A list of random acts of kindness ideas for strangers, community, coworkers and more.
“If I wasn’t here tomorrow, would anybody care? Would anybody notice?”
Orly Wahba, the founder of Live Vest Inside described how devastated she was going through depression.
In her Ted Talk, she talked about why she started the organization. “I promise to myself that I would be there for people the way I wish somebody would be there for me.”
And we’ve all been there.
When we are carrying bags and have to push the door with our shoulder, we say to ourselves: “Damn, I wish that guy would hold the door for me”.
Or when we are having a bad day, we wish our best friend would come over, give us a pat on the back and tell us that “It will be ok.”
And there is someone, maybe on the other side of the world, or living a block from us, feeling the same way right now.
For those of us who embrace kindness as a lifestyle may never ask “what’s in it for me.” We choose kindness not because it is going to benefit us, but because we feel like it’s the right thing to do.
But undoubtedly, being kind makes us happy. Kindness has the magic power to spark joy that lasts for a long time. And being kind makes others happy as well. So it’s a win-win.
And there’s more than that.
Kindness is contagious. Kindness can cultivate kindness. If we all do our part, we can kick off a virtuous cycle of kindness and spread it like wildfire.
So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge? Here is a list of random acts of kindness ideas to spread love among friends, colleagues, or strangers.
Random acts of kindness ideas
Table of content
- Random acts of kindness ideas for strangers
- Acts of kindness ideas for community
- Random acts of kindness ideas for school and teachers
- Kindness ideas for friends
- Random acts of kindness for family
- Random acts of kindness at work
- Acts of kindness ideas during lockdown
Random acts of kindness ideas for strangers
- Send a care package to a deployed soldier
- Smile at a stranger
- Buy a meal for the homeless
- Leave some homemade goodies at the door for the mailman
- Let the manager of the store know when an associate gives you exceptional service
- Return a stranger’s grocery cart to the supermarket
- Feed the parking meter for a stranger
- Help out with a flat tire
- Hold the door open for someone behind you
- Write a thank-you note to a janitor or construction worker
- Sponsor a child
- Give the seat on public transportation to someone in need
- Give your extra changes to a street performer
- Help someone carry their bags or luggage
- Put together a dinner-on-us basket for the homeless
- Compliment a staff for their amazing service
- Cut out coupons and stick them to related products
- Leave a big tip at a restaurant
- Give out free hugs (or let your dog do it!)
- Spend time in the nursing home with someone that don’t have many visitors
- Tape extra change to the vending machine
Acts of kindness ideas for community
- Offer to give new neighbors a tour around town
- Donate old clothes to the Salvation Army or your local charity
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Clean up trash on the street or any local hotspot
- Visit a local nursing home
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter
- Set up or sign up for a bone marrow registry
- Participate in a fundraiser
- Shovel the driveway for elderly neighbors
- Donate a book you love to Goodwill or your local library
- Offer to walk the dogs for your neighbors
- Do a 5K for charity
- Offer a free dinner to needy families
- Set up a free flowers stand
- Send out candy canes on Christmas
- Visit kids in recovery with gifts and toys
- Volunteer in local fire station or rescue team
- Donate used flowers of weddings or parties to hospital or nursing homes
- A Christmas kindness idea: Cut down a Christmas tree for a family that couldn’t afford one
- Set up a booth offering free lemonade
- Donate toys to charity
- Bake a holiday cake for local police officers
RAOC ideas for school and teachers
- Give unsolicited compliments for their efforts
- Surprise teachers with thoughtful gifts
- Post a take-what-you-need note and share the love
- Send out homemade cookies
- Leave positive notes on the lockers
- Give out DIY kindness rocks
- Print out kindness cards and spread in class
Click here to download the free printable kindness cards
- Set up a kindness wall in the classroom
- Give a DIY gift to a teacher
- Write a thank-you note for teachers
- Hold or participate in a school charity event
- Invite a classmate who is alone to lunch
- Be kind to people both online and offline – because cyber-bullying hurts too
Random acts of kindness ideas for friends
- Pack a homecoming goodie box
- Send Christmas cards to your old friends
- Let them know you care with words of encouragements
