Make kindness a habit by accepting our

#EmbraceActsOfKindness Challenge.

In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day Feb. 17, we’re making February Random Acts of Kindness month.

From now until Feb. 29 (yes, it’s a leap year), consider doing regular acts of kindness — every day, one day a week, three times a week — whatever feels right to you. You could even make it a habit and continue all year long.

No matter what you decide to do or how often, your acts of kindness will brighten someone’s day and possibly change their world.

Need some inspiration? Consider these acts of kindness.

For Friends and Loved Ones

  • Tell a friend what you love about their children.
  • Call your mom or dad just to say I love you.
  • Be on time.
  • Research your family tree and share what you learned with other family members.
  • Attend an event, such as a dance recital or sporting event, of a friend’s child.
  • Send a message to a friend, letting them know you appreciate them.
  • Reconnect with an old friend you’ve lost touch with over the years. Share a memory you carry with you.
  • Forgive someone who has wronged you.
  • Make amends with someone you have wronged.
  • Do chores for a family member who could use some extra free time.
  • Donate to a friend’s favorite charity in their name.
  • Give a friend a book you think they would like.
  • Send a print of a photo you took of a friend or their child.
  • Write a letter of encouragement to a child you know is having a hard time.
  • Send a friend a helpful or inspiring article that made you think of them.
  • Figure out a friend or family member’s half birthday (six months from their full birthday) and surprise them with a little treat on that day.

For Strangers

  • Give an unexpected compliment.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Let someone cut in front of you in line.
  • Slow down so someone can merge in front of you in traffic.
  • Let someone else take that primo parking spot.
  • Put coins in an expired parking meter.
  • Buy a warm meal for someone in need.
  • Help someone carry their groceries.
  • Assist someone who looks lost.
  • Say something encouraging to a parent who’s struggling with rambunctious kids in a restaurant or grocery store.
  • Offer to return a stranger’s grocery cart to the front of the store.
  • Keep plastic bags filled with snacks and sample-size toiletries in your car to give to the homeless.
  • Donate flowers to a nursing home.
  • Hand out disposable water bottles to people working outside on a hot day.
  • Buy a gift card to hand to someone on your way out of the coffee shop.
  • Leave a great coupon next to that item in the grocery store.
  • Pass along a compliment to a service worker’s boss.
  • Take the time to write a great online review for a restaurant you love.
  • Pay for the meal of the people at the next table. (Leave before they realize what you’ve done.)
  • Learn CPR.
  • Give an extra tip and write an encouraging note along with it.
  • Keep an extra umbrella in your car to give to someone stuck in the rain.
  • Buy lemonade from a child’s lemonade stand.
  • Visit a nursing home — read books to or play board games with residents.
  • Send a care package to a service member.
  • Bring treats to your local fire station.
  • Write a thank-you note to your mail carrier.
  • Talk to a stranger at a party who looks like they don’t know anyone.
  • Smile at someone who looks sad.

For Neighbors

  • Introduce yourself, especially if you’ve lived near each other for a while but haven’t met.
  • Compliment a neighbor on a feature of their home.
  • Mow their lawn, rake their leaves or sweep their sidewalk as a surprise.
  • Make a double batch of the cookies you’re baking and take some next door.
  • Plan a neighborhood block party so everyone can get to know each other better.
  • Walk a neighbor’s dog when they have to stay late at the office.
  • Offer to babysit a neighbor’s child for free.
  • Build a “little free library” box in your yard. Put books in it for your neighbors to borrow and invite them to donate their books.
  • Make dinner for a neighbor who has just had a baby or surgery.

For Coworkers

  • Donate a vacation or sick day to a colleague who’s struggling with an illness or caring for a sick loved one.
  • Tell your boss one thing you love about them.
  • Bring in a favorite treat and leave it in the break room.
  • Compliment a colleague to your boss.
  • Deliver coffee to an office assistant.
  • Post sticky notes with uplifting messages on the bathroom mirrors.
  • Stay late for a co-worker who needs to get home.
  • Invite a co-worker who is alone over the holidays to your home to celebrate.
  • Mentor someone.
  • Write a thank-you note to someone who has helped you succeed.
  • Make friends with someone new to the company.
  • Add a positive comment to the conversation if office chatter becomes negative.
  • Tell a joke to lighten the mood when a co-worker is handling a tough assignment.

For Teachers

  • Write a thank you note to a teacher who made a difference in your life.
  • Tell the principal how much you love your child’s teacher.
  • Offer to read to your child’s class during story time.
  • Offer to make copies or do other chores for your child’s teacher.
  • Create a new bulletin board for a teacher.
  • Send in glue sticks, pencils, sticky notes and paper towels for your child’s classroom in the middle of the school year as supplies dwindle.
  • Raise money for a project on your teacher’s classroom wish list.
  • Send in hand sanitizer and tissues during flu season.
  • Send in tissues for spring allergy season.

For Nonprofits

  • Participate in a charity walk or run.
  • Give blood.
  • Donate your old cell phone or other electronics to charity.
  • Sign up for a bone marrow registry.
  • Become an organ donor.
  • Give old blankets, sheets and towels to an animal shelter.
  • Donate your unused frequent flyer miles to a charity partner of your airline.
  • Donate your old glasses.
  • Organize a donation drive for coloring books, toys and art supplies for a hospital pediatric ward.

Source: Jen Pilla Taylor, a former journalist and mother of two school-age children. 

DONATE               VOLUNTEER               MENTOR              FOSTER