58 Random Acts Of Kindness

The winter holidays tend to get people in the giving mood. No matter what time of the year it is, though, I believe that random acts of kindness can benefit everyone. Random acts of kindness can positively impact others and they are great for the soul too. Whether the gesture is big or small, every act can go a long way. The…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: February 6, 2024

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I believe that taking part in random acts of kindness is something more should spend time doing. The smallest gesture can make someone's day!The winter holidays tend to get people in the giving mood.

No matter what time of the year it is, though, I believe that random acts of kindness can benefit everyone. Random acts of kindness can positively impact others and they are great for the soul too.

Whether the gesture is big or small, every act can go a long way. The smallest gesture can make someone’s day and completely change how they are feeling!

Related: Why I Believe Being Positive Can Change Your Financial Situation And Your Life

Here’s a long and wonderful list of ways to carry out random acts of kindness.


1. Smile and say hello to everyone you cross paths with. I do this with everyone I see and it’s always great when someone does it back.

2. Hold the door open for someone.

3. Donate items from your home. Another thing you could do is donate an item for each item you bring home. So, each time you buy a shirt, donate a shirt!

4. Do a chore that you normally don’t do for your spouse. This could include doing the dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning your home, making a meal, dealing with a bill, and so on.

5. Donate blood.

6. Bring a trash bag on a walk and collect any trash that you may come across.

7. If someone is spreading gossip, say something nice about that person instead.

8. Give your new neighbors a welcoming gift. This doesn’t have to be expensive, dessert is usually loved or you could even just introduce yourself.

9. Leave a big tip. Leave a nice note on the receipt as well.

10. Leave coupons on items at the grocery store for others to use.

11. Bring food to share at work. Everyone loves donuts in the morning.

12. If you have a wedding or a party, donate your decorations and flowers to a hospital or a nursing home afterwards.

13. Send someone flowers for no reason.

14. Send a care package to someone who is away. This could be a person who is working far away, in the military, in college, and so on.

15. Compliment others. A simple “your hair looks great!” can make someone’s day.

16. Help someone find a job.

17. Bake treats for animals. Pets at shelters would love to have treats!

18. Call someone you love.

19. Forgive someone for a mistake. People make mistakes. Maybe you won’t forget, but you possibly can forgive.

20. Foster an animal. If you’re able to, possibly adopt as well.

21. Rake your neighbor’s leaves.

22. If it’s pouring out, let someone under your umbrella if you know you’re going to the same place. This could apply if you are walking to the inside of a mall from a parking lot, to class from a parking lot, and so on.

23. Encourage someone who is struggling.

24. Pay for someone’s bill. This may mean paying for someone’s food, coffee, toll, groceries, or something else.

25. Leave post-it notes with positive phrases in public bathrooms.

26. Become a Big Brother or a Big Sister.

27. Help someone in need.

28. Start couponing so that you can donate items at no cost to you.

29. Help a coworker who is having a hard time. You never know what someone is dealing with outside of work.

30. Carry someone’s groceries.

31. Donate books that you don’t need anymore. You can donate to libraries, hospitals, and more.

32. Spend some time on Free RiceFor each answer that you get correct, the website donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Program to help end hunger. Plus, it’s free to play!

33. Donate your hair. There are several options for doing this.

34. Let someone check out before you in the grocery store line. They may be in a bigger rush than you.

35. Offer to help someone move. Yes, offer before they even ask you!

36. See how you can volunteer at a nursing home. You could make a new friend!

37. Cook someone a meal. Whether a friend just had a baby or if you know someone who is having a hard time, cooking a meal can mean a lot to someone.

38. Plan a surprise vacation for someone you love. This could be for your parents, your spouse, your children, friends, etc.

39. Become an organ donor. Check yes next time you’re getting your driver’s license.

40. Volunteer somewhere. The options are endless and there are plenty of volunteer-related random acts of kindness.

41. Register to donate bone marrow.

42. Tell someone’s boss that they have a great employee. Usually retail and restaurant managers only hear bad things, so going out of your way to say something good is always great to hear.

43. Check in on elderly neighbors when it’s very hot or very cold outside. You never know if their AC or heater may be broken.

