50+ Simple Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Stangers

Updated

Completing acts of charity is one excellent way to give back. Your mental health may even improve by completing random acts of kindness! Here are some ways to help people in your life — including strangers. 

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Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Kids

There are plenty of resources that teach kids how to complete random acts of kindness for others, but kids deserve to be the recipient of kindness as well. Here are some ideas of things you can do to show kindness to children in your family and community.

1. Leave change near video and arcade games

Do you want to make a kid’s day? Leave change near and around child-friendly video games or arcade games. You will also make their parent’s day as well because all parents love seeing their kids excited and happy.

2. Pay for a child’s book order

Visit a local grade school or contact a teacher to ask if you can purchase books for a child. Book orders are still prevalent in grade schools across America, but some children don’t have extra money to order books.

Offer to buy books for those kids. Of course, this kindness should be completed anonymously. 

3. Pay for a child’s yearbook

Some children go through their entire school careers without the opportunity to purchase a yearbook.

Depending on your budget, the size of the school, and the cost of the yearbook, you could consider buying books for all the children who were not able to buy one themselves. You may consider limiting your purchase to the oldest grade level at the school.

4. Buy Girl Scout cookies and Boy Scout popcorn

It’s challenging for some kids to speak to adults. If a child asks you to buy items for a fundraiser, make every effort to do so. You may consider merely donating to the cause if you don’t want the article that the child is selling. 

5. Give your bubble wrap found in your Amazon delivery to a kid

There’s no need to explain how a kid would use bubble wrap!.

6. Donate playground balls or board games to a grade school

Playground balls and board games are hot commodities at some grade schools. Consider purchasing a few and dropping them off at the main office at your local school. You may even have some gently-used items in your home that you could donate.

7. Give surprise treats to children you know

Giving treats to children you know (with their parent’s knowledge and permission, of course) would be a great way to perform a random act of kindness for a child.

Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Work

Do something to improve your work environment — complete random acts of kindness at work.

8. Improve your office’s coffee corner

You could improve the life of your coworkers by taking control of the coffee situation at work. You could campaign for the office to purchase good coffee or you could take care of cleaning the machine, making perfect coffee, and making sure the coffee-related items are fully stocked.

Do this act of kindness even if this is not one of your official work responsibilities.

9. Write a thank-you note

Make it your mission to write a thank you note to members of your team periodically. If you send the thank you note as an email, make sure to copy your coworker’s boss on the communication. 

10. Leave treats for the cleaning crew

You may have never even seen the crew that visits your office to clean it every night. Whether you have met the individuals or not, leave a well-labeled treat for the members of the custodial staff.

After all, it’s important to show gratitude for everyone who works in your building, not just your peers and boss. 

11. Bring in donuts

Leave donuts, bagels, coffee cake, or fresh fruit in the break room. Your coworkers will have a hard time complaining about being overworked and underpaid when their mouths are full of donut holes.

12. Decorate everyone’s work station with fresh flowers

Purchase inexpensive flowers in bulk and leave a few buds on each person’s desk. Flowers do a lot to brighten up a room.

13. Make someone’s job easier

No matter your industry or type of job you perform, there are things that you can do to make your coworkers’ lives easier. Do those tasks without fanfare. 

14. Fill up the copier paper, water cooler, or printer ink

Don’t be “that person” who leaves the copier out of paper and the printer out of ink. Even if no one notices this act of kindness, they will complain when it’s not done. 

Random Acts of Kindness to Try at Home

Here are some random acts of kindness to try with your family.

15. Buy flowers

Bring home flowers for your wife, husband, or your daughters for no particular reason.

16. Make a special meal

For no reason at all, make a special meal for someone in your family. Put candles on the table when you serve it.

17. Complete an undesirable chore

Does everyone in your family hate cleaning the shower? Or mowing the grass? Complete this dreaded task without comment or bragging.

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18. Make a pitcher of fresh-squeezed lemonade

Everyone loves lemonade, and it’s not difficult to make. Perk your spouse and kids up on a summer day by making this special treat.

19. Buy a new game

Purchase a game, puzzle, or other activity that all the members of your family would enjoy. Have a family game night. 

20. Organize a picnic

Why is it that eating sandwiches at your kitchen table is boring, but eating them outside is a special treat? Take your meal outside and enjoy the sunshine as you eat.

21. Leave kind notes on the bathroom mirror

Write words of encouragement or inspirational quotes on your bathroom mirrors. 

Random Acts of Kindness for Your Neighbors, Community, or Everywhere

You can make a difference in your world. Begin with just a few random acts of kindness. Here are some ideas to make life better for those around you.

Remember, random acts of kindness are done in anonymity. It loses some of its magic when you tell others or post accounts of your acts of charity on Facebook. 

22. Stop at lemonade stands

No matter how busy you are, take the time to stop at a child’s lemonade stand. Pay double the price for the drink and compliment the child on how refreshing the drink is.

23. Leave beach balls at hotel pools

Buy inflatable beach balls in bulk, and every time you travel, leave one at the hotel’s pool. You may want to write “hotel property” on the side of the ball to encourage other visitors and staff to leave the item behind for the next person.

