When it comes to ways to pay it forward, there are thousands of simple ideas for making someone’s day! Whether it’s for a stranger, coworker, kids, or someone you love dearly, acts of kindness bring joy to those around you. So if you’re ready to be a bright spot in another person’s week, but you’re not yet sure how to pay it forward? Check out our random acts of kindness list below to see how to get started spreading smiles and joy!
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Strangers
Have you ever wanted to make a stranger’s day? Sometimes, the best ways to pay it forward are the simplest! Try out these easy ideas on someone you’ve never met before.
Hold the Door
This is the old-school way to make someone’s day. Take an extra moment or two to hold the door for those around you!
When it comes to simple ways to pay it forward, this is about as basic as it gets. But the truth is, you never know who needs that little demonstration of kindness in their day!
Pay for a Stranger’s Coffee
If you have a few dollars to spare, consider paying for someone’s coffee or food in line behind you!
Let Someone Line Jump
Not in a hurry at the grocery store? Another easy way to pay it forward is to let someone else go ahead of you in line!
Be a Parking Meter Fairy
Parking tickets can quickly ruin someone’s day. Use your extra quarters and feed the expiring meters on the block.
Donate Things You Rarely Use
Not sure what to donate where? Check out our list on where to donate items to do the most good!
Write a Letter to a Service Member
Thank a veteran or active duty military for their service by sending a thank you email or letter.
Leave Coupons Behind
If you have extra coupons, pin them to a community board or leave them at the register. You never know who could benefit from these acts of kindness to strangers.
Leave a Yelp Review
A classic way to pay it forward is to recognize great service at a restaurant or local business. Whether it’s an exceptional waitress or a store with great products, take a few minutes to publicly commend them.
Welcome New Neighbors
Go above and beyond to a make the new family in the neighborhood feel welcome! Check out these ideas on how to make new residents feel at home.
Make an appointment to donate blood. You can help save three lives with one donation!
Run for a Cause
Participate in a fundraiser run! You don’t have to be fast. Most events allow you to walk, as long as you’re helping to raise money for a good cause.
Help Someone Change a Tire
We get it. You’re often in a hurry when you’re driving. But next time you see a stranger experiencing car trouble, take the time to see how you can help.
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Coworkers
The workplace can be stressful for everyone. So why not try to brighten a coworker’s day? Make your job a little more cheery, and give these random acts of kindness ideas at work a try.
Everyone loves food day at work! Be the one to surprise the office with bagels, cookies, fresh fruit, or some other tasty treat.
Give a Coworker a Compliment
Whether someone in the office went above and beyond on a project or simply has a great attitude everyday, tell them why you appreciate them!
Host a Lunch-N-Learn
Help your coworkers learn something useful! This adds excitement to the day and helps people pick up new skills. Bonus points if you provide the food!
Leave a Review on LinkedIn
Do you have a coworker who does an exceptional job? Take the time to endorse them or write a review on LinkedIn.
Invite Someone New to Lunch
Ask someone new to lunch and mix up your normal routine with this random act of kindness for the workplace!
Donate Vacation Time
Giving away your precious vacation time is a big sacrifice. But if a coworker has a sick family member or another difficult situation, consider donating some of your vacation time.
Organize a Day of Volunteering
Take the reins on encouraging your office to give back! Plan a day to volunteer at a soup kitchen or participate in a local community park cleanup.
Save your coworkers the fuss and be the one to make a fresh pot of coffee!
Clean the Microwave
This may not be the most glamorous way to pay it forward, but it’s an easy way to improve the day-to-day atmosphere for those around you.
If you have an office library, consider donating career books you’re no longer using.
Say Hello in the Elevator
This act of kindness takes very little time and energy. Simply take the time to acknowledge the people sharing the elevator with you.
Mentor a Coworker
Have you been at your job for a while? Share your knowledge and expertise with someone new!
Thank Your Boss
The people in charge don’t hear good things enough. If your boss is doing a great job, let them know!
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Kids
Teaching children how to be kind and pay it forward early goes a long way in raising good kids! Check out these excellent ideas that are perfect for the whole family to try.
Leave a Note in a Library Book
One random act of kindness idea for school is to help your kid write little inspirational notes and leave them tucked inside library books.
Help a Homeless Person
Show your children how to be compassionate by bringing food to a homeless person or stopping and asking how you can help.
Donate Lemonade Stand Money
Lemonade stands are a childhood staple! Have kids donate some or all of the profits.
Thank a Teacher
Help your child write a thank you note to their favorite teacher, librarian, lunch lady, or janitor at school!
Visit a Nursing Home
Some of the best random acts of kindness ideas for kids involve teaching them the importance of quality time. Take them to spend time with elderly individuals who greatly appreciate the companionship!
Give Away Stickers
Take an extra page of stickers to school and share them with everyone in class!
Start a Kindness Club
Start a club dedicated to acts of kindness at school. See how one class of first grade students started a kind kids club at their school.
Fill your driveway and surrounding sidewalks with messages of encouragement!
Make Bird Feeders
Animals need kindness, too! Creating bird feeders is a great activity for school.
Be the Neighborhood Dog Walker
Offer to take a neighbor’s pet for a walk. Their dog gets exercise, and your child gets to spend time with a furry friend.
Give High Fives
Exchanging high fives is a simple act of kindness idea for kids that’s sure to generate a lot of smiles!
Start a Little Free Library
Get the whole family or classroom together to build a tiny lending library. Don’t forget to register your Little Free Library when you’re finished!
Adopt a Pet
Make your child’s dream come true, and give an animal in need a loving home!
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Loved Ones
Last, but certainly not least, doing acts of kindness for the everyday people in your life is an important way to remind them that you care. Here are some great ideas to try!
Surprise a Friend at Work
Stop by your friend’s office with coffee or lunch.
Send Encouraging Texts
Text a friend to say “Happy Monday,” or remind them why you love them! This is an especially great random act of kindness idea for teenagers who love to text.
Leave Encouraging Notes
Tuck a note into your spouse’s or kid’s lunch to show them how much you care!
Mow Your Neighbor’s Lawn
Helping out with yard work is one of the original random acts of kindness. Whether it’s mowing the lawn or helping pick up leaves, these little things make a big difference!
Mail an Old Friend a Letter
Surprise a friend, near or far, with a letter! Taking the time to write a handwritten note is a great way to pay it forward!
Wash a Family Member’s Car
Whether it’s running it through an automated wash or putting in the work yourself, this act of kindness saves the person you love time and reminds them that they matter to you!
Coach Your Kid’s Team
Put your high school volleyball or football skills to use and coach your child’s club team.
Give More Hugs
How many hugs do you give a day? Whatever the number, you can help the people in your life feel loved and supported by giving out more frequent hugs!
Venmo a Friend
If you have $5 to spare, send it to a friend with a note to treat themselves to a coffee or ice cream!
Call Your Grandparents
Or your aunt. Or the cousin you never see. Calling someone to see how they are is an easy act of kindness!
Write Encouragements on the Mirror
Remind someone in your house that they look amazing by writing words of encouragement on their mirror.
Make your family’s favorite meal for dinner or take a casserole to a busy friend.
Say “I Love You” More
Being kind doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. Simply reminding the people who matter how much you love them is an easy way to make someone’s day!
Remember that no matter how big or small, random acts of kindness help spread good in the world! Choose an idea on the list or make a calendar to help you stay accountable to paying it forward. There’s no wrong way to spread joy!