Random Acts of Kindness Ideas #loveforclara

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation seeks to inspire people to practice kindness and to pass it on to others. That sounds just wonderful to me. That’s what the Christmas season is all about, to me.

I believe that you can (and should) perform Random Acts of Kindness at any time (all the time), for any reason (or no reason at all). Each action will make you feel great, spreading good cheer and happiness to those around you.

For my family, we are choosing to consciously do as many kind things for others as we can this season, in honor of our baby girl Clara, who was born still on July 1, 2012. We have a few ideas up our sleeves for commemorating Clara, but the first one is Random Kindness for Clara.

Throughout the month of December, my family and I will be recording our random acts of kindness. I challenge you to go out and do as many good and kind things as you can — post in the comments and tell me what you and your family have done! If you share on Twitter, use hashtag #loveforclara!

Here are just a few of the many wonderful random acts of kindness ideas for spreading goodness to strangers that we came up with… with a little help from Pinterest and a lot of help from my daughters’ imaginations!

Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

  1. Leave lottery tickets on random windshields in a parking lot.
  2. Leave an extra large tip for your restaurant server, along with a note of holiday cheer.
  3. Take a plate of homemade cookies or muffins to your local fire station.
  4. Take hot chocolate and cookies to your local librarians.
  5. Leave holiday cards for your postal workers, garbage men, etc.
  6. Pay for the groceries of the person in line behind you.
  7. Visit an assisted living facility or nursing home and spend some time visiting with the elderly. They have amazing stories, and many of them don’t have family who live close enough to visit regularly. Take holiday cards to hand out!
  8. Tape quarters to a vending machine in the hospital waiting room.
  9. Send a big plate of cookies for the teacher’s lounge at your child’s school.
  10. Go through your pantry and donate any “extras” to your local food bank.
  11. Hide single dollar bills in the toy section at a dollar store… and in the children’s section of the library!
  12. Send handwritten notes to your loved ones that live far away.
  13. Pick up trash from around your neighborhood.
  14. Donate diapers, wipes and formula to your local women’s shelter.
  15. Purchase $5 gift cards for Starbucks, Applebee’s or Target {or anywhere, pick your favorite store}, and hand them out to strangers.
  16. Smile at those around you. You don’t know what anyone else is going through and your smile might be the most important thing that they see today.
  17. Help a neighbor carry their groceries inside.
  18. Put shopping carts away for your fellow shoppers.
  19. Hold the door for others.
  20. Say thank you every chance you get!
  21. Hug your friends and tell them how much they mean to you.
  22. Give a flower to somebody special.
  23. Offer a genuine compliment to a stranger.
  24. Take flowers or get well balloons to the hospital to distribute to those who are alone.
  25. Leave a small gift by a neighbor’s doorstep.
  26. Tape candy canes to ATM machines around town.
  27. Purchase and donate a toy to “Toys for Tots”.
  28. Pay library fines for five people.
  29. Send in a box chocolates for your child’s school custodians.
  30. Volunteer to walk dogs for the Humane Society.
  31. Build a bird or squirrel feeder.
  32. Knit/crochet/sew blankets/hats/booties for babies who are in the NICU this holiday season.
  33. Buy your favorite children’s book and leave in the waiting room at the Children’s Hospital.
  34. Pick a name from the phone book and mail them a two dollar bill and a happy note.
  35. Leave kid-made bookmarks in the books at the library.
  36. Have your kids make holiday cards and deliver them to the Cancer Center or Cardiac Unit of your local hospital.
  37. Donate blood and/or become an organ donor.
