Acts of kindness can go a long way. If you’re wondering how you can bring a little more kindness to our crazy world, here are 101 ideas for simple acts of kindness you can do.

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” – Mother Teresa

We often feel too small and insignificant to make a change in the world. And it’s true, none of us can do great things alone.

But there are many little things each of us can do that can make a big difference. Being kind to others is one of the best things we can do to make a difference in the lives of our friends, family, neighbors, and others in our communities.

If you’re wondering what you can do to start making a difference in the world, here is a list of 101 simple ideas for random acts of kindness:

1. Smile More.

A simple smile can go a long way. Smile at everyone and everything. Sure, strangers might think it’s strange that you smile at them on the street or in the grocery store, but a smile can always lighten the energy wherever you are.

2. Say Hello to Someone.

Saying hello is simple enough, right? There are so many people who don’t know others are thinking about them – some people who live alone may even go days, weeks or months without talking to another person.

Call up someone you haven’t talked to in awhile or just say Hi to someone you see while you are out and about.

3. Tell someone you love them.

A few months back my mom randomly texted me that she loved me. She was thinking about how she doesn’t say it enough.

It’s true – we take our close friends and family for granted far too often. A simple “I Love You” text can really brighten up someone’s day – or you can always call them, send a note, or just tell them next time you see them in person.

4. Give someone a hug.

Have you ever watched the Free Hugs video? That video is so uplifting and just goes to show how much a hug can brighten up someone’s day. Next time you’re talking to someone, just ask if you can give them a hug.

5. Let someone go ahead of you while waiting in line.

When I’m at the grocery store, I always look at how much stuff I have in my cart {5 people to feed can mean a pretty big order!} and if someone behind me seems to be in a hurry or has less stuff I will always offer for them to go ahead of me.

6. Send flowers to a friend unexpectedly.

Flowers can instantly brighten up any mood. You can send flowers right from the comfort of your computer to someone to just let them know you are thinking about them.

7. Buy coffee for a stranger at the coffee shop.

If you’re at a coffee shop, there’s no harm in asking the person next to you if you can buy them their coffee. Who knows – you might just make a new friend this way!

8. Hold the door for someone.

It’s so simple to stand at a door a few seconds longer and hold it open for someone else. People always appreciate this!

9. Give someone a compliment.

People like to feel good about themselves, and a simple compliment can go a long way. If it is someone close to you, you can compliment them on their sense of humor, their ability to get through tough times or what a good friend they are.

You can also compliment a stranger. Maybe you like their shoes, their bag, or the way they did their nails. This is a great thing to do in waiting rooms or if you’re stuck somewhere for a long time.

10. Write a thank you note to a company where you recently received excellent service.

Bad customer service sadly is becoming more and more common. When you get good service, you should take a moment or two to let the business know you appreciate their work and attention to detail.

At my first job ever as a cashier in a retail store, I know it made me absolutely glow when a manager would come up to me and tell me a customer had written them a letter about what a good job I did.

Too often people feel under appreciated and underpaid. A letter to a company about a service worker who helped you can go a long way.

11. Give your seat to someone else.

If you regularly take public transportation or find yourself sitting in a busy waiting room, giving up your seat to someone else is a simple act of kindness you can do.

12. Genuinely listen to someone.

We often feel like no one is really listening to what we have to say. To genuinely listen to someone, it’s important that you don’t talk over them or interject advice while they are talking. A simple, “I’m here for you and I’m listening” can go a long way.

13. Pick up trash.

I am always picking up trash anytime I’m on a walk, in a parking lot or at a park. Sometimes I even find kind of cool things when I do this, like pennies or trinkets.

Litter isn’t good for the environment, and sometimes people drop things without even realizing it. Picking up bottles or cans or papers can help keep an area clean and helps the whole community.

You can also often volunteer in your community to help with litter pick-up – check with local clubs and organizations or your township building.

