Service does not have to be big or time consuming. Sometimes the best service is small, random acts of kindness. These little but meaningful acts brighten other people’s day and make them feel loved. Try one of the following ideas to surprise a stranger, friend, neighbor, or family member.
- Put coins into a parking meter running low.
- Return stray shopping carts in the parking lot so that they don’t damage cars.
- Pay for something for someone waiting behind you in line.
- Give up your seat on a bus or in a waiting room.
- Hand out or randomly leave treats for students studying in the library during midterms and finals.
- Hold open the door for people and help them carry in packages or other loads.
- Give $5 gift cards for fast food places to homeless people.
- Smile and say hello!
FOR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS:
- Doorbell ditch, leaving behind treats, a small gift, or a kind note.
- Shovel your neighbor’s driveway, weed their yard, or wash their car.
- Buy or make a lunch for your roommate(s) or a friend.
- Clean the dorm/apartment/house for your roommate(s) or a friend.
- Walk your neighbor's dog (if you and the dog are both comfortable with the idea) or help care for a pet.
- Help a lone mother with her kids at church.
- Send thoughtful texts wishing friends good luck on a test or interview, giving words of comfort or humor on a difficult day, or telling them when something reminded you of a memory together.
- Do a family member’s chores, especially when he or she is busy or wants to go out.
- Give a younger sibling a ride.
- Let a sibling borrow or use something of yours.
- Change a baby’s diaper or comfort a crying baby.
- Leave notes in your family members’ sack lunches, drawers, shoes, purses, wallets, backpacks, etc., for them to find.
- Arrange for babysitters and surprise your spouse with a date night.
- Give your spouse a massage.
- Surprise your kids with a stop for ice cream on the way home from school or errands.
Challenge: Try to do one random act of kindness everyday.