  38. Donate to charity: water to build wells and provide safe drinking water to people in undeveloped countries.
  39. Send a care package to any soldier in Afghanistan. Be sure to include candy and small gifts {bouncy balls, bubbles} — my brother would hand these out to children while on patrol.
  40. Prepare and serve lunch at your local homeless shelter.
  41. Assemble care packages for homeless adults in your area.
  42. Plant a tree! Mother Earth deserves kindness, too!
  43. Take popcorn and sweet treats to the Labor & Delivery nurses at your local hospital.
  44. Same as above… but for the wonderful nurses in the NICU!
  45. Make paint chip Christmas trees — great for bookmarks or ornaments to give to loved ones.
  46. Cook a meal for an elderly neighbor or friend.
  47. Offer someone a piece of gum or candy.
  48. Go through your books and donate extras to a women’s shelter or school library.
  49. Buy and decorate a Christmas tree for a family that cannot afford their own this year.
  50. Sing Christmas carols at a nursing home or assisted living facility.
  51. Write a love note to your partner and slip it into their wallet/purse before they leave for work.
  52. Be a coupon fairy at the grocery store.
  53. Write a sweet love note for your kids and put it in their backpack or lunch bag before school.
  54. Leave a note for a manager about a particularly kind and friendly employee.
  55. Pay for another family’s or couple’s meal at a restaurant.
  56. Be a kind and conscientious driver.
  57. Take crayons and coloring books to local doctor’s offices.
  58. Feed a parking meter that has expired (or is about to).
  59. Leave a flower or holiday note on someone’s windshield.
  60. Leave all of your change in the change jar at a register.
  61. Babysit for a single parent in your life, just so they can have some time alone.
  62. Tape quarters to bubble gum machines!
  63. Ring the bell for the Salvation Army representative at the mall.
  64. Help someone whose car has broken down.
  65. Praise a parent for their child’s good behavior.
  66. Clean graffiti in your neighborhood.
  67. Sweep your neighbor’s front porch or walkway.
  68. Let someone get in line in front of you.
  69. Strike up a conversation with a stranger.
  70. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.
  71. Read to a child.
  72. Shovel snow for a neighbor.
  73. Be kind to someone you dislike.
  74. Donate $1 when asked to do so in the grocery store.
  75. Donate used clothing and toys to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
  76. Hand out lollipops to strangers. Decorate it with a holiday wish for their happiness.
  77. Tell your parents you love and appreciate them.
  78. Give someone a hug.
  79. Complain less.
  80. Make a positive comment on a blog.
  81. Take the time to email someone to tell them that their blog has touched you in some way.
  82. Put gas in someone’s car.
  83. Help someone move.
  84. Encourage your child to write a positive note to a classmate.
  85. Focus on the positive by sharing a positive blog post on Twitter & Facebook.
  86. Knit a scarf for someone who needs one.
  87. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity to help build a house for someone.
  88. Invite someone over for a holiday meal with your family.
  89. Send holiday cards to loved ones, near and far.
  90. Take treats for your coworkers and boss.
  91. Leave random change on the playground and watch kids’ delight as they find it.
  92. Place flowers on the grave of a stranger who has none.
  93. Make a list of the things you appreciate about your partner.
  94. Help others whenever possible.
  95. Ask someone about their holiday traditions.
  96. Start a piggy bank for a cause.
  97. Measure your carbon footprint and try to reduce it.
  98. Give directions to someone who is lost.
  99. Tell a parent that they are doing a great job.
  100. Be a shoulder to cry on for a friend (or a stranger).
Quite a bit of our family’s Random Kindness for Clara will be centered on NICU babies, the wonderful nurses at the hospital where Clara was born, and through our local infant loss support group.

