Make someone’s day
National Random Acts of Kindness Day celebrates random acts of kindness. …and best of all, it takes place this weekend on 17 February!
Kindness is a character strength that’s more important than ever as we navigate a world which suffers from intolerance, cyberbullying and negative role models. A random act of kindness can change someone’s day for the better. Whether they are a stranger or a loved one, you can make a difference.
Check out these lovely little ideas to help inspire you!
Pay someone’s petrol bill
This is quite a big financial gesture, but if you can afford it and you get to the till first, this will make a huge impact. You never know what someone might be going through – more often than not someone is struggling with one area of their life and a big gesture like this could really lift their spirits.
Make a donation
Choose a small charity or organisation where any size of monetary donation will be a huge surprise and will make a big impact. A charitable donation to a small charity or your local refuge centre?
Help a friend give up a destructive habit
Particularly a vice which seriously damages their health like smoking. Show a friend that you care about their wellbeing by buying them a vape starter kit and tell them that you have read about the NHS promoting the benefits of vaping without preaching to them. Don’t be that friend who turns a blind eye when their health is at stake. A gesture like this may add years on to their life – it’s a big one.
Send a card of thanks to the emergency services
Hospital staff, military, fire or police services – there is a vast number of jobs out there where people are working 24/7 for very little financial reward. A note of encouragement may spur them on to continue their vocation knowing that they are appreciated.
Make a clothes donation to a local refugee collection centre
Call them before donating as they will have a list of most-needed items alongside particular items of clothing such as nappies, sanitary towels or blankets.
Check in on neighbours
They might smile at you every day, give you a seemingly bright and cheerful wave or keep themselves to themselves – it is impossible to know who is lonely unless you make contact. Invite them over for a meal or a cup of tea. A neighbour might be feeling desperate, but hiding behind a brave face.
Communities only run with the help of volunteers. Investigate your local meals-on-wheels organisation or ask around community centres as quite often there are local elderly people who need someone to drive them to hospital appointments.
Leave an inspirational note or bookmark in a book
You could also include a five pound note if you are feeling flush for someone to buy themselves a coffee. This is a small, discreet and selfless thing that you can do to make a stranger’s day. Perhaps you will inspire them to do the same, and then the chain of kindness continues.
Give a voucher to someone you think might need it
Do you have any gift vouchers at home that you haven’t used yet? You can gift them to someone you think deserves it – that may be a loved one, a colleague, your postie, or the person who delivers your supermarket order.
Make up a care package for a homeless person
You might be surprised at how similar a homeless person’s story is to your own and how a run of bad luck made them homeless. Take the time to talk to them, rather than just walk on by. The Homeless Period campaigns for sanitary towels and tampons to be provided for women in homeless shelters (at the moment only condoms are provided!) Homeless women are resorting to using socks and newspapers during their periods – shocking stuff in this day and age. Alternatively, Share the Dignity encourage women to fill up an old handbag full of sanitary products and donate it.
Visit an elderly care home
Take fresh flowers with you to cheer up their communal areas and chat to the residents. Care homes can be lonely places where the residents are desperate for some younger company. Some elderly people might not have any family to visit them, so their days might be long and depressing. A visit will make a huge impact. People avoid care and nursing homes or simply don’t think about them – help to change this.
Post a parcel and write a letter
In today’s digital society handwritten letters and personal parcels are becoming less common – take advantage of this and make someone’s day with a specially compiled parcel and letter to a friend, loved one or family member telling them how awesome they are.
Spread some kindness online
Fight off those trolls and haters – praise a local business online, leaving them a glittering review on TripAdvisor or a local group (if they deserve it). Post messages of support on lesbian and bi chat rooms and forums if you read about someone reaching out to the community as they are having a hard time.
Pay for a stranger’s parking
It can be as simple as handing out a car park ticket that you have paid for for the day but no longer need. Alternatively pay for an extra ticket and hand it to the next person who comes to buy a ticket at the machine – guaranteed you will bring a smile to their face!
Quite often acts of kindness are unplanned. If you see a mother looking exhausted in a supermarket with small children voicing their boredom, tell her she is doing a great job. If you hear a friend has had a hard time or is ill, leave some wine and chocolates on their doorstep or drop over a meal. Tell a friend they look good, or if you see a stranger with an item of clothing you like ask them where it is from and compliment them. Tell someone why they inspire you. Pay for a stranger’s shopping iâ€‹f you see them struggling for change, or leave a positive message for a friend on social media
In a world where depression and anxiety is rife, these gestures have value, set a great example for the next generation to build on – and all add up a kinder community.