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Kindness is contagious, and that’s what Random Acts of Kindness Day is all about. It’s about celebrating selflessness, spreading kindness, and creating a movement to inspire others to do the same. Here are inexpensive and free ways you can make a difference in someone else’s day on February 16:

Pay For the Person Behind You
  1. Buy the next person in line a cup of coffee while waiting on your order.

  2. Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru at lunch.

  3. Give the clerk a $5 bill to go towards the next person checking out at the grocery store.

  4. Pay the toll for the person behind you.

Leave Loose Change in Unexpected Locations
  1. Carry around some dimes and quarters this week when you’re out and about. When you see a gumball machine or mechanical toy ride, leave a few coins on top of the dispenser for the next kid to use.

  2. Tape a few quarters to a vending machine at work or the gym with a note.

  3. Leave loose change on the edge of a wishing fountain.

  4. Leave a few quarters on top of a newspaper stand.

  5. Leave a roll of quarters at a laundromat.

Make a Note
  1. Personalized and kind notes go a long way to brightening a day.

  2. Leave an anonymous, spontaneous note at a coworker’s desk.

  3. Write a personalized note to a friend.

  4. Send a thank you card to school with your child for the teacher. Better yet, make a homemade card from you and your child for the teacher.

  5. Write a thank you note to your waiter/waitress on your restaurant receipt.

  6. Make handmade bookmarks with inspirational quotes and leave them in library books for others to find.

  7. Write down inspirational quotes on sticky notes to leave in random places to be found. Goodreads and BrainyQuote offer some great quotes on kindness.
  8. Send postcards to children with life-threatening illnesses and who are hospitalized.

Regift Loved Items
  1. Donate used books to the local library, shelter, or at a Little Free Library drop off near you.

  2. Donate gently used clothes to a local shelter or charitable organization, such as The Salvation Army, Goodwill, or a local church initiative.

  3. Pack up old toys and games and donate them to a women and children’s shelter.

  4. Donate old eyeglasses to a recycle program.

  5. Donate or recycle old electronics such as laptops and video games and systems to schools or youth organizations.

Make Care Packages

  1. Put together care packages for troops overseas. Support Our Troop’s website offers suggestions to prepare packages as well as where to send them. Include homemade cards for an upcoming holiday, thank you letters, along with small items we take for granted each day (such as a deck of cards, hand sanitizer, lotion, and reading material). Many offices and waiting rooms are glad to donate last week’s magazines!

  2. Buy a box of large zippy bags and fill them with snacks and toiletries. Take them to a local homeless shelter. Some ideas include: travel size toiletries, lip balm, granola bars, sunglasses, tissues, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, a roll of quarters, and a small deck of cards.

  3. Stuff a few back packs with snacks and toiletries and take to a school to provide to a child in need.

  4. Bake some cookies and deliver them to a police or fire station.

  5. Make dinner for a new parent.

  6. Collect canned goods to donate to the local food bank.

Practice Thoughtfulness While Out Shopping
  1. Let the person behind you cut ahead of you in line.

  2. Help an elderly person load groceries in their car.

  3. Return loose shopping carts to the store.

  4. Buy a bouquet flowers while at the grocery store and randomly give a flower to strangers you pass in the store.

  5. Give the prime parking space to someone else.

Practice Random Acts that Don’t Cost Anything
  1. Visit a nursing home and read to the elderly.

  2. Hold the elevator for someone.

  3. Make a commitment to not complain for one day.

  4. Sign up to help tutor in an afterschool program or at your local library.

  5. Rake you neighbor’s yard while they are out.

  6. Bring water, coffee, or sodas to outdoor workers.

  7. Leave a six pack of water with a thank you note for your sanitation workers or mailperson.

  8. Write kind messages in chalk on the sidewalk.

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” ~ Dalai Lama.