A to Z: Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

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Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Family and Community

Are you looking for random acts of kindness ideas you and your family can carry out? Look no further! Below is a list of random acts of kindness ideas—in alphabetical order—that you can complete to make someone’s day.

Woman holding presents wrapped gifts
This post was originally published on August 5, 2018 and has been updated.

Assist Others with Chores

Help your family, neighbors, friends, or the elderly with their household chores such as:

  • Cleaning up spills, dirt, and other messes
  • Washing the dishes
  • Putting things in their place (e.g. shoes on the shoe rack or in the closet)
  • Vacuuming or sweeping floors
  • Washing clothes and putting them away
  • Taking out the trash

Blood Donation

According to the American Red Crossone blood donation can save up to three lives. How amazing is that? You can help three patients with one simple act of kindness. How? Follow these steps:

Before Your Donation

  1. Read this if you are a first time blood donor.
  2. Schedule an appointment.
  3. Eat iron-rich foods.
  4. Be well rested and hydrate.

Day of Your Donation

  1. Bring your donor card, driver’s license, or two other forms of identification.
  2. Make a list of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you’re taking.
  3. Wear a shirt or dress that has sleeves you can roll up above your elbows.
  4. Donate your blood! ❤️

After Your Donation

  1. Enjoy a snack.
  2. Encourage others to donate blood.
  3. Drink extra liquids.
  4. Keep eating iron-rich foods.

You can learn about the steps in more detail here (as well as additional tips).

Cards

Buy a blank card from the store (or create your own) and write a heart-felt message to someone who:

  • you love to let them know you care about them and appreciate them
  • is going through a rough time to let them know you’re there for them
  • accomplished one of their goals to let them know you’re proud of them
  • is depressed or suicidal to remind them that they matter and why they should live
  • has positively impacted your life to let them know that their efforts have made a difference

Deliver the card to them in person or via snail mail.

Pick a shelter or organization that helps the less fortunate, and donate any of the following:

  • Baby Products: diapers, wipes, bibs, bottles, formula, pacifiers, etc.
  • Clothes: shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, suits, hats, scarves, coats, gloves, socks, etc.
  • Female Hygiene Products: pads, tampons, panty liners, etc.
  • First Aid Kit: dressings, bandages, gloves, gauze pads, scissors, instruction booklet, etc.
  • Food: canned vegetables, peanut butter, seeds, nuts, honey, trail mix, cooking oils, etc.
  • Personal Hygiene Products: toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, soap, shampoo, etc.
  • School Supplies: backpacks, paper, pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, index cards, etc.
  • Toiletries: lotion, brushes, combs, cotton swabs, shaving cream, razors, lip balm, etc.

Encourage Others

Encourage others to keep speaking while they’re on stage by smiling at them, nodding your head, and mouthing “you can do this!” Encourage those who are not in the STEM field or those who want to transition out of the STEM field to follow their dreams of becoming a writer, actor, entrepreneur, chef, filmmaker, etc. by genuinely telling them you believe in them and supporting them throughout their journey. Encourage others to say how they feel in a constructive way by showing them how to do so.

Feed the Hungry

According to the Food Aid Foundation, about “795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life.” You can help change that by preparing and distributing meals or food care packages to people on the streets, in shelters, schools, refugee camps, and in poverty-stricken areas.

Give Away New or Gently Used Blankets and Towels

Animal shelters are usually in need of blankets and towels, so if you have any extras (most of us probably do), then you can give those away to a local animal shelter. #animalsneedlovetoo

Hold the Door or Elevator Open

Hold the door open for the person behind you. Hold the elevator door open for someone who is trying to get on. Hold the door open for someone who is elderly or has a disability. Hold the door or elevator open for someone who literally has their hands full. Hold the door open for ladies, gentlemen.

Initiate a Conversation

See someone sitting by themselves at a meeting or event? Initiate a conversation with them to break the ice and make them feel welcomed. See someone who looks lost? Initiate a conversation with them to see if you can help them. See a woman on the bus who looks uncomfortable because of the person next to her? Initiate a conversation with her (if you’re a woman) to ease the tension. 

