Half-October is already over, which means Halloween is just around the corner and the winter holidays are coming. These holidays always tend to get people in a friendly and giving mood, which I totally love.
I believe that no matter what time of the year is, random acts of kindness can be (and should!) be done. Random acts of kindness can have a GREAT impact on others and they make your soul sing.
It doesn’t matter whether your gesture is big or small. Every act goes a long way! A gesture that is small for you, can make someone’s day and change how they are feeling completely.
I’ve made a long list of random acts of kindness, giving you some ideas if you want to light up someone’s day!
Random Acts Of Kindness Ideas
1. Smile and say hi to everyone you see. I love to do this, I do this with almost everyone I see. It’s so great when someone is feeling friendly and does it back.
2. Bring food to share at work. Everyone loves snacks during the day!
3. Compliment others. This one is so simple and yet so effective. Simply say nice words to someone and you will make their day.
4. Hold the door open for someone. It’s so simple yet effective. It doesn’t take any time and it could make someone’s entire day. Instead of thinking it, say it.
5. Call someone. It can be impersonal to keep in touch only through social media or typing, call someone and have a great conversation!
6. Pay for someone’s bill. This may mean paying for coffee, food, groceries, or some other bill. If you quit caffeine, decaf or tea will do as well. I often see online that people are so happy when someone paid a small bill for them, worth a few dollars!
7. Do a chore for your spouse. This can be anything that your partner doesn’t like to do. It could include cleaning your home, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, preparing a lovely meal, or anything else that you can come up with.
8. Pick up trash along your walk. Take a trash bag on your walk and collect anything that doesn’t belong.
9. Leave a big tip. When you’ve had a great meal, it will give you a great feeling to give a big tip.
10. Leave a nice note on your receipt. It just takes a little bit of effort, but I’m sure that it would be greatly appreciated.
12. Send someone flowers. You don’t have to have a reason, you can do it just because.
13. Donate blood. This is a way you directly help someone in need, which is beautiful.
14. Send a package to someone that is away. It could be someone who’s working far from home, someone that is in college, or simply someone you want to cheer up with this random act of kindness.
15. When it’s raining, you can share your umbrella with someone else. If you’re going to the same place, why not?
16. Leave post-its with positive affirmations in public bathrooms. People can use a little encouragement at times.
17. Carry someone’s groceries. A small act, but will be appreciated greatly.
18. Visit FreeRice.com. It’s a game you can play online. For each correct answer, the website donates rice through the World Food Program to help end hunger. That’s a great random act of kindness! Plus, it doesn’t cost anything to play.
19. Help someone move. Offer even before they ask you, they would be more than happy to accept!
20. Cook someone a meal. We all love it when someone cooks for us. Whether it’s a friend, your spouse, or someone who’s having a hard time – cooking a meal can mean a lot.
21. Volunteer somewhere. There are many places where you can volunteer, meaning that there are many random acts of kindness related to volunteering.
22. Help someone find a job. Perhaps you know someone in your network who can be of service to them, or you can simply help them prepare for their job interview.
23. Forgive someone for something they did. Forgiving someone is not only for them, it’s also for you. Holding grudges isn’t healthy and people make mistakes. If you’re not able to forget, at least try to forgive.
24. Help someone at work who’s having a hard time. Perhaps something is going on outside of work, you never know.
25. Donate your hair. There are several options for donating your hair, depending on where you live in the world. I’ve donated my hair twice in the past 4 years, it’s a great feeling to be able to help someone in this way!
26. Become an organ donor. You can potentially help people just by checking YES on the form and becoming an organ donor.
27. Become a bone marrow donor. You can help some really sick people this way, which is beautiful.
28. Let someone check out first in the grocery store. If you’re not in a hurry you can let someone check out before you. They may be in a hurry and would appreciate it for sure.
29. Tell someone’s boss how great their employee is. Most of the time restaurant managers only hear the bad stuff about their employees, telling them someone positive is great!
30. Give someone a hug. Not the 1-second awkward hug. No. The 5 seconds I-see-you-and-I-care-about-you-hug!
31. If someone is gossiping, try to turn it around by saying something nice about that person. We don’t need more gossip in our lives.
32. Put some money in an expired meter at the parking lot. The person parked there would be so very grateful.
33. Sponsor a family for the holidays. I have friends who have a tradition with their family to sponsor a family every December. Everyone in their family contributes so that another family has enough to enjoy the holidays as well.
34. Hold the elevator for someone else. Don’t be that person who presses the close button when someone comes walking towards the elevator.
35. Send someone a letter in the mail. If you want, it can even be hand-written. Taking the time to mail something in this day and age can mean a lot!
