Random Acts of Kindness.150+ kindness ideas.
Free printable calendars, random acts of kindness for kids, for work, & more.
It sometimes seems like the world is full of hate. You get on social media and people are ranting at one another. They’re saying things online that they would never say in person. The news is always filled with drama. And while we know part of it is to boost ratings, it still affects us.
What would the world be like if we rejected that? What if we all embraced random acts of kindness?
I think that would be a great world to live in. So let’s give it a try. Below are a ton of random acts of kindness for you to try out.
There are free printable cards to leave with some of the acts. For example, someone might wonder why there is a bag of change taped to a soda machine! Leave a card with it so they know they should take it. There are also calendars (they don’t include everything listed) if you want to have a list you can take with you.
If you’re looking for some free printables to help you reflect on your volunteer experience, check out: 7 Volunteer Ideas & Free Printables.
Note: For the various “treats” or “cookies” ideas, you can buy store-bought if you think people might be worried about food safety. Before recent events, in our rural area, a lot of homemade goods were dropped off. But I know that has stopped to some extent.
• Print options: regular paper works for the calendars. I suggest card stock for the cards, but it’s up to you.
• All of the files are in pdf below. Just hit the “download” button.
• The default size of these is full-page. However, if you want smaller, simply reduce the print size! If you’re not sure on how much to reduce, check out my post “How to Resize Printables to Fit Your Planner.“
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Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
Did you know there is a foundation dedicated to random acts of kindness? Isn’t that great? It gives me hope for humanity.
There are a ton of resources for educators and parents. For educators, there are lesson plans to teach various things that lead to kindness. For parents, there are coloring books, posters, kindness calendars, and more.
There is a section for kindness at work.
There are also kindness quotes, videos, stories, and more.
Random Acts of Kindness Day
In New Zealand, where this day originated, Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated on September 1st. In the United States, we stole the idea. And made February 17th our Random Acts of Kindness Day.
Of course, it’s ALWAYS a good day for an act of kindness. But it’s great to spread the word and encourage others to participate on Feb. 17th.
Here are some days to focus especially on:
Feb. 14-20th is Random Acts of Kindness Week
Feb. 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day
Nov. 13th is World Kindness Day
Random Acts of Kindness
Leave a thank you note and treats in the mailbox for the mail carrier.
Bring cookies to the local assisted living or nursing home for the staff.
Get cards, write a nice message, and send them to a local nursing home. If it’s Easter season, I have Free Printable Easter Cards that you might want to check out. I also love these Colorful Blessing Cards. But Kindness Quotes cards work also if you don’t want to color. If you have kids, they can make homemade cards that will be really appreciated!
Give treats to the neighbors (I give freshly made homemade bread to new neighbors)
Drop off a plate of cookies at the public library, police station, fire station, etc.
Drop off a plate of cookies at the nurses’ station at the hospital.
Give on Kiva. Kiva crowdsources donations from people like us (for as little as $25) and makes micro-loans to poor people who have their own businesses. Example: a woman in Africa making bracelets and selling them on the internet. A small loan ($600) allows her to buy more material, produce more, and build her business. She repays the loan and you get your $25 back. Check out Kiva here >>> Join Kiva for free.
If you’re crafty, make a few hairbows and have your daughter hand them out to little girls when you’re out shopping. There are lots of easy tutorials available for free online! Or, if you’re not crafty, you could buy a pack of hairbows and hand those out instead.
Leave a generous tip and a candy bar for your server after eating out (or getting take-out or delivery).
Leave a coloring book and a small box of crayons at the doctor’s office.
Greet and smile at someone.
Give someone a compliment.
Donate the books you have already read, spread the knowledge.
Make a bird feeder.
Drop off a book to someone who you think might like it.
Donate your old stuff.
Donate your hair.
Donate your blood.
Donate your old eyeglasses so someone else can use them. (find link for that…also find link for where to donate other specific items).
Donate old electronics, such as laptops and phones.
Donate food to the food pantry.
Have a neighborhood food drive. Contact the local food bank and see what they need. If your neighborhood has a Facebook page (my neighborhood does), share what is needed. Set a date and have everyone leave what they’re donating at the end of the driveway for you to pick up. Deliver to the local food bank.
Sign up to be an organ donor.
Sign up for a bone marrow donation.