Join a Fundraising Group

Is there a cause you’re very passionate about? Is there a project your community would greatly benefit from if it were brought to life? Is there a noteworthy cause or project that is not receiving the attention and support that it deserves and needs? Then join a fundraising group (or start one!) that caters to it so you can help raise awareness and funds for it.

Keep an Extra Umbrella

Keep an extra umbrella in your locker, car, office, book-bag, or purse in case you come across someone who needs it on a rainy day or an extremely hot and sunny day. 

Let Someone Skip You in Line

Let someone who has a few items in their cart (or hands) skip you in line at the grocery store. Let that driver who is trying to merge onto the highway or leave the parking lot of somewhere to get in front of you. Let someone who has an emergency skip you in line at the airport, bus station, or train station. Let someone who has young children skip you in line at the ice cream shop, mall, or amusement park.

Moving Day

Help someone move out of their old home by assisting them with packing their belongings into boxes, carrying furniture and appliances into their vehicle, throwing away or donating unneeded items, etc. Help someone move into their new home by assisting them with unloading their moving vehicle(s), unpacking boxes, arranging furniture and appliances in their home, hanging up artwork, etc.

No Talking

Just listen . . . to their speech, story, news . . . words. Sometimes a person doesn’t want advice or feedback. Sometimes, they just want and need someone to listen. To make them feel heard.

Online Reviews and Surveys

Did you receive excellent customer service via phone, online chat, email, or in person? Is there a particular business or place you enjoy going to? Did you attend an event or class that left you feeling empowered? Is there an instructor who goes above and beyond to help their students? Then leave a positive and thoughtful review for that person or organization online or give them the highest rating for each question on the survey you are sent (or transferred to on the phone) regarding them.

Pick Up Litter

If you see litter somewhere—at the park, on the road, at the beach—then pick it up and put it in its proper container (e.g. trash can, recycling bin).

Quarters

Leave a quarter (or several quarters) . . .

  • in an almost expired parking meter
  • next to a washer and dryer
  • near a vending machine
  • on the bench at a bus stop
  • in a shopping cart that requires one (e.g. at Aldi)

Reduce Someone’s Financial Responsibilities

Depending on your means, you can help reduce someone’s financial responsibilities by paying for their:

  • Meal
  • Rent
  • Cell phone bill
  • Textbook
  • Groceries
  • Membership fee
  • Student loan
  • Credit card bill
  • Etc.

Shovel Snow Off Your Neighbor’s Driveway

Everyone who lives in a snowy area could use a break (and the help) sometimes.

Teach a Skill

Teach someone how to:

  • Write a resume and cover letter
  • Cook
  • Prepare for an emergency
  • Swim
  • Create and stick to a budget
  • Sew
  • Unclog a toilet or sink
  • Paint
  • Change a tire
  • Negotiate
  • Defend themselves
  • Code
  • Write a check and balance a checkbook
  • Etc.

UberFree

Does someone need a ride to the airport? To an interview? From school to home? To the grocery store? Then give them a ride to their destination.

Visit the Elderly and Sick

Spend time with the elderly in nursing homes whether it’s for 30 minutes or 2 hours, once per week or once per month, etc. Visit people who are sick whether they’re at home or in a hospital.

Watch Someone’s Kids or Pets When They’re Away

Offer to babysit someone’s children or take care of their pets while they’re away on vacation, at work, on a business trip, or on a date with their spouse.

Xerox Assignments for Your Co-Worker

Before you go to the copy room, ask your co-worker if they need copies of a quiz, test, worksheet, article, etc. made.

Yard Care

Help your family, neighbors, friends, or the elderly with their yard maintenance tasks such as:

  • Mowing
  • Fertilizing
  • Watering
  • Edging
  • Controlling weeds
  • Repairing damage
  • Raking leaves
  • Etc.

Zany to the Rescue

See someone who could use some cheering up? Tell them a joke (or five) or do something funny to help lighten their mood.


A to Z: Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

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