“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This iconic quote feels more true now than ever.
The world could do with a little bit more kindness. And perhaps that kindness should begin with me and you.
Of course, we all see particular opportunities for kindness in our everyday lives: Someone drops something and we pick it up for them, the person in front of us in line is short a few dollars and you offer to cover the difference, someone asks for directions and you pull out the map on your phone to show them the way.
But also, sometimes, we want to create our own opportunities for kindness: Going beyond the opportunities that naturally present themselves by intentionally working to make someone’s day.
At Good Good Good, we’re all about celebrating good news — and then joining in and becoming good news. Intentionally going out into the world to make a difference is our jam.
We’ve curated a list of the best ideas for random acts of kindness — whether you're celebrating World Kindness Day or just choosing to be kind.
Some ideas may serve as simple reminders (like “hold the door open for someone.”) — and others may be fresh new ideas (like “take time to leave a positive review for a local restaurant you love.”)
Some of our recommended random acts of kindness will help one person or family — and others will create systemic change that will leave positive ripple effects throughout your neighborhood, community, and world.
And of course, you’re not limited to the items in this list. As you’re reading through, you will no doubt have new ideas come to mind. Try something new and follow your intuition on how you want to create positive change in the world.
Be the kindness you wish to see in the world!
Explore random (and not-so-random) acts of kindness:
- Sign up to donate blood.
- Hold a door open for someone.
- Donate $10 to a charity you believe in.
- Take time to leave a positive review for a local restaurant you love.
- Take a bystander intervention training.
- Write a thank you note to someone who has inspired you to make a positive difference.
- Donate household items to your local refugee support organization.
- Put a ‘Don’t Give Up’ sign in your yard.
- Find a Little Free Pantry or Free Fridge in your community and drop off some food.
- Give an extra generous tip.
- Pick up one piece of litter and throw it away.
- Create care packages for your houseless neighbors.
- Donate to a local mutual aid fund.
- Let someone go first in line.
- Give a teacher a thank you gift.
- Call a local homeless shelter to ask how you can best support them in the next month.
- Go on a litter walk to clean up your neighborhood. (And buy yourself a simple litter pickup kit so you can do it even more often!)
- Give out flowers to strangers on the street.
- Tell an author you loved reading their book. They’ll be easy to get in touch with via Twitter or Instagram, and it’ll make their day!
- Give a Goodnewspaper as a gift.
- Pay off a student’s lunch debt via GoFundMe or by calling a local school.
- Leave short poems or uplifting notes on people’s cars.
- Find a Little Free Library in your community and drop off some books.
- Sign up to become an organ donor.
- Offer to buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
- Sign a petition to help support garment workers.
- Pay off someone’s medical debts. (We recommend RIP Medical Debt!)
- Install ‘Tab for a Cause’ to make a difference every time you open a new browser tab.
- Choose to shop from underrepresented business owners. (Check out our guide to supporting Black-owned businesses.)
- Ride your bike or public transit to work or school.
- Give a compliment to a stranger.
- Cook a double portion of your next meal and offer it to a neighbor or a friend so they don’t have to cook.
- Join a peaceful protest to support human rights.
- Read the news, find a story that breaks your heart, and make a small donation to a nonprofit responding to that issue.
- Start a note in your Notes app with your friends’ favorite coffee orders so it’s easier for you to surprise them.
- Find an ethical and sustainable way to recycle your old shoes.
- Sign up as a volunteer at a local animal shelter.
- Choose to shop with a small business instead of a big box store or Amazon.
- Give up your seat on the bus or train so someone else can have a seat.
- Donate your unused frequent flyer miles to an organization that helps reunite refugee families. (We recommend Miles4Migrants.)
- Be like Mister Rogers and look for the helpers. (And become a helper, too.)
- Find a random GoFundMe to donate to.
- Recycle your old clothes via a Take Back Bag from For Days.
- Buy a compost bin to reduce food waste as an act of kindness to the earth.
- Participate in Meatless Monday once per week to reduce your carbon footprint and your impact on animals.
- Offer to return someone’s cart for them.
- Donate your hair. (Either for wigs or oil spill cleanup)
- Find an extra coat in your closet and keep it in your car to give to a stranger.
- Plant a tree.
- Tell a friend you’d love to babysit for them for free.
- Run (or walk) in a charity 5k.
- Learn to say hello and thank you in different languages.
- Send a kind and encouraging text message to a friend.
- Shovel your neighbor’s snow or rake your neighbor’s leaves.
- Reduce food waste by picking up a meal from Too Good To Go.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors.
- Volunteer as a poll worker.
- Research what can and can’t be recycled in your community so you can make sure you’re recycling correctly.
- Use social media for good.
- Be kind to yourself by finding a therapist. (You can’t pour from an empty bucket.)
- Donate an old cell phone, computer, or other electronics to a nonprofit that could use it.
- Buy lemonade from a kid’s lemonade stand.
- Volunteer remotely for a crisis line like Crisis Text Line or The Trevor Project.
- Forgive someone.
- Donate to make a difference for an ugly animal. (Not just cute ones!)
- Support local farmers by buying from a local farmers’ market, joining a CSA, using the Farmstand app, or even visiting a local farm.
- Buy and display a Pride flag to show your allyship.
- Make energy-efficient swaps at your home, so you can show kindness to Mother Earth.
- Donate to, support, or volunteer at national parks.
- Call your elected officials to advocate for your neighbors (not just yourself and people with a similar life experience to you).
- Reach out to an old teacher and tell them that you appreciate them.
- Buy ‘Empathy Cards’ for the next time you want to show care to someone going through a hard time.
- Call an old friend out of the blue.
- Buy a warm meal for someone in need.
- Attend or host heritage or pride events.
- Choose to buy eco-friendly products next time you go shopping.
- Give someone a gift card that you think you won’t get around to using.
- Switch your default search engine to Ecosia — and try out other do-good apps.
- Buy groceries for the person behind you.
- Lend out your favorite book.
- Buy socks that give back.
- Sign up for the bone marrow registry.
- Order some Goodnewspapers and leave them at coffee shops around town for strangers to find.
- Offer to let your neighbor borrow your lawnmower or other yard tools.
- Research an important issue in the news and commit to learning more about it (so you can become better informed and make a bigger difference for those affected). Try subscribing to newsletters or podcasts as an easy way to learn more over time.
- Volunteer with a refugee agency in your state to help a family learn to use public transit.
- Learn CPR.
- Adopt (and commit to caring for) a pet from a shelter.
- Consume the news thoughtfully, so you can be more intentional about getting more involved and making a difference.
- Share a positive quote online.
- Go out of your way to buy ethically-sourced coffee, as a way to show care for coffee farmers.
- Go out of your way to remind someone that everything will be okay.
- Set up a recurring monthly donation at your favorite nonprofit. It will help them plan ahead and make a bigger difference.
- Write a thank you note to someone who has helped your career.
- Practice introducing yourself with your pronouns.
- Commit to buying gifts that make a difference or consumable gifts for future birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
- Find a small local nonprofit to volunteer with.
- Go out of your way to post good news on social media.
- Keep an extra umbrella in your car to give to someone caught in the rain.
- Forward someone a good news newsletter.
- Pick an awareness day to learn about and celebrate.
- Remember to practice self-care. (Here are some self-care ideas!)
You might also like: The best quotes about kindness