14. Donate books to the library.

Many libraries host used book sales as a way to generate income for the library, while other libraries may not have the budget necessary to add new books. Libraries are such a wonderful resource for our communities and it’s easy to find ways to get involved.

Next time you are at the library, ask if they have a “Friends of the Library” program or other similar thing where you can help support them to purchase new books. If you have a lot of books you don’t really read much you can also donate them so the library can sell them in their used book sales.

If you live in a neighborhood, you might even consider setting up your very own free little library where the community can share and swap books.

15. Visit a nursing home.

When we were younger, my Dad was the director of the church music ministry program and one of the things we did every Christmas was go to the nursing homes and sing Christmas carols for them.

Many people in nursing homes are alone – visiting these people can really light up their face and make a difference.

To get involved, check with nursing homes near you to see if they have any volunteer programs. You will probably need to be able to pass a background check to volunteer, but the difference you can make in a person’s life is worth it.

16. Cook dinner for someone.

When people are going through a difficult time, cooking and getting food on the table can sometimes be a struggle.

I recently learned about a program called Lasagna Love in one of our local community Facebook groups – it’s a great way to share your love of cooking with those who are in need.

17. Use eco-friendly products.

Being kind to our earth is important, and a simple thing you can do to do this is make the switch to eco-friendly products.

Changing the types of cleaners you use, switching to organic products, or buying products made from recycled materials can help keep the earth a safe and beautiful place for all of us to enjoy.

18. Get a Pen Pal.

While the art of letter writing has somewhat declined, there are still many organizations out there where you can get a pen pal. Sites like PenPal world can help you connect with someone to write to on a regular basis.

There are also a lot of “Happy Mail” groups on Facebook, where people send each other different things – these are very popular for craft swaps and other hobbies.

If you are worried about giving a complete stranger your home address, you can usually get a P.O. Box at your local post office for a very small monthly fee.

19. Be the designated driver.

As someone who has lost a lot of close friends to drunk driving, I can’t stress enough how important it is when you and your friends head out for an evening that someone acts as a designated driver.

If you’re not up for being the designated driver, you can instead offer to pay for Lyft or Uber for you and your friends to ensure everyone can have a great time AND make it safely home.

20. Donate food to the food bank.

Many people rely on food banks and it is easy enough to find one in almost any local area. Be sure that you check with the food bank to find out what kinds of foods they might need most.

21. Forgive someone.

Holding onto resentment about something someone has done is not healthy for you – and that resentment can seep into other areas of your life that may cause you to act not so kindly towards others.

Learning how to forgive someone can take some time, but it’s the first step to take to making this world a happier and more positive place.

Forgiving someone else is not just an act of kindness towards them, it is an act of kindness for yourself.

22. Introduce yourself to someone new.

Meeting new people is a great way to get out of your comfort zone – and it’s also a good way to spread a little more kindness in the world by making a new friend.

You can meet new people on sites such as Meetup or join different clubs for hobbies and activities that interest you. New friends = more people you can share random acts of kindness with!

23. Help someone unload their groceries.

Unloading a cart full of groceries or carrying groceries to the house can be a chore. If you notice someone struggling, offer to help.

If you have elderly neighbors nearby, you can also offer to help them with their grocery shopping.

24. Give someone a back rub.

So often our necks and backs carry a lot of tension from the stress of everyday. It’s easy to take our partners and close friends for granted and giving them just a 5 minute back rub can help them feel better.

Another thing you can do is consider giving the gift of massage to someone else – book a day at a spa or hire a masseuse for someone you know who deserves to relax.

25. Pay a Bill for Someone

Do you know someone who could use a little financial help? Offer to pay one of their bills for them. You can also reach out to local charities to see if they have a program you can donate to that helps families and people in need with medical and utility bills.

26. Share an inspirational quote.

I love inspirational quotes and it’s easier than ever to share your favorite inspirational quotes with people via social media. Sometimes the right quote can make all the difference in how someone feels during the day!

27. Let someone go in front of you in traffic.

Have you ever been stuck in traffic trying to merge and it seems like no one will let you over? And then you get frustrated?

