Wondering how you can make someone's day? Random acts of kindness can go a long way in letting people know they matter and reminding them that there's a lot of goodness still in the world.
Your act of kindness doesn't have to be complicated, just genuine. These ideas for showing kindness should help get you started in making a difference.
Random Acts of Kindness for Your Neighbors
We may consider, in broader terms, the people we share the world with to be our neighbors. But these random acts of kindness are meant to encourage your actual neighbors — the people who live around your own home.
Mow Their Lawn When You Mow Your Own
Lawn care isn't everyone's favorite task and you may even have neighbors who struggle with that particular task because of time, disability, or age. Do them a kindness and keep cutting in their direction when you finishing mowing your own lawn.
Leave a Surprise at Their Door
Here's a simple way to make your neighbor smile. Leave a kind note, a new plant, or homemade treat on their doorstep. When they come home, they'll be pleasantly surprised to see that you thought of them.
Take a Walk Together
Maybe your neighbor needs a friend to chat with or just someone to make their daily stroll feel safer. Plan to walk together whenever you're able. You'll get to know each other so well on those casual walks.
Sweep Their Walk
Giving your walkway a sweep? Pop on over to your neighbor's and do the same for them. You can also shovel their driveway when it snows, pick up debris after a storm, or rake leaves in the fall.
Bring Their Garbage Can Up From the Street
Once you see the garbage cans on your street are empty, jump on the chance to pull your neighbor's trash can up from the street. Tuck it into their usual spot if you're able or get it as close to their home as you can.
Off to Pick Up Their Groceries
If your neighbor is a busy parent, elderly, or unable to drive, you might offer to do their grocery pickup. This still gives them the freedom to select and purchase their own food, but you get to offer the kind gesture of bringing the order to their home.
Walk Their Dog
Is your neighbor down with a cold or facing a busy week? Offer to walk their dog or feed their pets when they need it.
Invite Them for a Meal
It's safe to say that not enough of us regularly share a meal with the people we live near. You can overcome that by extending an invitation to your neighbor. Ask them to join yourfor a meal and be prepared with extras they can take home.
Say Something Kind on Their Ring Camera
You've seen all the viral Ring Camera videos. Maybe you can be the star of the next one! Pop onto your neighbor's camera and tell a joke, say something kind, or let them know you're happy they live next door.
Share the Fruits of Your Garden
Whether you love to grow produce, beautiful flowers, or even herbs in your window, these things make thoughtful gifts for your neighbors. Share some of the fruits of your garden to demonstrate generosity toward your neighbors.
Kind Things You Can Do for Your Coworkers
They're the people you spend most of your day with. Even if you don't share the same values or goals, you can still be teammates with a real friendship. Show some kindness to your coworkers to let them know you're all in this together.
Brag About Them to Management
We all want our boss or manager to think we're doing a great job. Chances are they don't see nearly as many details as our close coworkers do. Tell your boss what a wonderful job your coworker is doing and be specific. You might just change their work experience for the better.
Tackle Their Most Dreaded Task
If you know the ins and outs of your coworker's tasks, you could make their day easier by doing the one thing they dread the most. As long as you're experienced and approved to do so, helping out in this way will show them that you're cheering them on and wish to see them succeed.
Cover Their Desk in Balloons
It doesn't have to be your coworker's birthday for you to create a fun surprise in their workspace. Use balloons, confetti, flowers, or streamers to add some celebratory flair to their desk.
Pack Extra for Lunch
You don't have to go out and treat your coworker to lunch. You can share a home-cooked meal instead. Pack extra of the yummy lunch you've made and share with your coworkers.
Pass on a Book You Love
Don't toss that book and don't let it sit around your house for years to come. Pass it on to a coworker. It's a thoughtful gift and might give you something to chat about in the break room.
Be Their Friend, Really
Maybe what your coworker needs most is a real friend. Showing someone they are worth getting to know and enjoyable to be around is a kindness we all deserve to experience.
Be the Inclusive Coworker
It's easy to divide into cliques and groups in a work setting. But you can rise above those societal norms. Try your best to include everyone and go the extra mile to make sure no one ever feels intentionally excluded.
Ask if You Can Take Something Off Their Plate
We've all felt overwhelmed in our work life and it's a stressful and isolating feeling. If your coworker is going through that, you might be able to help. Ask if there is anything, even something small, that you can take off their plate for a little while or just for the day.