44. Help someone who is being bullied.

45. Sponsor a family or buy gifts for the less fortunate for the holidays. I have a friend who has a family tradition of sponsoring a family every December. Everyone in the family pitches in so that another family can enjoy the holidays as well.

46. Give someone a HUGE hug.

47. Tell someone that you love them.

48. Put a nickel, dime, etc. in an expired meter that someone is parked at.

49. Loan money to someone on Kiva. Kiva is a non-profit where you can lend money to low-income entrepreneurs in 82 countries. You can start with as low as $25!

50. Send someone a hand-written letter in the mail. Taking the time to do this can go a long way.

51. Donate money to your favorite cause.

52. Give your seat up to someone else. 

53. Invite someone who is feeling lonely over for the holidays.

54. Create ready-to-go-bags for the less fortunate that you come across. You can help the homeless by filling a bag with a small bottle of water, a quick snack such as raisins, gloves, toothpaste, a toothbrush, small packets of dog food (their dogs are hungry too!), and more.

55. Hold the elevator for someone else. Too many have the habit of pressing the close button several times in order to avoid this.

56. Try any of these found here. People are awesome!

57. Babysit someone’s children for free.

58. Let others be kind to you. People love to feel needed.

What recent random acts of kindness have you taken part in? 

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Esteban

    Very nice post!
    I generally do many of these things every day but I feel like donations and stuff could be a more frequent thing in my life.
    I wish everyone would do multiple nice things like these. Sometimes people get too selfish and caught up in life with themselves and forget to think about those in need.

  2. This is such a great list, Michelle! I especially love the ones involving restaurants/retail, like writing a nice note on the receipt along with your tip, or telling a manager that their employee is doing a great job. I want to try to do these soon.
    Thanks for posting this. 🙂

  3. A great list! Buy a random someone a cup of coffee is always a good one. Giving you time is a great way to give back too.

  4. This is a great reminder that giving back doesn’t always have to involve money. I love this list!

  5. This reminds me of one of my favorite sayings: It doesn’t cost a cent to be a decent human being. Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

  6. Gary @ SuperSavingTips

    Great list! This time of year we all tend to be focused on things to buy (for ourselves or for others) rather than things to do. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Christine

    Love this list! I definitely need to start donating blood again. I used to donate all the time because I don’t have a common blood type. One of my goals for next year is to give back my time to the community and help out those in need through volunteering. 🙂

  8. Hi Michelle — I remember when I first heard about Random Acts of Kindness, which seemed like such a wonderful concept, but I also remember that all the examples I heard a the time (pay someone’s expiring parking meter, or pay the tolls for several cars behind you at the tollbooth) required money, which I lamented because I didn’t have much back then. So I especially love that your list of ideas is mostly free things! We’re huge believers in smiling at strangers and generally trying to be kind, but it’s fun to get a bunch more ideas as a reminder of ways we can spread positive energy in the world. 🙂

    1. Thanks! 🙂 Yes, it doesn’t have to cost money.

  9. We’re totally on the same page today! Lol I love it.

  10. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    Love this, Michelle! It doesn’t take much effort to bring a little light to someone’s day. I know for me personally that the smallest act can have the biggest impact. Going to extend some random acts of kindness today!

  11. I’m a firm believer in smiling and being friendly to people who serve you. It’s not hard to do, and if you’ve ever worked on that side of the counter you know how unpleasant some people can be. I’d rather make their day easier, than harder and it costs me nothing.

    Timely reminder regarding donating blood. I used to be a regular at the blood bank but haven’t done it for quite a while. The holidays is a great time to kick that off again.

    Great list Michelle. It’s nice to be focused on acts rather than things at this time of year.

    1. Thanks! Yes, I used to work in retail and customers can be very mean. Nice customers always made my day!

  12. Baking treats for animals is a great idea! While it can be depressing, I love going to the shelter to spend time with the animals and playing with them. It’s important that they feel loved. Great list!

  13. I’ve done a couple of these before. Once I pay off my debt I want to be able to pay the power bill for a few people during Christmas time.I’m about to check out free rice right now.

