donate the $1 at the Checkout Stand
71. ✦ Talk to the Shy One at a Party
We all have been there… Standing quietly in the corner pretending to be busy on phone as you watch people around you are mingling and dancing. You just want to escape, but you are the designated driver and you just cannot leave your friends stranded. Then this person appears out of nowhere and make an effort to talk to you. You are suddenly having a great time! When you a spot a wallflower at a party, go ahead and have a little chit-chat.
72. ✧ Adopt an Animal
73. ✧ Offer to Help a Friend Pack/Unpack
74. ✦ Return a Stray Grocery Cart
Aren’t we all guilty of leaving the shopping cart in between two cars or on the sidewalk? Instead take you cart and a random stray one back to the cart return location.
75. ✦ Do a Task for Your Partner That He/She Hates Doing
There are dozens of ways you can cheer someone up, and most of the times, it won’t take you more than a minute to do so. Hold the door for a parent with a stroller, reconnect to a long-lost friend you forgot to call back, take your dad to his favorite restaurant, and tell the lady next door that her garden looks absolutely fabulous.
The world would be a completely different place if we all practiced daily random acts of kindness. Next time you come across someone having a tough day, use some of these ideas to show some kindness and bring a smile to their face.