While drivers in Pittsburgh are almost too friendly to the point of danger sometimes, it’s also good to realize that every time you get in a car there is an opportunity for kindness just by obeying the speed limit.

Drive in a way so that there is enough space between you and the car in front so other cars can get in front of you in traffic. Don’t block turning lanes or side streets. Learn the art of t the zipper merge.

While this may not be directly appreciated by anyone immediately, it will help make the roads a safer place for everyone. Practicing safe driving might even save a life.

28. Leave a post-it with an encouraging message in a public space.

Post-it Notes are biodegradable and an easy way to share an encouraging message with others almost anywhere. You can stick it to a table, a wall, even in the stall of a restroom.

You never know who might need to hear a word of encouragement!

29. Help someone clean their house.

Cleaning the house is always a chore – and quite honestly the nicest thing you can do for someone. Do the dishes, put away laundry, or help someone reorganize and deal with their clutter.

There is always someone who needs help cleaning the house. Just ask your friends or family members or neighbors.

30. Hang a bird feeder.

Kindness doesn’t apply just to people – we can also be kind to animals and wildlife.

A bird feeder is a great way to take care of birds in the wintertime when food resources are scarce.

31. Offer to babysit someone’s children.

Do you know a mom or dad who needs a much deserved break from the kids? Offer to babysit so they can enjoy an evening out. Just a few hours for many parents can help them return refreshed and recharged.

32. Donate clothes you no longer wear.

If you have old clothes you aren’t wearing, why not donate them to someone who can? You can donate your clothes to thrift stores or check local community Facebook groups to see if there is anyone in need.

33. Post something on Freecycle.

Freecycle is a place where people offer up things they no longer need for free to members of their community.

You can help so many people by giving away things for free – and you’ll have less clutter so it is win-win!

34. Leave quarters at the laundromat.

Want to give someone an unexpected surprise? Leave some quarters at the Laundromat. Many people who rely on laundromats will definitely appreciate saving a few dollars and the kindness of a stranger!

35. Say Bless You when someone sneezes.

When you say “Bless You” when someone sneezes, it shows that you acknowledge the person and are aware of them.

36. Use reusable shopping bags.

Again, being kind applies to not just people but also the planet! Reusable shopping bags are an easy way to reduce landfill waste.

37. Email someone a short note to brighten up their day.

It doesn’t take very long to send a quick email to someone. Just say, hey how are you? Been thinking about you.

38. Send out holiday cards.

There are many people who don’t receive many cards for holidays or their birthdays at all. Sending a card to someone is a nice way to brighten their day.

Starkist Tuna will forever have a place in my heart just because they were the only person to wish me or send me a birthday card one particularly rough year.

39. Bring a treat to work for your other coworkers.

Want to make everyone in your office happy? Bring them a tasty treat for all to enjoy. Double kindness points if you consider any special dietary needs (sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, etc.)

40. Don’t text and drive.

See, you can be kind by what you don’t do! Don’t text and drive + you’re being kind to every single driver on the road.

Texting and driving is very dangerous. Not using your cell phone while driving is one of the kindest things you can do for everyone driving. Remember: It can wait!

41. Leave a positive comment on a blog.

Bloggers spend HOURS writing their posts. If you find a blog post helpful or inspiring, take just 2 minutes to share your appreciation or comment on it. As a blogger I can tell you I read every single comment and it always brightens my day! Sometimes those comments are the only thing that have kept me going all these years.

42. Participate in Box Tops for Education.

Even if you don’t have kids in school, that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in Box Tops for Education. Today it is even easier than ever – you can do it all online – just scan your receipt.

43. Recycle Plastics and Metals.

Recycling is easy to do. If you don’t already recycle, take some time to start today.

44. Follow charities and local businesses you support on Twitter/Facebook.

We can’t always afford to donate to every charity we want to support, but we can always give them our emotional support. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook and help them share their fundraising efforts and gain awareness for their cause.