36. Donate all the flowers from a party or wedding to a nursing home. This can give people a smile on their faces in no time!
37. Have a deep conversation with someone who is having a hard time. Often times we don’t want to intrude on the space of others, but it can be really good to ask someone who’s having a hard time how they’re doing. They will be relieved to have someone to talk to. If you don’t ask how they are, they might never reach out to you.
38. Listen without interrupting. Something that I’m learning at this moment is that some people just want someone to listen. They don’t always want to hear a solution. We forget how important it can be just to listen.
39. Write a positive review online. When you went out to dinner at a great place, visited a great landmark, or had a great hike – submit your review online. Many people will read it and decide to go the same route you did.
40. Remember the names of everyone – they’re all equally important. Remember the name of the security guard at your office, the person at the front desk, the people in the canteen, and perhaps even your colleagues (crazy right?!). It’s great to greet them by name and they will love it for sure!
41. Loan money through Kiva to dramatically improve lives. The small investments made through Kiva.org dramatically change the lives of families involved. 99% of the loans are paid back. You can start as low as $25!
42. Buy a small gift that reminds you of someone. When you’re walking around shopping and you run into something that reminds you of someone, get it. Just because you can. If you want to get a surprise but don’t know what to get, here are the best gift ideas for women who have everything!
43. Don’t ignore the homeless people you see. Buy them food. Even better, carry around a package of food and/or toiletries that you can give to them. Even a smile can help and brighten their day significantly.
44. Stop letting someone cross the street. If you’re not in a hurry with the car, stop to let someone cross the street or let a car merge in front of you.
45. Donate money to your favorite cause. Need I say more? Giving charity can be very fulfilling.
46. Be kind to yourself. It’s good to be kind to others, but we shouldn’t forget to be kind to ourselves. Write down 3-5 things that you’re grateful for in your life.
47. When someone cooks for you and you like it, ask for the recipe. That’s a great compliment and will make them happy for sure.
48. Teach someone. We’re all good at something. Sometimes the small things make all the difference!
49. Invite someone for dinner. You can go out, you can cook for them, whatever you prefer. Especially around the holidays, when it’s hard to be alone, this can be a great solution.
50. Sent a card through CardzForKids.org. This is an organization that sends cards to uplift kids around the world that have been traumatized or hospitalized.
51. Check in with friends on special days. For example, friends who have lost a parent, check-in with them on Mother’s or Father’s Day. They will appreciate it.
52. Donate books you don’t read anymore. Donate to your loved ones, to libraries, and more.
53. Call your parents. I’m sure they will be happy to hear from you!
54. Give up your seat to someone else. When you’re in public transport and you see someone who needs the seat more than you do – get up and be kind to your fellow humans.
55. Use iGive.com to have over 1700 retailers donate money when you buy something. This includes retailers like Expedia, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, and many more.
56. Share an awesome book that you’ve read. I recently loved Rich Dad Poor Dad, Ask and It Is Given, and Think and Grow Rich.
57. If someone looks lost, help them. Don’t wait until they ask you for directions, direct them in the way they need to go.
58. Whenever you can buy local. Local small vendors are often so grateful when you choose them over a big corporation. Get your products from them and make their day!
59. Transfer money to one of your friends randomly. I’ve heard of people transferring random money to one another with the intention of treating yourself to a coffee or nice drink.
60. Give gift cards to people who do awesome things. When you’re walking around, you can give gift cards to people who are making your day. It doesn’t have to be a big value, $5 can be enough! Here’s how to earn free gift cards.
61. Encourage someone who is struggling. If one of your friends is going through something, be there for them and encourage them.
62. Put your phone away. When you’re with friends or family, put your phone away and be 100% present with them.
63. Foster an animal. If it’s possible for you, adopt as well. Our fur babies need love!
64. Gift someone a reusable water bottle. You know I’m all about saving our planet for the horrible things we’re doing to it. As I’m currently traveling, I’m always carrying a reusable water bottle (WITH filter, no worries I won’t get sick).
Save our planet from the plastic world we’re creating and at the same time make your friend happy with this water bottle.
65. Plant a tree while you’re browsing on the interwebz. If you’re using Ecosia.org instead of Google, they plant one tree for every search you do on the platform. That means that every search REMOVES 1kg of CO2 from the earth, making it carbon negative.
Ecosia currently plants a tree every second or so – making for over 71 MILLION trees. That’s a great amount in revived land, resulting in jobs for women and men, and allowing children to go to school. Wow!
I’m using them for over two years now, let’s go planet earth!
What recent random acts of kindness have you done?
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.