- Call a long-distance friend to cheer him/her up
- Give hugs when they are feeling down
- Take a friend on a Groupon date
- Offer to teach a friend something you are skilled at
- Leave thoughtful comments on their social feed
- Send a care package for a long-distance friend
- Invite a friend to a spontaneous road trip
- Share a motivational video
Random acts of kindness for family
- Offer to babysit for free
- Do chores without being asked
- Offer a free carwash
- Give a foot massage for a family member
- Make granola for someone to take it to work
- Call a family member who is far away from home
- Write a note of gratitude
- Help a family out by cleaning their room
Read also: 28 Powerful Maya Angelou Quotes About Love, Life and Strength
- Bring in their favorite treats
- Cook a dinner
- Volunteer in a home improvement project
- Organize a birthday party
Random acts of kindness at work
- Bring in treats for the department
- Fill the office pantry with snacks
- Send out words of affirmation with coffee
- Bring flowers to the office
- Offer to help a coworker with a difficult task
- Help a new colleague out by showing him around the office or giving needed advice
- Give a book as a gift to a coworker who may need it
- Say something nice when someone is gossiping about others
- Invite a new hire to lunch
- Send a note or an email to thank someone that has helped you
- Leave a positive note on the bathroom mirror
- Send out birthday greetings
- Throw a Christmas party for coworkers that are spending their holiday alone
- Thank your superior with the help provided
Acts of kindness ideas during lockdown
Since 2020, the world has slipped into the new normal. With quarantine and social distancing, it’s not easy to help a stranger or a friend in real life. So here is a list of random acts of kindness ideas you can still do from home during the lockdown.
- Send thank-you cards to local hospitals.
Hospital staff is at the frontline fighting for patients day and night. And they deserve a round of applause.
- Call your families and friends and tell them how much you miss them
Just because you can’t see each other doesn’t mean you should stop caring. Let them know how much you love them, and they are not alone.
- Leave a thank-you note for the mailmen and delivery drivers
- Help out with house chores
Find something that isn’t your responsibility and volunteer to help.
- Send flowers to local nursing homes
- Send gifts for friends away from home
Those away from the support of family and friends need some extra love. Put together a care package or pick a long-distance relationship gift to warm their hearts if you can.
- Order from local small business
Small businesses take a significant hit during the lockdown. So if you can, make them your first choice when you order flowers, bakery, food, etc.
- Leave a positive comment.
While most of our communication is forced to go online, you can spread kindness by leaving a kind comment on social media. Whether it’s for a friend, a family member, a coworker, or an Internet stranger, small words of encouragement can mean a lot.
- Organize a virtual book reading
With more time at home, reading becomes one of the go-to at-home time-killers. If you have come across a good book, why not share it with more people? You can hold a virtual book club via Facebook or Instagram live. And don’t forget to encourage others to do the same. These virtual events will bring people together to share knowledge and ideas.
It’s your turn
Tell me about your experience with random acts of kindness! Have you received help from a stranger or have you offered help for someone else?
Don’t forget to share these random acts of kindness ideas with family and friends to get them on board!
Monday 12th of December 2022
As an owner of 4 small businesses, there is something everyone can do to help and it is so easy: pay CASH at small businesses! Many people don't realize that the credit card companies charge the small business owner a FEE for each credit card transaction! Credit card fees for each transaction can be as high as $3 or $4. It all adds up and if you want to help, use cash.
Wednesday 15th of December 2021
Oh, I would like to do a random act of kindness for YOU! I run a non-profit where we teach kids to read. All services are free. We have a tree on our wall - the tree of kindness. Each month we all post a random act of kindness on the tree. You have given me TERRIFIC examples! Sue
Tuesday 30th of November 2021
Thank you for inspiring me to do better!
Tuesday 30th of November 2021
Glad you find these ideas helpful!
Tuesday 10th of August 2021
Thank you for the wonderful ideas. I love giving and this was prefect our church challenged us to pay it forward this month. My husband and I are loving it. We have 2 pear trees, we'll going to give care packages.