Random Acts is a charity set up by Supernatural star Misha Collins. As a kid, Misha was briefly homeless and his family was the recipient of a random act of kindness that helped them to get back on their feet. When he grew up, Misha got into acting with the idea in the back of his mind that any fame he might acquire along the way could be used to do good. So that’s exactly what he did.
Recently, for example, following the massacre in Orlando, the fantastic Random Acts team were inspired by local volunteers to put together their own plan to give back to emergency responders who went above and beyond to help those affected.
They teamed up with volunteers from Orlando Power and Full Sail University to put together over a thousand care packages, which were given out to first responders and attendees at a candlelit vigil later that night. In total, they created and distributed around 1,500 packages by the end of the day.
But if you don’t have the time or the money to contribute to the good work that they do, here are thirty ideas for random acts of kindness that you can do right now, in your community and at very little personal cost.
1. Say thank you to the bus driver, receptionist at the dentist, checkout staff at the supermarket, etc. Everyone and anyone who makes your life just a little bit easier.
2. Buy a homeless person a cup of tea or a large bottle of water. Or several bottles of water if you have a little more cash to spend.
3. Give your loose/spare change to the next busker you see.
4. Don’t write that angry tweet or YouTube comment – take a deep breath and remember how you’d want to be treated. How would you feel if someone posted that comment on your video or sent you that tweet?
5. Ask your elderly neighbors (or neighbors in general) if you can get groceries for them or mow their lawn.
6. Just listen. Don’t comment or offer advice or interject with your point of view, just listen.
7. Cook dinner for a friend, parent, or significant other.
8. Donate your old clothes to charity or give them away for free on Craigslist.
9. Smile at people on the street, just because you can.
10. Share your friend’s Etsy shop, blog post, YouTube video, etc, on social media and let everyone know how great it is.
11. Instead of squashing the creepy crawley that’s made its way into your house, scoop it up on a bit of cardboard (with a glass over the top) and let it out into the wild of your back garden.
12. Let the person behind you in the supermarket checkout queue go in front of you if they look like they’re in a big hurry or they only have a couple of items in their basket.
13. Lend someone a copy of your favorite book.
14. Take part in the annual Project for Awesome (P4A) this December. P4A is the brainchild of vloggers, writers and entrepreneurs Hank and John Green. During P4A, thousands of people create and post videos about and advocating for their chosen charities. These are uploaded to the project’s website and you can vote for your favorites to determine which charities get funding. There’ll also be an Indiegogo page with various perks and a livestream hosted by John and Hank. All the money raised goes to charity.
15. Give someone a hug (make sure you ask if it’s okay with them first, not everyone likes being touched spontaneously).
16. Make your co-worker a cup of tea.
17. Call someone you love and have a chat, just because – and especially if you haven’t seen them in a while.
18. If you’re a good photographer, offer to take photographs for free for a local dance, acting, or singing group at their next performance. They won’t have to pay for a photographer and chances are, you’ll get a credit when they use the finished product!
19. Smile :)
20. Be the person who puts a tip in the tip jar at your regular coffee spot. It doesn’t have to be very much – fewer people leave tips than you’d think, but every little bit helps.
21. Leave sticky notes with positive slogans on the mirrors in public toilets.
22. Make your partner breakfast in bed.
23. Hold the lift!
24. Offer to help someone move.
25. Instead of sending anonymous hate on Tumblr, send anonymous love instead. Compliment someone’s blog or just ask them how their day’s going.
26. Babysit your sibling’s kid(s) so they can have a night out with their significant other.
27. Teach someone how to cook your favorite meal. Or their favorite meal.
28. Find a public wish list on Amazon and buy a small gift for a stranger.
29. Organize a litter pickup in your local park, then invite everyone who turns up to a picnic afterwards.
30. Cook yourself a healthy meal and savor every bite. Random acts of kindness don’t only have to be for other people – remember to be kind to yourself as well!