24. Leave a happy note in a library book

Write words of encouragement on pieces of paper and leave the unsigned notes in books at your local library. Use acid-free ink, so you don’t spoil the book if the letter is not found for months or years. 

25. Compliment someone every day

Add one item to your daily “to-do” list. Compliment someone every day. Tell your coworker that he makes excellent coffee. Compliment someone on their shoes.

Commend someone in your office for filling out TPS reports perfectly. Make sure your compliments are sincere. 

26. Smile more and say, “Hello!”

How would your environment change if everyone walked around with a smile on their face? This may be a surprise to you, but people tend to smile when you smile at them. Friendliness is contagious. 

Smile at people while going on walks and while meeting in the aisle at the grocery store. Smile at clerks, your delivery driver, and your family members. 

27. Park at the farthest parking space

Allow another driver the rock-star parking space by the entrance of the mall. You will receive the benefit of accumulating extra steps when you park farther away and you’ll make someone’s day. 

28. Live a life of gratitude

Happiness is contagious. If you are a content, happy person, those who are around you are likely to be content and happy. As you go through your daily life, think about all of your blessings. Consider how you can show gratitude for all the good things in life. 

Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for School

Teach your children to complete random acts of kindness at school, and you will change the world. Here are some ideas to share with your children.

29. Play with someone who struggles to make friends

It doesn’t take long for kids to understand that some kids struggle with making friends. So please encourage your child to dedicate some of their playtime to a child who would appreciate positive interaction with peers. 

30. Have a conversation with a struggling student

Some children may pass the entire day without having a casual conversation with peers. Encourage your kids to talk with everyone in their class–but of course, only when it’s appropriate to speak.

31. Give sincere compliments

Teach your children how to give sincere compliments to other people. 

32. Thank the custodian

School custodians often have thankless jobs. Teach your children to smile and thank these individuals when they see them in the halls.

33. Pick up other people’s trash

It’s hard keeping a building clean that hundreds of children inhabit every single day. Talk to your children about the importance of keeping their space tidy and of picking up other people’s trash without expecting a reward.

34. Share a simple gift with a teacher or staff member

Most of the time, teachers choose the profession because they want to make a difference in someone’s life. They want to be appreciated for the long hours they put into their career. Encourage your children to compliment a teacher after a memorable lesson. And placing an apple on the teacher’s desk is always a nice touch.

35. Purchase extra school supplies

Some families struggle with purchasing school supplies at the beginning of each school year. Consider buying extras of some coveted items to share with those who don’t have the supplies they need.

36. Send extra money for book orders

If your child’s classroom regularly sends home book orders or has book fairs, ask the teacher if you can purchase a book for a child who never gets to buy one.

37. Donate items to the classroom

Teachers spend a lot of their own money on items for their classrooms. Ask your child’s teacher to provide you with an Amazon wishlist so that you can share in the expense.

38. Invite everyone in the class to your child’s birthday party

Some kids go their entire grade school careers without being invited to a birthday party. Think about this the next time you create an invitation list for your child’s event.

Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for the Environment

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 

In other words, the actions of a few can make a huge difference in our world. So here are some kind things we can do for Planet Earth.

39. Ask for donations to a charity that’s important to you for your birthday

Facebook allows individuals to collect money for charity on their birthdays. Consider picking an environmental group that you would like to support.

40. Hang a bird feeder during the winter

Support your feathered friends by providing them with the food they need during the cold winter months.

41. Use reusable water bottles instead of buying disposable ones 

Of course, if you have to use disposable ones, make sure you recycle them when they’re empty.

42. Walk or ride a bike for close errands

If you’re lucky enough to be able to walk or bike to complete your errands, do so! Set a good example for your kids by walking them to school instead of sitting in the car loop.

43. Turn off your lights when not in use

Teach your children to do this, as well. (Maybe yours will listen!)

44. Use a programmable thermostat

There’s no need to heat and cool your house to a comfortable level when no one’s at home. Instead, use a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature accordingly.

45. Water your plants with water left in glasses

Dump the water leftover from your glass at dinner into your watering can. 

46. Take your lunch in reusable containers

Limit your daily waste by using washable containers for your lunch instead of disposable plastic bags.

47. Recycle plastic grocery bags

Of course, you should also consider bringing your own cloth bags to the store. 

48. Plant a tree to celebrate a loved one’s life

What better way is there to honor a loved one than to plant an item of beauty that will be there for decades?

49. Close the curtains in the summer and open them in the winter

Use the sun’s rays to heat your home in the winter.

50. Reduce the amount of waste your family produces

If you find that your trash receptacle is piled high each week, think about how you can reduce the amount of waste your family produces. For example, you might want to start composting your food scraps or donating items to charities instead of throwing them away. 

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Life can get stressful and mundane. Sometimes you don’t feel like doing kind things because it seems as if you are never the recipient of those positive acts. But what goes around, comes around! Random acts of kindness just might come your way eventually.

If completing random acts of kindness doesn’t come naturally to you, consider adding it to your list of tasks each day. After you do it often, it’ll become a habit over time.

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