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50 Simple acts of kindness

Posted by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 6:38 PM
  • 13 Replies

50 Simple Acts of Kindness

By Katy McColl - Good Housekeeping

1. Leave a bouquet at the hospital — the nurses will know who needs it the most.

2. Make a struggling family's summer by buying them a season pass to the municipal pool.

3. Help a friend see today in a wondrous new light: Hand him or her a kaleidoscope.

4. If you are in a long line, invite the person behind you to go first.

5. Shower the pediatric wing of a hospital with $1 coloring books and $2 boxes of new crayons.

6. Hang a sign on a bulletin board that says "Take What You Need" — with tear-off tabs at the bottom for Love, Hope, Faith, and Courage.

7. Bring courtesy back in an instant: Hold the door open with a flourish.

8. Drop off combs, toothbrushes, and toothpaste at a shelter or a soup kitchen.

9. Curb road rage: Let other cars merge onto the highway.

10. Leave your neighbors a note that tells them how much joy you find in admiring their garden.

11. Put sticky notes with positive messages (e.g., "You look gorgeous!") on a restroom mirror.

12. In low-income families, a baby can spend a day or longer in the same diaper, and laundromats often don't allow cloth diapers to be washed in machines. Help out a mom and a baby by donating diapers (find a directory of diaper banks at

13. Send a thank-you note to the brave officers at your local police station. (Given how we carry on about parking tickets, it's important to acknowledge the daily risks taken by the men and women on the force.)

14. Share the wealth: Ask the grocery clerk to apply your unused coupons to another customer's items.

15. Arrange to pay anonymously for a soldier's breakfast when you see him or her dining alone.

16. Slip a $20 gas card or public-transportation pass into someone's shopping bag.

17. Rekindle your Girl Scout spirit: Pick up trash at a park or a playground.

18. Donate your old professional clothes to an organization, like Dress for Success (, that helps women jump-start their careers — and up their confidence.

19. Carry someone's groceries.

20. It's hot out! Offer your mail carrier a glass of iced tea or a $5 Starbucks gift card.

21. Bake bread or cookies and deliver the food to a nearby fire station or group home.

22. Be the bigger person: Cede the parking space.

23. Check "yes" when asked if you wish to become an organ donor — and tell your family.

24. Lay your neighbors' newspaper at their front door along with a plate of blueberry muffins

25. Donate old cell phones to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (, which will use the proceeds for programs that protect families from abuse.

26. Sing an employee's praises to a manager or on a comment card — a little recognition goes a long way.

27. Share happy memories. Stick an old photo in the mail to a friend and write a note about the day it was taken on the back.

28. Send an ooey-gooey dessert over to another table at a restaurant.

29. Leave a copy of a book you love, with a note for the next reader, on the train or the bus.

30. Send valentines in August.

31. Load extra change into the vending machine to buy the next person a Coke.

32. Send somebody an e-card, just because. The funnier, the better.

33. Name a star after someone (

34. Forgive someone. Repeat as necessary.

35. Resolve to refrain from negative self-talk (you deserve your kindness, too!).

36. On trash day, wheel your neighbor's can out to the curb.

37. Relay an overheard compliment.

38. You don't have to send every disadvantaged child to college, but you can buy one of them a life-changing book: Try

39. To melt away her blues, send a friend a funny video from YouTube.

40. Volunteer to read to kids at an after-school program.

41. Give your mom a shout-out on your birthday — after all, she deserves some credit for your life.

42. Pause and give people the benefit of the doubt. E-mail, especially, can cause unintentional feather-ruffling.

43. Bring your spouse coffee in bed.

44. Treat an elderly neighbor, with a gift certificate, to a $30 pedicure. Bonus points if you can do so anonymously.

45. Dedi-cate a song on the radio to someone you know is listening during his or her long commute.

46. Take kindness on the road: Pay thetoll for the car behind you.

47. Slow way down when you drive past a pedestrian — 35 mph can seem like the Indy 500 to a woman walking her dog.

48. Rescue a wallflower! Strike up a conversation with someone who's standing alone at a party.

49. Leave extra umbrellas in vestibules with notes that say "Use this to stay dry!"

50. Ask others — sincerely — what you can do to help.

Do you have any to add?   Have you ever made a random act of kindness?
by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 6:38 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Karla on Jun. 18, 2012 at 7:16 PM
I always open or hold doors for other people. Donate clothes, shoes or household items.
by Orfelinda on Jun. 18, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I buy clothes and school supplies for two kids every year new school year. And for Christmas we also buy two kids what is on their Christmas list.

by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 8:46 PM
2 moms liked this

Years ago I left a couple of $10 bills in random areas, the train, in a book at the library... It was fun and I enjoyed the thought of someone just being surprised by a little treat. 

by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 8:52 PM
These are all good ideas.
by Kimberly-US/Mex on Jun. 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM
Great list ;) I've done some of these
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by Reyna on Jun. 18, 2012 at 10:00 PM


by Jeannette-AZ/Mex on Jun. 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM

This is really sweet! I love random acts of kindness! What may seem small and insignificant can really make a difference in someone else's life!

by Jeannette-AZ/Mex on Jun. 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM

While sharing a public laundry room.... I will totally put clothes in the dryer for ppl lol.

by Jeannette-AZ/Mex on Jun. 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I also donate LOTS of items to the thrift store and friends.

by NADIA on Jun. 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM

 I do many of these already but i will try to do some more of them.

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