Bring dog/cat food to a shelter.
Walk dogs at the shelter.
Donate towels and blankets to an animal shelter.
Donate children’s books/toys to a shelter. Try to find a shelter that specifically focuses on women and children.
Read a book for kids after school programs.
Clean the beach.
Help any elderly person.
Share your lunch or extra food with homeless people.
Write a meaningful and constructive comment on social media instead of harsh words.
Write a genuine letter (not a text or mail) to your friend or person you care about.
Pet-sit our house-sit for a neighbor or friend.
Make or buy dinner for a friend.
Send flowers (or pick them from your yard) to someone anonymously.
Volunteer somewhere – soup kitchen, homeless shelter, animal shelter, etc.
Volunteer yourself to temporary charity projects.
Get involved in a local community organization. Ideas: attend a meeting to see what is going on or volunteer to help. One example: join a community meeting that provides insights into what’s happening in your area.
Leave tickets sitting around randomly at an arcade or fair or give them to a young child.
Send a care package to a soldier, missionary, or college student.
Pick up trash off the street.
Participate or organize a park or beach cleanup.
Adopt an animal from a shelter (make sure you’re ready for the commitment!). If you can’t adopt, consider fostering animals.
Offer to take a picture for tourists.
Pick up litter and put it in a trash can.
Bring a welcome gift to new neighbors.
Let someone go in front of you at store.
Leave extra time in a parking meter. (or add money to a random parking meter.)
Sponsor a child in a developing country.
Email or write a letter to an old teacher who made a difference in your life.
Pray for a friend or family member.
Help someone whose car has broken down.
Give cold drinks to road workers in the summer months and hot drinks in the winter time.
Plant a tree
Bring in your neighbor’s trash cans.
Buy a dozen flowers and hand them out to random people.
Tell someone that you’re grateful for them.
Buy balloons and hand them out to kids in a store.
Call a homeless shelter. Ask what they need. Bring it.
Say thank you to a janitor.
Donate to Warrior Wagons. This was started by my brother and his wife after they lost their son Drew to cancer before his 3rd birthday. It provides little wagons (which are useful in hospitals for travel and waiting) filled with goods.
Give candy to your bank teller.
Check in on an elderly neighbor.
Leave bubbles on someone’s doorstep.
Pass out stickers to kids waiting in line.
Write chalk messages on the sidewalk.
Buy food you don’t necessarily want from enthusiastic kids selling it. You can give it to a food bank or the homeless or literally anyone else later.
Smile at a mother whose baby is crying. Everyone else is scowling at her.
Compliment an older person’s outfit. It happens less and less as you get older.
When everyone around you is gossiping about someone, be the one to butt in with something nice.
Talk to the shy person who’s sitting by themselves at a party.
Give away stuff for free on Craigslist.
Buy a treat for someone else’s pet.
Ask a senior about their favorite memory.
Sign up to be a pen pal to someone in another country.
Leave a positive review online for a local business you frequent.
When you’re at a restaurant or store, give the manager positive feedback about an employee.
Acts of Kindness For Kids
There is no better time to start being kind than as a kid. And getting your children involved will both give you something to do together as well as make the world a better place. So here are some random acts of kindness ideas for kids.
Make cards for family and friends.
Draw a picture for the bus driver and give it to him or her with a candy bar.
Call grandparents and ask them about their childhood.
Invite someone to play on the playground.
Set up a free lemonade stand. (Make sure sign out front says it’s free so people stop!)
Talk to someone new at school.
Bring flowers to teacher.
Help sibling (at home) or schoolmate (at school) pick up toys/clean up.
Hand out fun-sized candies to other kids at store.
Give teacher (school or Sunday school) a small gift as a thank you for all the work he or she does. If you’re looking for ideas, check out: 175+ Stocking Stuffers for Under $20.
Donate a toy to Toys for Tots.
Send a kind note to a friend.
Take cookies to the custodian.
Donate new pajamas or suitcase for foster kids.
Set the dinner table/ help parent with something you don’t normally do.
Buy extra school supplies for a teacher.
Smile at everyone you pass.
Put together and hand out blessing bags to the homeless. Make sure to do research on what items to include (and especially what NOT to include).
