I lost my brother in November 2020. A few months after his passing, I was at the library and I saw a flyer promoting National Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th.
My brother's birthday was February 17th. It's fitting he shares the day with Random Acts of Kindness Day: He was humble, and I was witness to his random acts of kindness a few times in his too-short life. I took it as a sign to celebrate this holiday in his memory. It both gives me a chance to share kindness with others and help with my grief.
So in honor of what would have been his 40th birthday this year, I wanted to share a list of 40 ways you, too, can practice random acts of kindness on Feb. 17, or on any day.
40 Ways to Spread Kindness on National Random Acts of Kindness Day
1. Leave a kind note in a library book for the next reader
2. Leave a "thank you" in your mailbox for your mail carrier
3. Bring donuts to your local or school library
4. Reconnect with an old friend
5. Donate water to a homeless shelter
6. Have children bring a treat to their teachers
7. Bring muffins to share with other parents waiting at practice
8. Leave an encouraging note on a shelf at the grocery store
9. Enlist your kids for help in making thank-you cards and deliver them to workers in a store you frequent
10. Leave a kind review online for a product or business you use
11. Share with someone a quality or trait of theirs that you admire
12. Praise your children when you catch them doing something kind
Sketchify | Canva
You are kind.
"You are kind" is one of the five daily affirmations I tell each of my girls.
I want my girls to believe that they are kind deep to their core, so that they, too, may share kindness with others.
13. Wave to your neighbor
14. Hold the door for the person behind you
15. Compliment someone who crosses your path today
16. Smile at a stranger
17. Visit an elderly person to let them know you're thinking about them
18. Leave change at a laundromat
19. Leave treats for your neighbor
Macaroni KID publisher Essy Chen and her daughter left kindness notes for strangers as random acts of kindness:
@macaronikidnational Spreading kindness one walk at a time #fyp #foryou #momlife #bekind #MacaroniKiD #kindness #kidsoftiktok #momsoftiktok #momtok #spreadlove #kidstiktok ♬ Thank You for Being You - OctaSounds
20. Let someone in front of you in line
21. Wave to the person crossing in front of your car
22. Leave $1 taped to a vending or game machine
23. Thank the person working in a drive-thru lane
24. Recall something kind your partner did for you recently and let them know how much you appreciate them
25. Do your least favorite job around the house without complaining
26. Leave a diaper in a public changing station
27. Buy the coffee or meal for the person behind you
28. Make a snack to share at the office
29. Bring colored pictures or cards to the elderly in a nursing home
30. Share words of encouragement to someone who needs to hear them
31. Bring a treat to your hairdresser
32. Make a double serving of your dinner meal and door drop it off at a friend's house
33. Leave a kind note on a mirror in a public bathroom
34. Share an encouraging post on social media
35. Encourage positive self-talk
36. Be kind to yourself
Karacis Studio | Canva
Don't forget yourself!
I definitely try to practice kindness towards myself when I just don't get it right. Because that happens all too often.
37. Plant a tree or flowers in a community space to beautify the area
38. Offer to babysit for a friend or family member who needs a break
39. Gift a book you love to someone with a note on why you think they'd enjoy it
40. Volunteer at a local animal shelter and spend time with the animals
Remember, random acts of kindness are not about the quantity or size of the acts, but the spirit of participation and contributing to something greater, something larger than yourself. Together, let's make this National Random Acts of Kindness Day a beautiful one and truly meaningful. Now, let's spread kindness far and wide!
Arianna Larson is the publisher of Macaroni KID Brainerd-Little Falls-Long Prairie-Mille Lacs Lake, Minn.