12 Free Random Acts of Kindness You Can Do Every Month
Post about a small business you adore.
Social media can be a positive, uplifting place, so add to the love by publishing a quick post about a new restaurant, independent clothing store, veterinarian, or other small business you just adore. They will appreciate knowing how much they're prized, and you may help others learn about a great business they need to visit at the same time.
Offer a hug.
For a friend who needs one, a good hug can set a lot of ills straight. It costs you nothing, and it opens the two of you up to something else that is kind and free—a conversation. Take the time to listen to your friend, encouraging them and lifting them up. After all, when someone needs an open ear, the greatest good you can do is listen.
Help with your neighbor's trash.
You're headed to the hallway trash chute, when you spot your neighbor's trash sitting by their entry. Give the door a quick knock, and ask if you can grab theirs while you're headed that way.
If you live in a neighborhood, help a neighbor out by pulling their empty trash can back to their garage, especially on days when it's raining or threatening showers. They will appreciate not having to heave that behemoth up the long driveway, splattering rain hitting them in the face.
Volunteer to sit with your kid's class at lunch.
Pop over to your kid's school and sit with the table so your child's teacher can take a few minutes to herself for a bite to eat. While this may not seem like a huge lift to you, a teacher who typically spends her lunch period opening ketchup packets or milk cartons will appreciate the break so she has a moment to eat her lunch.
Write encouraging sidewalk messages in chalk near schools.
With neighborhood or school permission, draw a bit of encouragement and love for kids to see when they leave school and head toward the busses or cars. Draw pretty pictures, leave kind notes, or even sketch a hopscotch court for kids to play. The rain will wash away the notes in a few days, but the kids won't forget the sweet sentiment any time soon.
Give someone a compliment.
"That's a beautiful jacket, Erica." There—it's that simple. A compliment is an easy way to tell someone you see them and you appreciate them.
The appropriate things for a compliment run the gamut—clothes, yesterday's presentation, a job well done, a new picture frame in their office. Perhaps leave the comments about how much weight they've lost since the baby off the list, however.
Leave a thank you note on your trash bin.
Sanitation workers are incredibly good at what they do, hurling oversize garbage bins and trash bags into the back of hulking trucks, but they rarely get the recognition or appreciation. Give them a reason to smile with a quick "Thank you!" note fixed to the top of the trash can.
Better yet, listen carefully for them to come down your street, and pop out to the curb and hand them your recycling bin yourself. Take the time to say hello and thank them for what they do.
Tell a manager how well an employee did.
Managers are used to hearing complaints, not commendations. Make their day—and the wonderful employee's day too—by letting them know how much you enjoyed your time in their store or restaurant. Be sure to tell them the employees you interacted with and what you appreciated most. They'll share the good news—and the recognition—with the employee, which will make their day and likely give them a little pep in their step.
Don't be hesitant to take a few minutes to fill out a comment card or shoot an establishment a quick email either. It'll cost you nothing, but the extra effort it worth it to share a bit of good news and kindness.
Hold the door.
Mama would say this isn't an act of kindness but is instead a polite necessity. Truth be told, we all get in a hurry sometimes and forget to stop the door from slamming in front of the person behind us. Show kindness and respect by grabbing the door and holding it while everyone behind you passes in front. You're all going to the same place. There's no need to be in such a hurry that you forget your manners.
Leave sweet notes in public places.
On your way out the door, grab a pack of sticky notes and a marker. Write notes of encouragement and support, and stick them on park benches, bathroom mirrors, elevator button panels, or anywhere else you know someone will see them. What takes you seconds to make will bring a smile to many faces and give everyone the reminder that kind people are out there.
Babysit for a friend while she runs errands
Grocery store trips without a passel of kids are much easier on the nerves and remarkably faster, too. The same goes for just about any list of Saturday morning errands. When you'd normally be doing your errands, take the time to stay with your friend's kids so she can do hers. (The kids don't enjoy the errands either.) You can spend time with the kids, playing games or reading books while she checks off her to-do list in a flash. She'll be endlessly grateful, but you really just got a fun morning of cartoons and coloring books.
Pick up litter at the park or nearby beach.
If you're looking for a place to take a walk and stretch your legs during lunch of after work, pick up a trash bag and a pair of gloves on your way out the door. While you walk, you can do good for your neighborhood and the earth by putting trash where it belongs and not letting it get carried away by wind or water. When others see you being courteous and carrying for your surroundings, they may be inspired to return the favor in other places.