By Pam Molnar
If you have ever experienced a random act of kindness, you know what joy a simple act can produce. This month, encourage your family to spread that kindness to the people who cross your paths during the holiday season and beyond.
Simple Enough for a Child
- Collect stray carts outside the grocery store and put them back in the corrals.
- Send a note of appreciation to a coach, teacher or neighbor.
- Do a chore without being asked.
- If you see something out of place at the store, put it back where it goes.
- Start the day on the right foot. Smile and say good morning to everyone you see.
- Bring in a neighbor’s garbage cans or mail on a cold day.
- When you received prize tickets from arcade games, give them to someone else so they can get a bigger prize.
- Hand out a refreshing bottle of water to the mail carrier.
Make Someone’s Day
- Let someone ahead of you in line at the store.
- Compliment someone on her hair, clothes, nail polish, or new car.
- Ask a friend about his day and let him vent.
- Give up a great parking spot to the person behind you.
- Send a silly ecard to a friend and let her know you are thinking of her.
- Give another parent a break. Offer to babysit while she catches up on sleep or shopping.
- Write a hand-written letter to an older family member. Show him that he is worth the time.
- Share a word of encouragement with a parent who has her hands full.
- If you have to run out to the store on a cold or rainy day, be sure to ask your neighbor if he needs something.
- Pull a shy partygoer into the conversation by asking her about herself.
Share the Wealth
- Buy hot cocoa for the Salvation Army bell ringers.
- Hand out $5 gift cards at the gas station, donut shop or fast food restaurant.
- Tape coins to the machines at the Laundromat or hand out boxes of detergent.
- Place singles on items at the dollar store – the toy aisle might be the best place.
- Pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive up window, subway station or toll booth.
- Purchase a buy-one-get-one item and share it with a friend.
- Leave a generous tip for a small bill. We have all worked for tips at one time in our lives.
- Buy lunch for the service man working at your house. Pizza goes a long way when there is more than one.
- If you have an extra ticket, give it to someone who is waiting in line.
Do Something Together as a Family
- Order a gift card for Red box and hand out codes to visitors along with a bag of popcorn.
- Tape coins to the gum ball machines
- Play board games with residents at the nursing home. Bring a plate of cookies with you.
- Collect old towels and blankets for the animal shelter
- Help someone load groceries into their car and take their cart back to the corral.
- Make twice as much dinner as your family needs and give it to a neighbor – just because.
- Attach coupons to items in the grocery store
Help your fellow man
- Leave a used book at the dentist office, coffee shop or auto repair waiting room.
- Give of yourself. Sign up to be an organ, bone marrow or blood donor.
- Offer your seat to someone who needs it more on the bus, train or waiting area.
- Say “Bless you” when a stranger sneezes.
- If you find a stray dog with a collar, call him over so you can reunite him with his owner.
- If a store or restaurant employee has been kind or helpful, be sure to tell his or her boss.
- If you follow a blog, leave a comment and let the blogger know why you enjoy the blog.
- Leave a package of baby wipes in a public bathroom changing area.
- Clean off a dirty park bench or swing if a bird has been there.
Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. She is blessed to be on both the giving and receiving end of random acts of kindness.