10 Random Acts of Kindness ...

How great would the world be if everyone performed even just one random act of kindness every day? Having your kids, your spouse, or your friends partake in a "random acts of kindness day" is a great way to bond and spread happiness all at the same time! There is even a Random Acts of Kindness Foundation that was started which aims to help everyone create a better world by spreading awareness and increasing engagement in kind actions. I'm here to get you started with 10 Random Acts of Kindness that you can do!

1. Leave a Gift for Your Server

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Coming from a former waitress, the life of a server is tough! Any little mistake can lower your tips and send you home with less money than needed to pay your bills. Not to mention you have to deal with nasty customers, the kitchen staff which is usually a bunch of men hitting on you, and having to work long hours with little to no breaks. I received a very generous tip one time and it made my whole day so much better! If you can afford it (and if your waitress/waiter was actually nice) leave an overly generous tip. If you can't afford putting down the extra money, leave a small gift instead! Even if it's some cookies or a small stuffed animal. I guarantee you just helped someone to get through the rest of their day with a smile. I advise leaving some tip however if you do decide to leave a gift, as an untipped table will come out of a waiter/waitresses' tips at the end of the night.

2. Bring Flowers to the Hospital

(Your reaction) Thank you!

The hospital is always filled with people who could use a reason to smile. There are a lot of elderly people who practically live in the hospital, patients who don't have families to come visit them, or kids who are confined to the hospital and don't get to live a regular childhood. Ask one of the nurses who could use the flowers the most. Then go visit the patient with the flowers and stay and talk for a while. Just showing that someone cares can be the boost that person needs to get through this hard time in their lives.

3. Bring a Homeless Person a Meal

(Your reaction) Thank you!

A lot of people are wary about handing a homeless person money as they don't know what they are going to spend it on. Most worry that it will go towards drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes instead of necessities like food or shelter. So a good way to know you're helping them is by bringing them a meal. Either cook one yourself or buy one from a nearby restaurant. Another good thing to give the homeless are care package bags filled with some essentials that they may need such as a tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant, snacks, soap, etc.

4. Put Coins into Expired Parking Meters

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Have you ever walked by a parking meter whose time was up and there was a car in the spot? Instead of just walking by next time, add some extra coins to the meter. If you want to show the person whose car you just saved from a ticket that you helped, leave a note under the windshield wiper of the car telling them to pass on this random act of kindness. If you live by an area where there are a lot of parking meters, take a walk past them once a month with a bag of coins and have you or your kids find expired meters with cars still in the lot to put them in.

5. Pay for a Stranger's Coffee

(Your reaction) Thank you!

While paying for your morning coffee, give a little extra cash to the cashier and say you want to pay for the next person's coffee. Then walk out before the next customer gets to the register and has time to object. It will be a great way for the other person to start their day! Not to mention the great feeling you'll have for helping someone in a small way.

6. Pay the Toll for the Driver behind You

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Following the last idea, if you have to go through a toll booth, give the teller the toll charge for the car behind you. The teller may look at you strange and even ask why. Just say to tell the other car that they were paid for by the person in front of them and to pass on this little random act of kindness in some way.

7. Leave Coins at a Vending Machine

(Your reaction) Thank you!

In a plastic zip lock bag, leave a dollar in coins taped to a vending machine. Make sure to leave a note so others know why this was left. Something that says that this is a random act of kindness and that you hope the person who finds this money will perform a random act of kindness too.

8. Send a Gift Just Because

(Your reaction) Thank you!

It's rare that someone gives you a gift "just because" so when it actually does happen, it can instantly make your whole day better. There are always times where people feel like no one is thinking of them or cares about them. This small gift can help brighten someone's mood and change their attitude. If you know a friend or family member is going through a tough time, send them a teddy bear or flowers "just because." I guarantee they will appreciate knowing that someone is thinking of them. This is also good to do for your local librarians, firefighters, etc.

9. Leave a Dollar in a Library Book

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Leave a dollar and a note to go along with it in a library book that you borrow and then return it. Yes, it's just a dollar, but how excited do you get when you find even a tiny bit of money in those jeans you haven't worn in a while? Plus a lot of people who do go to the library may not be able to afford buying books and could use any extra money that they can get. You can also hide dollars in other places for people to find. Have your kids hide them in the toys section of your local dollar store, or hide coins at your local playground for other kids to find.

10. Holiday Money Jar

(Your reaction) Thank you!

At the beginning of a new year, have you and your family put all of their loose change into a large jar. When it is the end of the year in December, leave the jar and a note on the doorstep of someone who can use the extra money. Make sure to ring the doorbell and run! Then hide and watch to make sure your gift has been found. The look on their faces alone will make it all worth while.

If you noticed, after most of these ideas I made sure to write that you should leave a note encouraging others to pass on this random act of kindness. The only way to make the world a better place through random acts of kindness, is if it starts a chain reaction. You never know whose day you just changed or whose faith in humanity you helped to restore by performing such a small gesture. Have you ever performed a random act of kindness for someone? Tell me your story!

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