Random Kindness Ideas for Food & Retail Workers
You may not see the same person every time, but food and retail service providers play a large role in making our lives run smoothly. Whenever you interact with someone working in food or retail, take the extra step to demonstrate some kindness toward them.
Praise Them to Their Manager
If your waitress, barista, or cashier does an exceptional job, take the opportunity to let management know. Hearing praise from customers is one of the best ways to show management how great their employee is.
Leave a Kind Note With Your Tip
Tipping is definitely important, so don't skip it. You might also include a kind note of thanks with your tip. Tell your service provider what you loved about your interaction or give them a brief encouragement.
Share About a Small Business
If there's a local place that you adore, share about it! Small businesses love free advertising, and writing a positive review or sharing your good experience with others is a way you can show kindness without spending any money.
Be Genuine & Polite
People who work with the public often see the worst sides of humanity. You can be a shining light in their dark day. Smile, make polite conversation, and practice patience when things aren't done exactly as you like them. A positive interaction with a customer is so refreshing on a tough day.
Offer a Meal
For service providers who come to your home — think electrician or lawn services — offer them a meal as a thank you. They may have a busy day of appointments and be more than happy to take you up on the offer.
Random Acts of Kindness for Strangers
There are countless people we encounter daily who might need a small encouragement or to just simply be noticed. These acts of kindness are simple, but they might change a stranger's day or give them the strength they need to keep pressing forward.
Pump Someone's Gas
You ever see elderly people or parents with a car full of kids trying to pump their gas? This is your chance to pause and take a few minutes to pump it for them. You don't have to pay for it — though, you certainly could — just pumping the gas is enough to make a difference.
Send Letters of Encouragement
Did you know you can send kind letters and notes of encouragement to people you may never meet? Nursing homes, cancer centers, children's hospitals, and veteran's centers are wonderful places to send a handful of notes offering kindness and encouragement.
Hide Cash in Formula Canisters
Being a parent comes with many obstacles and the financial pressure is very real. Tucking a few dollars into the top of a formula canister or taped to the back of a pack of diapers might just make the day of a discouraged mom or dad. If you see parents with babies in the store, you might buy an extra pack of diapers on their behalf.
Leave a Note of Praise
Cars are a great place to leave a note of praise for strangers. If you see someone who could use a bit of encouragement, tuck a kind note behind their wiper blade. You might encourage a busy mom with "you're doing a great job" or offer praise to a hardworking guy with "your family must be so thankful to have you." The note doesn't have to be long or complicated, just genuine.
Add Affirmation Notes to Books
Browsing the books or dropping off some book donations at your local Free Little Library? Use sticky notes to add some affirmations or words of encouragement to a few books. Children's books are a great place to stash a positive note that says "you're so smart" or "you're going to do amazing things."
Sketch the Beauty You See in Others
If you have a talent for sketching, use it to show others the beauty they project. Sketch someone at a coffee shop, on a bus, or dining near you. Then show them the finished project and how you captured their inner and outer beauty.
Donating blood is a great way to be selfless, help others, and make showing kindness a habit. Hit up your local blood drive regularly. You might just save a life.
Give a Mom Time to Eat Her Meal
Moms rarely get a hot meal to themselves when their kids are little. If you see a mom out with her kids for a meal, see if you can help her eat while the food is still hot. You might sit with her and help cut food for her small children or hold a baby so she can actually feed herself.
Let Someone Go Ahead of You
This small act of kindness can play out in a few ways. You might let someone back out of a parking space while you wait to drive forward. You could also let a mom with rowdy kids go in front of you at the grocery store. Maybe you see someone in a hurry before their break ends, so you give them your spot in the coffee line. There are so many ways you can let someone else go first and make their day.
Keep $5 on Hand
A spare five bucks might be a game changer for the stranger you meet today. Keep a little cash on hand for helping someone out, contributing to a good cause, or leaving a tip for a job well done.
Simple Acts of Kindness for Friends & Family
Our friends and family put up with a lot from us, don't they? Plus, we know all the details of their life and when they truly need a pick-me-up. Here are some kind things you can do for the people who do life with you.
Compliment Who They Are
Compliments on accomplishments and physical traits are awesome, but sometimes we need to hear that our family and friends love us for who we are. Pay your loved one a genuine compliment about their personality, sense of humor, kind heart, or other character trait.