45. Give Someone a Ride

Many people are not comfortable with driving or may even not have a car to be able to drive somewhere. Giving a person a ride to a doctor’s appointment or the grocery store or other errands can help them in a big way.

46. Donate That $1 at the checkout line.

Many stores ask you if you want to make a donation to a charity when you are checking out. It’s only $1 – but if enough people do it, it can make a big difference to the charity in need.

You don’t even need to do it every time you shop – but just once does help.

47. Attend a charity event or dinner.

Charity events are a great way to raise money, and chances are while you attend the event you will even have some fun!

48. Hold someone’s hand.

My kids laugh at me because I still make them hold my hand when we cross the street – even though they are teenagers now! The only difference now is they hold my hand so I don’t get lost or run over.

You may have held your partner’s hand when you first started dating, but do you still hold hands now? Reaching for someone’s hand can be a great way to add a little more kindness in the world.

49. Read a story to a child.

Parents can only read so many stories to their children – some parents can’t even do this because their work keeps them too busy.

Volunteer to read a story to a child through a school or library, or ask parents you know in your community if they’d like someone to read with their kids. It’s a great way not only to make a difference in the life of a child but also promotes literacy and a love of reading.

50. Donate to your local EMS & fire station.

When there’s an emergency, our local EMS and fire stations are the first people on the scene. These organizations are not always well funded, so be sure to donate to them when they have different fundraising events.

51. Light a candle for someone at church.

This is a quiet act of kindness you can do for someone who could use a prayer. You do not even have to be a certain religion to do it. Across the world you can walk into any Catholic church and light a candle for someone who needs a prayer.

52. Help a student with their homework.

Are you good with math, science, history or language arts? Offer to tutor a student or help them with their homework.

53. Volunteer to Pass out water bottles and snacks at a Marathon or 5k Fundraiser.

Let’s be honest: running a marathon or 5k isn’t for everybody. But you can still help with these fundraising events as a volunteer.

54. Give money to a street performer.

If you’re walking along and see a street performer playing a musical instrument, it’s not going to hurt you to give them some loose change or a dollar – but it sure will brighten their day!

55. Use GoodShop to Donate to Charity Without Spending a Dime

Goodshop is a rewards site that makes it possible for you to earn money for a charity everytime you shop or search online for something.

56. Help someone find a lost object.

If you’ve ever lost something important to you, you know how stressful it can be. Helping someone find something they’ve lost can make them feel less alone, even if you never do find what’s missing.

For example, if you have a metal detector, you can join a group like TheRingFinders and help someone find valuable things they have lost.

57. Do the dishes for someone, especially after a big meal.

If you’re visiting someone for dinner, offer to do the dishes for them. It’s a small act but a great way to show someone you appreciate them.

58. Make someone laugh.

You know the saying: Laughter is the best medicine. Tell someone a good joke or send them a funny meme on social media, email or a text. You might just be the pick-me-up they needed!

59. Help someone find a job or write their résumé.

Job searching is stressful. If you are good at writing resumes, there are many organizations you can volunteer for to help job seekers make the work of job hunting easier.

60. Donate to an Animal Shelter.

Of course we can’t adopt every single animal who needs a home – but we can support the organizations that do help find homes for abandoned animals. You can make a donation to cover for food, vet expenses, and rehoming expenses.

If you don’t have the financial means to donate, you can also check with different animal shelters to see if they have any volunteer positions available to help them get more donors.

61. Adopt a Soldier.

Programs like America’s Adopt a Soldier program can help connect you with helping those in the military.

62. Carry something heavy for someone.

If you are able to lift heavy objects, carrying something heavy for someone can be a huge help. You can help them move furniture or carry boxes into their house.

63. Donate your old cell phone.

Your old cell phone might be obsolete, but it can still be recycled to help others in need get an up-to-date phone.

64. Tip Generously

I’ve worked at a number of jobs where tips were the difference between being able to afford gas to drive home.

You should always tip 15%, even if the service sucks. Chances are the service sucked because that person barely has enough money to survive.