We will be including these little cards with our acts of kindness, to honor those that we know who have also been touched by miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. You are welcome (and encouraged!) to download and print them for your own use.

You may choose a different focus for your random acts of kindness… or no focus at all except to be a kind person. Either of those, or any variation thereof, sounds wonderful to me. Go forth… and be kind. Then come back and tell me about it… or share on Twitter using hashtag #loveforclara. I can’t wait to hear your stories!

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
~ Aesop ~
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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • Anonymous

    Doing #80! This is awesome! And I must say I REALLY like #4 and #28! Actually they are all awesome! I think that making something good happen in the world is always a good idea. Love Love LOVE!

    Mishelle

  • Ddraig coch

    Tell Lakin and Addah that I thought their ideas were beautiful and very thoughtful please.x

  • I will! They were amazing… especially Addah! She came up with so many that were just inspired. We got to 60 easily… the last 40 took some internet searching and pinterest’ing. 🙂

  • JanineHuldie

    Honestly, Heather this is a beautiful idea and love all 100 thoughts you shared. I have donated already a few times in the last month my kids pretty much brand new toys to local charities with Sandy and such. My husband just text messaged me from work today about his company’s annual toys for tots that we always do and that date it starts. I have to try to run to Target in the next few days to buy a toy for a little girl and a little boy, because we always put in each box. So I have a few covered off your list so far, but think I am going to be adding to my list from your suggestions. Thank you seriously for sharing and truly inspirational!!

  • Those are GREAT suggestions! I think this is a really sweet thing you and your family are doing to remember Clara. Please consider my husband and me officially “in”. December’s a great time to start such an effort because so many people could use a little extra help. We’ll start with December and continue into the New Year. 🙂

  • Emily

    What a wonderful list of kindness actions, deeds, thoughts…just this morning I was talking to my son about donating some of his birthday presents to the Christmas toy drive at his school. We agreed to go through his presents after school to decide which ones to donate. And my other son keeps telling me about this boy at school who he has tried to help make new friends. He describes this boy as “cool” and wants to help him socially. Those are the types of actions that warm my heart. Thank you for sharing your 100 ideas…

  • Cyndi

    I love this!! I have to bookmark and share all over because you have so many wonderful ideas! #awesomesauce

  • Thank you for sharing, Emily! What awesome sons you have!

  • Thank you for joining us, Cari!

  • Your family has already done so much… that’s wonderful! You are a true inspiration! Thank you!

  • Stephanie Sprenger

    I love all those ideas. I think I will print this page out to remind me, as well as share with others. Lots of hugs!

  • Thanks Mishelle!

  • Thanks Stephanie!

  • Thank you so much Cyndi!

  • Heather, just wanted to update…we have purchased several items for various toy drives/collections. The other day I chose two simple things:1st…when I was shopping in a retail mall store I was friendly, I didn’t snub my nose as they followed me with their product and salespitch. I could see the look in the clerk’s eyes that I was making it easier on her. I’m not normally rude, I’m just wanted so focused on what I want I don’t always slow down And let them “do their job” 2nd: When exiting the gas station held the door for two ppl. One of the men stopped and said “Wow, aren’t you nice. I hope you have a Happy Holiday.”

    Also, instead of a gift exchange in my office this yr I proposed a “kindness exchange”. We drew names and are each tasked with doing something nice/thoughtful for that person before end of yr (our busiest time). It has helped us as a team to connect and appreciate each others contributions.

    I’m working on a wreath for the Tiny Touches marker where Mady is buried. I plan to include something symbolic for each child buried there. I hope that it warms the hearts of the other families that they are not alone.

  • Heather, just wanted to update…we have purchased several items for various toy drives/collections. The other day I chose two simple things:1st…when I was shopping in a retail mall store I was friendly, I didn’t snub my nose as they followed me with their product and salespitch. I could see the look in the clerk’s eyes that I was making it easier on her. I’m not normally rude, I’m just wanted so focused on what I want I don’t always slow down And let them “do their job” 2nd: When exiting the gas station held the door for two ppl. One of the men stopped and said “Wow, aren’t you nice. I hope you have a Happy Holiday.”

    Also, instead of a gift exchange in my office this yr I proposed a “kindness exchange”. We drew names and are each tasked with doing something nice/thoughtful for that person before end of yr (our busiest time). It has helped us as a team to connect and appreciate each others contributions.

    I’m working on a wreath for the Tiny Touches marker where Mady is buried. I plan to include something symbolic for each child buried there. I hope that it warms the hearts of the other families that they are not alone.

  • Thank you so much for sharing about all the wonderful things your family is doing to show kindness to those around us, Megan! It gives me chills to think of so much love being shown out of the goodness of your family’s hearts!

    Your post reminded me that I need to get an update posted on the things our family has done! Thank you for all that you do. 🙂

  • found your blog by near accident, but your story of kindness and loss rings true – i started committing random acts of kindness a few months before my miscarriage, but now i’m continuing them in honor of the baby that i lost. i hope you’re finding the healing that you deserve.

    • Thank you Jennifer. I am so sorry for your loss. I love to hear about others performing random acts of kindness… your baby’s memory is honored by the wonderful things that you do for others.