Acts of Kindness For Work
Is there a place more stressful in our life than work? And it’s where we spend a good portion of our life. But even one person can raise the general level of happiness in a workplace. So here are some random acts of kindness ideas for work.
Bring treats (or a healthy option like cut-up fruit) into the break room and leave them there.
Tape a bag of quarters to the vending machine for the next person.
Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give it to a coworker.
Offer to work late for a coworker who needs to leave early.
Bring coffee to the interns at work who are always tasked with going on coffee runs.
Tell a receptionist at your work that you know that their work is not only difficult, but requires a very particular set of skills and knowledge. It’s true and few people say it.
Thank the person in human resources who conducted your initial interview.
Compliment someone to their boss.
Bring in fun office supplies to liven up the workday for everyone.
Relay an overheard compliment.
Send anonymous flowers to the receptionist at work.
Organize a fun team outing.
Get to know someone on more than a superficial level- share a personal story and ask to listen to one of theirs.
Solicit feedback from colleagues, customers, and others about your performance. Especially find out things you can improve in interpersonal relationships and work on those.
Offer a helping hand to a colleague struggling to finish a project.
Help someone out whom you don’t like very much.
Tell your boss one thing you appreciate about them.
Befriend a new work colleague.
If you’re in charge of hiring, hire people who come from different areas and have different backgrounds.
Include someone new in your meeting and ask for their thoughts. Compliment their contribution!
Respond thoughtfully to emails and phone calls as soon as you’re able.
Invite someone you work with to have coffee or lunch with you.
If you’re in a position of authority, Create an award for various things at work: “best idea of the day,” “always willing to lend a hand,” etc.
Randomly decorate someone’s office or workspace today to let them know they are valued.
Create a ‘gratitude wall’ in a public place at work and ask people to post notes to each other. (Have them leave the notes anonymously)
Kindness ideas For Strangers
Random acts of kindness ideas for strangers. While some of the ideas in the first section can be used for strangers, the following acts are designed specifically for strangers.
Buy a $5 (or more) gift card at a store and hand it to someone coming in on your way out.
Leave a bottle of laundry soap or put quarters in/on the machines at the laundromat.
Tape a bag of quarters to a vending machine. Make sure to leave one of the cards below so they know they take it!
Tuck a few dollars around the toy section at the dollar store or into various bins in the dollar section of Target.
Tape a bag of microwave popcorn to a Redbox machine.
Leave sticky notes on a public bathroom mirror telling people to have a great day. You can even buy motivational sticky notes that are preprinted. These “100 Inspirational Quotes Cards” and “Gorgeous Kindness Quote Cards” are great choices.
Leave sticky notes on public changing tables that read, “You’re a great mom!”
Put a dollar bill in a library book when returning it. Or write a nice note or letter and leave it in the book
Tuck a few dollars or a Starbucks gift card into a book at the bookstore.
Write “You are beautiful” on a sticky note and leave it on a mirror in a public bathroom. Or some other inspirational, positive saying to cheer people up.
Offer to take a shopping cart to the cart corral for someone else at the store.
Give your seat to any stranger on train/bus to someone who needs it more.
Leave any coupons you don’t need on top of the products at the store.
Let someone go ahead of you at the grocery store.
Help someone carry their grocery bags.
Return someone’s grocery cart.
Let someone have the better parking spot.
Pay the toll for someone behind you.
Buy dessert for someone at a restaurant anonymously.
Hold the door for someone.
Let a car merge in front of you.
Help someone with their bags or luggage at airport or hotel.
Leave flowers on someone’s car.
Give a lottery ticket to a stranger.
Visit a nursing home.
Tell a stranger in the dressing room who is shopping alone that something looks great on them.
Say “Good morning” to strangers in the elevator.
You don’t need to bookmark this post (though you can!). I would love to see you again. Print out one of the random acts of kindness calendars below so you can reference these ideas whenever.
With some of your acts of kindness, it’s a good idea to leave a random act of kindness card. For example, someone might wonder why there is change in a Ziploc bag taped to the front of a soda machine…and wonder if they should take it. Leave a kindness card so they know it’s for them!
Share Your Ideas
I would love to expand this post. Please drop your own ideas below so I can add them.
Also feel free to share a story of something you did. I would love to hear about your acts of kindness.
Can you do me a favor? Share this with your friends. Share buttons are at the top of the post!