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not-so-random Acts of Kindness List

I’d call it the Random Act of Kindness List, but nothing about these acts is random. Isn’t it time we made kindness intentional? What would you add to my list? And will you join me in committing to kindness?

A Helping Hand by Jean-Paul Haag (1854-1906) via Wikimedia Commons

  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, women’s shelter, or mission. If you’re nervous, recruit a friend and do it together.
  • Put together ziplock bags of basic toiletries, snacks, reading material, and the like to hand to the homeless. Introduce yourself and shake each person’s hand when you give them one.
  • When you take your kids for haircuts, offer to take the neighbor kids as well.
  • Be intentional about giving away items of clothing and hand-me-downs. Who could use them the most? Is there someone in your neighborhood or a child at ballet class who seems to be in need? A single mother who never has money to buy herself something nice? If you feel they’d be embarrassed, leave the items anonymously. And it never hurts to purchase something new for them, either!
  • Send a handwritten letter to a loved one.
  • Take someone a homemade lunch at work. Maybe your spouse or your parent, or maybe just the overworked lady at the DMV.
  • Next time you grocery shop, bring an extra bit of money (if it takes a while to save this up, it’ll feel even sweeter), then pay for a stranger’s groceries.
  • Leave a huge tip for a waiter/waitress, even if all you bought was a bagel.
  • Tell a stranger you really like their hair/shoes/smile.
  • Tell a frazzled mom or dad at the store that they’re doing a great job.
  • Participate in a fundraiser.
  • Next time you feel yourself ready to engage in a verbal attack on social media, take a deep breath, then be kind instead. Offer words of encouragement or a compliment.
  • Leave cookies for your mail delivery person or garbage man/woman.
  • Visit a rest home and listen to the residents’ stories.
  • After a haircut, donate your hair to Wigs For Kids or Locks of Love.
  • Next time you wash your car or cut your lawn, do the same for your neighbor’s.
  • Bring a bottle of wine or a home-cooked meal to someone new on your street. Don’t have anyone new? Take it to the family you know the least and apologize for taking so long to get to know them!
  • Put your patio furniture in the front lawn instead of the back. Socialize with all who walk by. Make it a once-a-week habit.
  • Offer to take someone’s children to the movies or the park for an afternoon.
  • Sign up for something new: an art class or karate or photography. Pay for someone else to go, too.
  • Put coins in meters for cars that are about to expire.
  • Hide dollars in hiding places in the dollar store. Especially in the toy aisle.
  • Write letters or make a care package for a deployed soldier.
  • Make dinner for a family with a new baby or who has a member who is ill.
  • Take brownies to the fire house for the firefighters, or to the police station for the officers.
  • Donate towels and blankets to the humane society.
  • Adopt a stray, or if you can’t, pay for someone else to do so.
  • Forgive someone who you’ve been holding a grudge against.

Talk about win-win. When you make someone else feel good, you feel good! Help me add to my list.
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