Give Them a Call
Texts are quick, but can feel impersonal sometimes. The time and effort to make a phone call and ask someone how they're really doing can show how deeply you care.
Send Them Funds for Coffee
This is a great kindness to show your friends and family who live far away. Send them the funds for a small cup of coffee through CashApp or Venmo with a note expressing your thoughts.
Send Flowers Just Because
For a spouse, a parent, or your favorite aunt you don't get to see as much as you like, a bouquet of flowers is a lovely way to show appreciation. Amazon and Whole Foods have affordable flower delivery services.
Accept Gifts With Gratitude
Sometimes it's our loved ones who demonstrate kindness toward us with thoughtful gifts. Of course, that doesn't always mean we love the gift. But it's important to acknowledge the thoughtfulness and accept the gift with genuine gratitude. Being grateful is a gift in itself.
Ask Your Spouse Out on a Date
No, really. Give them a call or show up with flowers. Ask for a real date and plan a fun evening to show your love is still going strong. Even a small date can have a big impact.
Send a Snack Care Package
Maybe your friend isn't a fan of flowers, but you know all their favorite snacks. Create a care package with non-perishable snacks and send it along with a card.
Communicate Your Admiration
If there's a friend or family member who made a huge impact on your life, make sure you let them know. Send them a card, post a photo on social media, or give them a call to tell them exactly why you admire them and how they inspired you.
Easy Acts of Kindness for Kids
It's important to teach our children what it means to be truly kind and how to live that out. If you're wanting to introduce your kids to acts of kindness, these are some easy ways to encourage their actions.
Help Them Bake for Others
Kids love helping in the kitchen and we all love receiving baked goodies. Help your child whip up something yummy and deliver their creation to neighbors, classmates, or their teachers.
Write a Note for Siblings
Anything that encourages kindness between siblings is helpful, right? This act of kindness is simple but impactful. Help your child write a kind note to stash in their sibling's backpack or lunch bag with words to comfort or praise them.
Encourage Them to Sit With New Kids
The school lunchroom can be a scary and lonely place when you're new or a bit different. Encourage your child to abandon fears of what others will say and to sit with the kids who could use a lunchroom buddy. This is a kindness they may remember for the rest of their life.
Let Them Choose a Gift for Another Child
It might be a friend's birthday party or a kind gesture to a sad sibling, but choosing gifts for other children is a selfless act for young kids. Help your child select and wrap a gift for another child. Understanding that they won't be receiving a gift in return makes it special.
Help Them Make Cards for a Nursing Home
There's something so special about the way children and elderly people connect. Encourage this connection by helping your child make cards for your local senior care center. Deliver the cards and spend some time visiting with the residents so you can watch your child make an important impact.
Send Them to School With a Spare Lunch
You never know when another child may have forgotten their lunch bag or ran short on lunch money. Set your own child up to be the kind person who steps in. Send extra lunch — a spare sandwich and fruit will do — so they can share if the opportunity comes along.
Create a Safe Central Hang Out
You and your child, together, can make your home a safe place for their classmates and friends to hang out. Having a safe, fun and snack-stocked place to go after school might make all the difference in a child's life.
Small Acts of Kindness That Have a Huge Impact
These random acts of kindness don't take much time or effort, but they can have a big impact on the people around you. Here are some easy ways to spread kindness and inspire others to do the same.
Leave Some Cash Behind
From the laundromat to the vending machine, there are plenty of places you can leave some extra cash to make someone's day. You might just help someone in a pinch or just looking for a sign that there's some good left in humanity.
Offer a Genuine Compliment
If you notice someone with a really cool pair of shoes or see someone killing it at the gym, let them know. We all love to be complimented and affirmed, so don't be shy and give someone the gift of a genuine compliment.
Be a Good Listener
This is an easy way you can show the people in your life that you really care. When they talk, truly listen. Take note of what they're going through, what's bringing them joy, and when they need some encouragement.
Pick Up Litter
If you see garbage on the street or trash on the floor, be the person who picks it up. This act of kindness may go unseen, but it still makes a difference.
Make Kindness a Habit
It might start out as a random act, but the hope is that kindness will become our constant attitude toward others. We never really know what someone is going through and how much they might need a reminder of the good that exists in the world. We can be that reminder with thoughtful and simple acts of kindness that truly make a difference.