30 Day Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness
Published: January 20, 2021
Updated: March 9, 2021
by Deb Hipp
Did you know that performing random acts of kindness can profoundly affect your attitude, outlook and even your health? That’s according to the Mayo Clinic, which also says practicing kind acts can “rewire your brain” to help you be more present to others while boosting your mood.
For some people, the more random an act of kindness is, the better. There’s even an unofficial “Random Acts of Kindness Day,” celebrated each year in the United States on February 17. Don’t worry if you missed it! There’s no reason to limit yourself to just one day of lifting someone else’s spirits.
You can start right now with our 30-day challenge. Just choose and carry out a random act of kindness for each day. By the time you finish, you’ll be well on your way to making the world a kinder place.
1. Leave an Extra Big Tip
Give a restaurant server, takeout delivery person, or curbside pick-up employee a moment—or maybe even an entire day—of joy by leaving a $5, $10 or $20 tip instead of the usual amount. That extra tip could be just what that person needs to buy lunch, diapers or a few more groceries.
2. Pay for the Next Person in Line
Next time you pay at the drive-thru, spring for the order of the person behind you, too. Your kind gesture may inspire that person to carry out a few kind acts of their own.
3. Love on a Shelter Animal
Shower a homeless animal with kindness by volunteering to walk or play with dogs or cuddle cats at your local animal shelter or rescue organization. Maybe you could even foster a dog or cat while it waits for a home. Or donate dog or cat food, old towels and blankets, cleaning supplies, pet toys or money. To get an idea of what homeless pets need most, contact your local shelter or rescue to find out which items are on its wish list.
4. Hold the Door for Someone
Offering a smile and holding the door for the person behind you may be just what that person needs to forge on through a rough day. Your kind act may even motivate that person to do the same for someone else in need of an open-door moment.
5. Leave Money on a Vending Machine
Who wouldn’t love to find a couple bucks and a note saying, “This treat is on me. Enjoy!” while digging for change at a vending machine? Leave some quarters or bills for the next person to make their day.
6. Feed Someone’s Parking Meter
We’ve all stood anxiously in line, knowing that nearby, our parking meter was ticking down to zero. Save some delayed person from a parking ticket by dropping in enough change to buy another hour.
7. Commend a Store Employee
Retail and grocery store workers are doing their best to keep us stocked up on what we need during a time when many customers are impatient or cranky. Compliment an employee to the available supervisor or send the manager a card or email commending an employee’s efficiency or helpful attitude. That card posted in the employee break room will boost that worker’s mood and inspire others.
8. Send a Card to a Friend
Everybody loves receiving a surprise “just because I like you” card. Mail or drop off a card telling someone how much you appreciate their friendship or encouraging them through a rough patch.
9. Post an Encouraging Note in a Public Place
Make someone smile with an encouraging and positive quote or statement posted on a restroom mirror. Reading an encouraging note like, “You’re beautiful just as you are,” or, “Hang in there. Change will come,” may be what someone needs to keep moving forward.
10. Help a Neighbor
Mow a neighbor’s lawn, shovel the driveway or rake leaves. Offer to take your neighbor’s dog on daily walks while he or she recovers from surgery. Be a good neighbor, and your neighbors will also be there when you need them.
11. Compliment Someone
Let a coworker know that he or she did an outstanding job on a project. Compliment a mom on what a good job she’s doing raising her kids. Give your neighbors kudos for their manicured lawn or thriving flower or vegetable garden.
12. Participate in a Virtual Fundraiser
You may not be able to pound the pavement in a 5K right now, but you can still raise money through a virtual fundraiser. Find a cause you care about online or create your own with a Go Fund Me page. Organize a canned food or coat collection drive in your neighborhood and volunteer to pick up and drop off collected items.
13. Donate to a Cause You Care About
Give bathroom basics, diapers or clothing to a women’s shelter or homeless shelter. Donate your old phone. Donate used eyeglasses to national organizations such as New Eyes, a United Way Agency, or Lion’s Club International. You may even be able to donate glasses to a local church, or a local vision center. Search online for a cause you care about and donate money, items or time.
14. Post a Positive Review
Were you pleased with the small business owner who repaired your furnace or a restaurant with speedy curbside pick-up? Put in a good word with a positive review on Yelp, Facebook neighborhood groups or other online review platforms.