13 Best Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness Day This Year

It's easy to get caught up in our daily lives as many of us are busy with family, work, school activities, and more. But the joy of giving and doing random acts of kindness can make you a happier person overall.

When you focus on helping other people, your life can change for the better, and you encourage other people to pay it forward.

So, what better way to show your kids how to focus on helping other people than a random acts of kindness challenge? Whether it's helping the next homeless person you see or giving someone a handwritten note, there are plenty of ideas to celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day.

What are Random Acts of Kindness?

Random acts of kindness are gestures meant to brighten someone's day. These gestures can be simple or grand, as long as you focus on helping someone else, even if it's just to make them smile.

When is National Random Acts of Kindness Day?

National Random Acts of Kindness Day is Thursday, February 17, 2022, and it's part of the Random Acts of Kindness Week - February 13 to February 19, 2022.

These holidays celebrate kindness and making the world a better place. If you want some additional inspiration, there's a book called HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act at a Time by Brad Aronson. This book shares true stories on how one small deed can make a huge difference around the world.

These true stories may inspire you to be more giving and considerate to strangers and the people around you every day.

You may also want to check out this book on Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty by Anne Herbert too. It's the perfect book for elementary school kids to read.

Top Random Acts of Kindness Examples and Ideas

In case you're not sure of what to do to celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day or just need some ideas and examples, we've created a list for you.

1. Give Someone a Gift Card

Giving gift cards to strangers, family, and friends is a great way to celebrate this holiday.

One idea is to buy a gift card from your local coffee shop so they can get a couple of free cups of coffee. It doesn't have to be a huge amount, even a $5 gift card can put a smile on someone else's face.

Give a gift card to a restaurant or even your local spa with a surprise note that encourages them to take a break and relax.

2. Encouraging Notes that Show You Care

Sometimes nothing is better than encouraging notes for a friend or family member trying to get through the day. Even putting sticky notes around the house or in your kids' lunches can brighten their day.

The same is true for your partner. It's easy to become complacent and take things our spouses' do for granted. Give them a quick message on a sticky note that says thanks for all you do. Or even list specific things your partner does that brightens your day as an amazing way to bring joy to his or her life.

3. Say Thank You to People in Public Service

People often don't understand just what police officers, teachers, fire and rescue personnel, military personnel, and others do to keep people safe and make their life easier. Next time you see a police officer or other public servant eating lunch, surprise them by buying their meal. They never have to know that it came from you.

Or send a thank you note to your children's teachers or help your kids make homemade cards for their local fire station. Public servants often risk their lives for us so letting them know you care and saying thank you means the world to them.

4. Give to Your Favorite Charity

Do you have a favorite charity like St. Jude's, the ASPCA, American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, USA, The Nature Conservancy, or something else? Donate money to them as many charities rely on donations to help the people and animals they do.

Encourage the kids to save some of their allowances to donate to a charity and offer to match their donations. If you teach your children how to honor the spirit of giving, then they'll love doing random acts of kindness for the rest of their life.

5. Donate or Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter

Most animal shelters rely on donations of food to help animals in the area. Even just donating food allows them to save more animals and find them happy homes.

Shelters often need volunteers to help care for the animals or spend some time with them. Volunteering is a way to give your time to something worthy and teach your children how important volunteering for shelters and charities is.

6. Make Hot Chocolate for a Neighbor or Family Member Working Outside in the Cold

Nothing shows you care like making hot chocolate, tea, or coffee for someone working outside in the cold or snow. Next time you see your neighbor shoveling snow, take out a hot beverage to them.

7. Let Someone Merge into Your Lane During Heavy Traffic

This simple act of kindness encourages other people to pay it forward and do the same. Let someone out onto the road during heavy traffic, and others will too.

8. Give the Gift of Self-Care

Self-care activities are important to your mental health and physical well-being. Give the gift of health and wellness with a spa gift certificate or even a simple gift of hand lotion or bubble bath.

You can even offer to babysit a neighbor or family member's children. Helping them out means they can do something for themselves like go to dinner with a spouse, go to the gym, or do another fun activity.

9. Add Coins to Someone's Expired Parking Meter

We've probably all experienced getting a parking ticket because you couldn't get back to our car before the meter ran out. Adding change to someone's expired parking meter can brighten their day instead of getting a parking ticket that would ruin their day.

10. Give Someone Extra Tip Money and Leave a Nice Note

Servers and bartenders work hard, and some people don't tip well. You can really make a server's day by leaving a larger tip and adding an encouraging note to make their day.

11. Help an Elderly Person

Many elderly people live alone or on a fixed budget. Show an elderly person or neighbor kindness by giving them a gift card to a grocery store or helping them do something around the house.

Or you can offer to deliver their medicine or other necessities they need to them.

12. Help a Pregnant Person

Sometimes even simple tasks are difficult for someone to do. Offer to help around the house or even give your seat to a pregnant person on the subway, bus, or train. You can do the same for an elderly or disabled person too.

See if your pregnant family member or friend needs help getting groceries or watching the other kids while they go to an appointment or shopping.

13. Help a Homeless Person or Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter

Homeless shelters and soup kitchens help our nation's homeless population, and they are often in dire need of volunteers or financial help. Many food pantries also need help, so volunteering there is very helpful. Often even writing them a check helps them get more food from local food banks to help people.

Another great idea is to buy sample sizes of toiletry items and snacks to give to homeless people in your area. Just this simple act of kindness can make a huge difference.

Random Acts of Kindness for Coworkers

Random acts of kindness at work may make your job a better place to work and help you enjoy going every day. This 12-Month Kindness Calendar has monthly themes designed to help you instill a kinder work culture.

You'll find kindness activity ideas for individuals that each person can complete in just a few minutes each day. The calendar also has team-based activities to inspire kindness for the whole company or small groups in the workplace.

Make it a fun game that everyone wants to participate in.

* Note - If you decide to do a Fun Kindness Challenge, get the PDF that the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation made. Their PDF includes writing prompts, coloring pages, self-care activities, and more. The whole family can join in on the fun and enjoy time bonding as well.

Final Thoughts on Random Acts of Kindness

Random acts of kindness don't have to be grand gestures. Even a simple nice note or $5 gift card can show someone you care. Plus, when you do good things for other people, it's even better than getting gifts, and it encourages people to pay it forward.


Just think if everyone did just one random act of kindness, the whole world would be a much better place, and people would feel the true joy of giving to others.