I’ ve really been wanting to be more intentional about blessing people around me with random acts of kindness. I wanted these acts to be more than what would be considered common courtesy, such as holding a door for someone, and I wanted things that could be done inexpensively, since we’re a single-income family.
I was having trouble coming up with ideas, so I did what any smart blogger would do – I asked the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers Facebook page fans! They (you) are some smart folks!
Here are the suggestions I’ve compiled, based on my criteria – the act should be something that wouldn’t be common courtesy and it should cost less than $5 (though I let slide a few that would cost more than that because I really liked the idea).
Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments! I’d love to get the list up to 100.
1. Pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive-thru line.
2. Rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbor.
3. Send friends and relatives notes or letters of encouragement on the back of your kids’ artwork.
4. Leave love notes for your spouse or kids in places like a briefcase or clothing drawer.
5. Bring water, coffee, or hot chocolate to outdoor workers (police officers or crossing guards, for example).
6. Put your neighbor’s trashcans away for them after pick-up.
7. Buy a soda or candy bar for the cashier when you’re checking out.
8. Give a restaurant or coffee gift card to someone (bank cashier, postal worker, homeless person, or random stranger).
9. Send a silly card to brighten someone’s day.
10. Call or email someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, just to ask how they are.
11. Send your spouse a text just to tell him something that you appreciate about him.
12. Hide a kind note in a library book.
13. Leave your trade credit inside a book or video game at the used book store. (This happened to my son last week. It was just enough to get an inexpensive game and it made his day.)
14. Bring your spouse his favorite drink while he’s getting ready for work. (This happened to me last week and it made my day…except, I wasn’t getting ready for work.)
15. Cut someone’s grass.
16. Bake cookies for someone. (Postal carrier, neighbor, elderly friend, Sunday school teacher, etc.)
17. Leave coins on a parking meter or the machines at a laundry mat.
18. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
19. Help someone load their groceries.
20. Offer to return someone’s shopping cart to the store.
21. Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line.
22. Let someone pull out or turn in front of you in traffic, if it’s safe to do so.
23. Keep unopened kids’ meal toys in your purse to give to kids you encounter (with their parent’s permission).
24. Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant.
25. Make extra meals to share with a sick or busy neighbor.
26. Offer to keep a friend’s kids so she and her husband can have some time alone.
27. Take a friend’s child(ren) shopping for an upcoming holiday so they can buy their parents a surpise gift.
28. Make hats for kids with cancer.
29. Make cards for nursing home residents…and deliver them with your kids.
30. Pick up trash at the park.
31. Thank a soldier.
32. Make care bags for the homeless – toiletry items, bottled water, food store gift cards, non-perishable/ready-to-eat foods.
33. Buy car wash coupons and give them away.
34. Leave copy of the Sunday newspaper on your neighbor’s doorstep.
35. Clean house for a friend or family member while she’s on vacation.
36. Leave extra coupons on the store shelf next to the item they’re good for.
37. Pack a bag for someone undergoing chemo – include snacks, bottled water, magazines, word-find games, a mechanical pencil, and a good book.
38. Tape envelopes with quarters to vending machines.
39. Take care packages to patients with new babies at the hospital.
40. Take homemade cookies or cupcakes to the police or fire station.
41. Invite a homeschool mom friend’s kids over for the day so she can run errands or do lesson plans alone – or just take a nap!
42. Save change throughout the year and bless another family with some extra cash during the holidays.
43. Pack a date-night box (movie rental card, popcorn, soft drinks, movie candy) and leave it on someone’s doorstep. Ring the bell and run!
44. Take lunch to the ICU waiting room.
45. Take magazines, word-find games, or Sudoku puzzles and mechanical pencils to a waiting room.
46. Take flowers to a nurses’ station – for the nurses.
47. Get a group together to make a meal for your local Ronald McDonald House.
48. Give your unwanted newspaper coupons to the lady behind you who’s buying three papers. Chances are, she clips coupons.
49. Fix a make-ahead breakfast for a working/school-not-at-home family to make their morning a little smoother.
50. Purchase a store gift card or a gas card and send it to a friend in need.