  14. Such an awesome list and a much needed reminder on days like this. Thanks Michelle:)

  15. Steve Miller

    Love this list, here are a few more:

    1. Pay it Forward at the Grocery Store

    When you check out, hand the cashier $20 and ask them to apply that money towards the purchase of the person behind you. This will surely brighten their holiday season.

    2. Thank your Parents this Holiday Season

    Instead of sending your parents a card, hand-write a note telling them how much you appreciate them and how they have impacted your life.

    3. Help Pay for Someone’s Gas

    Tape an envelope with $10 inside to the credit card slot of a gas pump. Write a note that simply says “Thanks for finding this. Happy Holidays!”

    4. Purchase a few Gifts for a Family in Need

    Contact a local church or synagogue and ask if they have a family that needs help with a few gifts for the holidays. Tell them your budget and ask if you can purchase gifts within that budget. Ask them to keep the gift anonymous.

    5. Tip your Mail Carrier

    Leave $20 in cash for your mail carrier. They deliver your mail every week, why not give back during the holiday season?

  16. Excellent list! I love that most of these don’t cost much (or anything) and can really help people.

  17. Good timing on this post! My wife’s 25th birthday was yesterday, and as a way of celebrating, she decided she’d do 25 random acts of kindness during the day. A few of the fun ones she did were leaving dollar bills in books at the public library, helping serve a meal at the local rescue mission, giving coffee to a Salvation Army red kettle bellringer, and giving brownies to some of the neighbors in our apartment building. She also discovered that paying for the person behind you in the drive-through at McDonald’s is harder than it sounds and really confusing to the poor teenage cashier!

  18. V @ Run of the Millions

    Number #53~ oh my gosh. One year when I was single and in a new city, I just about flipped out, I was so lonely. You never know when showing hospitality encourages a lonely soul far beyond the few hours they spend in your home.

  19. Alexander Vishnevsky

    My brain just made a glitch: I read “Donate blog” instead of “Donate blood” – lol 🙂
    Thank you!

  20. I was in a Starbucks line a couple weeks ago and was a recipient of someone who was paying it forward and purchased my coffee, so I did the same to the car behind me. It was the best feeling and now I know those things really do exist!!

  21. GReat list, I am completely agree!!!

  22. Luis Rodriguez

    Another fantastic post Michelle.

    I endeavor to do any little kindness I can in my daily life. But the one that just continually surprises me is the first one.

    Whenever I’m out running on a circular track for instance; I’ll smile and say hello to everyone I come across. I initially get a strange “Do I know you?” kind of look but it never fails, when we come back around they have a big smile on their face as they’re approaching me.

    It’s an awesome feeling knowing I can spread a little kindness in this world.

  23. This list is amazing Michelle! What lovely ideas 🙂


  24. Really enjoyed this post! It’s a great reminder to invest in others!

  25. Jess

    How lovely to read this, especially as Christmas nears 🙂 Earlier this Spring I was out for a walk with Baby strapped to me and it started to pour rain. Baby was safely dry as she was tucked into my coat but I was getting drenched. A man caught up to me and held his umbrella for me until we got the park where we had to go different ways. I never forgot about this. What a kind gesture. It really meant a lot to me 🙂

  26. Thsi is great! So excited to try some of these. I always thank bus drivers and tell them ‘have a good day/weekend’ and people find it so strange that I’m nice to them! But after I explain to them that a lot of times bus drivers get little to no respect they start doing it too, which I think is nice. Loved this post.
    Zoe xx

  27. Tracy

    LOVE this list! I am always trying to do something nice for someone each day, even if it is just a smile & “hello”.. can make someones bad day turn right around! 🙂

    1. Katia

      Totally true

  28. Evie Grogan

    Hi!!!! My name is Evie. I am 12 years old and at my school, we are using raize craze. This is a way to raise money and commit random acts of kindness. This really helped me with ideas of what to do. Thank you soooooooooooo much!!!!!!!

  29. Alison

    I grow extra flowers in pots and when they come into full bloom I give them away just because.:)

  30. alaisha

    Hi and thank you I will try some of these things ( I am 9 years old and it the year 2020)

  31. Googaholic

    #3 is a wise one. Side effect, helps avoid household getting cluttered with stuff never using.