A while back, I posted 50 Random Acts of Kindness based on a list that my Facebook friends helped me compile. Then, I decided that I wanted to take on the challenge of doing 365 random acts of kindness this year.
Now, I’ll just be completely honest and say I’m already behind, but the fact is, even if it only works out to 200-something RAOK, or 100-something, or only 50 or so, every random act of kindness makes the world a nicer place.
I knew that if I were going to come anywhere close to accomplishing my goal, many of the acts would have to be random acts of kindness that can be done from home – either for my family, for a neighbor, or for a friend or relative via phone or snail mail. In order to come up with more ideas than my feeble brain can manage, I turned to my Facebook friends again.
Here’s what we came up with:
1. Mail a card to encourage a friend.
2. Remember a friend or relative’s birthday with an actual in-the-mail or in-person card, rather than just a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook (though that’s nice, too).
3. Send a recipe to a friend who loves something you cook but isn’t close enough to enjoy it in person.
4. Place your Amazon order through an online friend’s affiliate link.
5. Have pizza delivered to a friend.
6. Take a meal to a neighbor.
7. Call a friend just to see how she’s doing.
8. Call your mom. She misses you.
9. Pay a bill online for a friend who’s struggling financially.
10. Help a neighbor with yard work.
11. Pick up trash in the neighborhood.
12. Leave a baked treat in the mailbox for the mail carrier.
13. Shovel a path through the snow for neighbors and the mailman. (I live in Georgia, so I’ll have to take y’all’s word on that one.)
14. Send an online gift card to a friend.
15. Send letters to our military overseas.
16. Make a lemonade or popsicle stand on a hot day and give the treats away for free.
17. Offer to walk the neighbor’s dog.
18. Send a thank-you note or letter of encouragement to a Sunday school teacher, a pastor, trash collector, postal carrier, etc.
19. Do a household chore that is normally your spouse’s or child’s responsibility.
20. Pray for someone, then, send them a note letting them know that you did.
21. Call your church and see if there are people who need to be sponsored for missions or youth trip.
22. See if your local animal shelter has an Amazon wish list (ours does) and order something that they need.
23. In the summer when you’re mowing your yard, mow your neighbor’s, too. (This goes for raking leaves in the fall.)
24. Clip coupons that you don’t need and donate them to someone who does…or save them until you go to the store and leave them beside the products that they’re for.
25. Make coupons for friends, relatives, or neighbors that can be turned in for a meal or an act of service.
26. When you’re preparing a meal, make extra and freeze it for when someone else may need it.
27. Fix a plate of leftovers for a single friend or neighbor – or a couple if you’ve got enough.
28. Order a magazine subscription for someone.
29. Leave an encouraging comment on a blogger’s blog or a friend’s Facebook page.
30. Donate online to an organization that you support – or that you’ve thought about supporting, but never have.
31. Make Dad’s return from work pleasant with a clean and quiet home and a family eager to see him.
32. Carry a neighbor’s newspaper to their front door.
33. Pick up overturned trashcans and/or return them to their rightful place.
34. If you use Paperback Swap, send a book to a friend or donate credits to send books to schools in need.
35. Save points-earning items (ex. Box Tops, soup labels, or Coke Points) for someone who uses them.
36. Send a care package to a military serviceperson overseas. Boxes and packing supplies can be sent to your door from the post office and you can pay for shipping online.
37. Respond to prayer requests on Twitter and Facebook. Stop what you’re doing and pray right then.
38. Mail a letter, kids’ art, or a video to grandparents who live far away.
39. If you’re the grandparent do this idea that I read a long time ago and have stored away for future reference: Buy a book for your grandkids. Then, record (video or audio) you reading it aloud. If you do audio, consider a little bell (like back in the good ol’ days) that lets the listener know when to turn the page. Send the book and the recording to your grandkids so you can read the story to them.
40. If you do #39, send a related craft or recipe with the book, along with directions and supplies.
41. Call the manager of a business you’ve patronized lately and compliment them on a job well done.
42. Offer to babysit for a friend or relative so that they can have a quiet afternoon alone or a date night with a spouse.
43. If you use Freecycle, respond to a “wanted” request. I usually do a “porch pick-up” so that the recipient picks the item up off my front porch. I don’t have to leave the house, but I don’t have to open the door to a stranger either.
44. Leave a love note or note of encouragement for your spouse or kids.
45. If you don’t usually, make dessert just because.
46. Say something kind when you could choose to be negative.
47. While your spouse is in the shower, throw a towel in the dryer for a few minutes, so he or she can have a warm towel when he gets out.
48. Send flowers to a friend.
49. Clean your kids’ room for them – without grumbling.
50. Call or text your spouse at work, just to say, “I love you.”
I know I’ve missed some great ideas, so add yours in the comments – remember, the suggestions should be things that can be done from home.