65. Send flowers/gifts/food to the nurses at your local hospital.

Nurses don’t have an easy job and sending the nurses on duty at your local hospital flowers is a great way to show you appreciate all that they do. Check with your local hospital to see what you are able to send and how.

66. Save your unused coupons from the mail and grocery store for someone who will use them.

You might not be a coupon clipper, but that doesn’t mean your coupons have to go to waste. Consider offering them for free to others in your community.

67. Leave a copy of an inspirational book with a message on the bus or a park bench.

Do you have a favorite book that has inspired you? Leave a copy of that book in a public place where someone else can find it.

Related Post: 82 Things You Can Do With a Bad Book

68. Publish a Glowing Review For a Business Online

Did you receive great customer service at a small local business? Leave a review for this business online as a way to show your appreciation.

Small businesses often rely on good online reviews for future business so this can help a lot more than you think!

If any specific employee went above and beyond, make sure you mention that too!

69. Leave change near a vending machine.

Leaving a few quarters or a dollar near a vending machine is a great way to give someone a break.

70. Buy locally grown food.

It is very important to me that we support our local farmers and we make it easier for us to grow our own food in America. It’s kinder to our environment if I buy something grown in Pennsylvania than something grown in California.

71. Buy gifts for your family and friends from local artists and businesses.

This is another one of those win-win situations where you get a high quality gift to give – and you help support a local business.

72. Support a small musician.

Most bands and musicians never get the recognition they deserve. Many don’t have the fanbase or the revenue source to even try to get a fanbase.

73. Drive slowly in neighborhoods and areas where there are pedestrians.

Yes, I know I have a lot of suggestions for driving to be kind. This is a post of small acts of kindness that take minimal effort. You can drive 10 mph, I know you can! I 100% fully believe in your ability to be kind while driving!

74. Remove snow for your neighbors.

Every winter, snow storms can be deadly because people go out to shovel snow and have heart attacks. I don’t think anyone should be manually shoveling snow, but a snow blower or even hiring a landscape company to do the driveways and sidewalks is a huge act of kindness to those who otherwise might not be able to remove their own snow on the street.

75. Offer to share your umbrella with someone on a rainy day.

If you can’t both fit under the umbrella, consider just straight out giving it to them. Give them the umbrella.

76. Snap a Photo For Someone

Offer to take a photo for the person standing behind the camera photographing family and friends.

If you do decide to do this act of kindness, give them some collateral – or just take the picture on your phone and then Airdrop/Msg/Email it to them.

77. Contribute your knowledge to Wikipedia.

Wikipedia exists because people write for it for free. That’s crazy, eh? But they do, and it’s become one of the best resources for facts and information.

If you ever see a mistake on something or could add to the information on a topic, become a contributor. You never know who you might help when you write something on the internet.


79. Plant a garden.

80. Give a meal to a homeless person.

81. Drive someone without a car to a place they need to go.

82. Hail a cab and give it to someone else.

83. Apologize to someone for something you did.

84. Give your sweater/jacket to someone who is cold.

85. Attend a book fair.

86. Mail a letter to someone.

87. Support fundraisers (Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, School Groups, Churches, etc.).

88. Spend some time on a forum answering questions or providing encouragement to others.

89. Say thank you again and again to anyone who helps you.

90. Walk/Run in a 5k for a charity.

91. Attend a support group meeting with a friend.

92. Leave flowers on the windshield of someone’s car in the parking lot.

93. Bring a sick friend some chicken noodle soup.

94. Be a mentor to someone.

95. Tell someone to have a great day.

96. Take a customer service survey after a phone call/online chat and say somthing positive about the person who helped you.

97. Fund a project at Kickstarter.

98. Thank a custodian/janitor.

99. Hold the elevator for someone.

100. Bake someone cookies.

101. Offer to take someone’s shopping cart back to the store.

What ideas do you have for spreading kindness to others? What acts of kindness have you done or or someone has done for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *