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50 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

We're sharing a list of 50 random acts of kindness. Impact someone's life in the best way possible by spreading kindness.

Every day has the potential to impact someone’s life in a meaningful way. You can take part in the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) movement by showing your appreciation through simple gestures and celebrating RAK Day on February 17.

Do an act of kindness for a stranger, say “thank you,” or just smile.

Start today and spread the gift of kindness.

Keep reading to learn more about Random Acts of Kindness Day and 50 ways you can spread the gift of kindness all year long.

Random Acts of Kindness Day: The Basics

Random Acts of Kindness Day originated in Denver, Colorado in 1995 thanks to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, a small nonprofit. In 2004, the holiday spread to New Zealand, and since then, it’s taken over the world.

On this day, people are encouraged to perform Random Acts of Kindness, which can range from complimenting someone to donating to a favorite charity. The idea is simply to make the world a bit better by spreading positivity and kindness and lifting others.

To follow are 50 ideas to inspire you to spread kindness.

50 Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness

Not sure what kind of random act (or acts) of kindness you want to perform on February 17?

Here’s a list of 50 ideas to get you started:

1. Phone a Friend or Family Member

Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while and let them know you care.

2. Leave a Positive Note

Write something nice on a post-it and stick it to a bulletin board or mirror.

3. Prepare a Meal

Cook for a family member, friend, or anyone who could use a home-cooked meal.

4. Volunteer to Do Chores

Laundry, taking out the trash, washing dishes — do these chores, so someone else doesn’t have to.

5. Treat Someone to Coffee

Cover the order for the person behind you in the drive-thru at your favorite coffee shop.

6. Sit for Free

Be it babysitting or pet sitting, offer to do it for free.

7. Bring Treats to Work

Bring in some donuts or muffins to let your co-workers know you care.

8. Teach a Skill

Look for an opportunity to volunteer. At Kambeo, we can help you with that. Not only can we connect you to the causes you care about but help you volunteer with an organization. Click here to find out more. 

9. Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter

Serve meals, help clean, or babysit kids for a few hours.

10. Be a Storyteller

Volunteer at your local library and read stories to kids.

11. Hold the Door

Open doors for others or hold the elevator for someone rushing in.

12. Put on a Show

Play an instrument or sing at a retirement home.

13. Leave a Generous Tip

Leave a larger-than-average tip for your waiter or waitress.

14. Smile

Smile at people passing by instead of staring at your phone.

15. Write a Letter

Write to someone who has made a difference in your life and thank them.

16. Talk to Someone New

Reach out to someone sitting alone and get to know them. 

17. Let Someone Cut

Let someone go ahead of you in line and get on with their day a little faster.

18. Thank the Janitor

And any other service workers who make your life easier.

19. Give a Social Media Shout Out

If you follow an influencer or blogger on social media, send them a DM and let them know you love their content. 

20. Support Homeless Pets

Donate to a local animal shelter (check out the Humane Society for recommendations).

21. Walk Dogs at the Shelter

Can’t donate money? Give your time and use an hour or so to walk dogs at the local shelter.

22. Plant a Tree

Buy a seedling (or several) and plant it (or them).

23. Give a Compliment

Praise someone’s performance at work or compliment someone’s outfit.

24. Visit a Local Business

Get coffee at a local cafe or buy flowers from a local florist.

25. Give a Stranger Flowers

Once you buy those flowers, give them to a stranger and brighten their day.

Photo with caption "How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time."

26. Forgive

Let go of that grudge you’ve been holding.

27. Get a Manicure or Pedicure 

Be kind to yourself and treat yourself to a little self-care.

28. Leave Money in the Vending Machine

Treat a stranger to a treat.

29. Pick Up Litter

Don’t leave it for someone else to pick up.

30. Donate Coloring Books and Crayons

Go to the local children’s hospital and donate some entertainment.

31. Donate Your Hair

If you’re considering a haircut, look into donating it to Locks of Love.

32. Bike or Walk to Work

Or take public transport to help the environment.

33. Donate Blood

The American Red Cross is always looking for donors, and you could save a life.

34. Volunteer at a Crisis Hotline

Be a voice for someone in need. Check out organizations like To Write Love On Her Arms to learn more.

35. Buy a Round

If you’re going out with your co-workers, offer to buy a round of drinks.

36. Return Your Grocery Cart

And take someone else’s with you while you’re at it.

37. Take Customer Service Surveys

And leave a positive review.

38. Switch Seats on a Plane

Let someone else have the window seat or aisle seat.

39. Shovel Someone’s Driveway

Make their snowy day a little sunnier.

40. Register to Donate Bone Marrow

This is a longer process than donating blood, but joining the bone marrow registry could give you a chance to save a life. 

41. Paint Rocks

Add cheery designs and leave them for someone to find.

42. Answer a Question Online

If you see someone asking a question on Reddit or Facebook, answer it for them.

43. Donate with Your Purchase

Donate through Amazon Smile to support a nonprofit with your online purchase.

44. Send Over Dessert

Send dessert to a random table and add the cost to your bill.

45. Support Teachers

Check out DonorsChoose to support teachers in your community and help them get the supplies they need.

46. Collect Soda Can Tabs

Donate the tabs to Ronald McDonald House.

47. Let Someone In

Be a nice driver and let someone into your lane.

48. Give Spare Change

If you see someone asking for money on the side of the road, give them your spare change.

49. Leave Snacks for the Mail Carrier

Or UPS driver or Amazon delivery driver.

50. Write to Soldiers

Operation Gratitude and Soldiers’ Angels can help with this.

To learn more about what random acts of kindness mean to Nick Supapol of Kambeo, click here.

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