Happy World Kindness Day!
Small acts of kindness can make a big difference. As Aesop said, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
Here are 25 acts of kindness that you can do with your kids that don't cost anything.
- Make and send a card to a lonely senior citizen. You can do so through Love for the Elderly, which was founded by Jacob Cramer when he was 13.
- Hold the door and/or elevator for someone.
- Write a thank you note to a veteran or someone currently serving in the military that you can send via Operation Gratitude.
- Write positive affirmations on sticky notes and put them in a public place. This is especially among popular at middle and high schools to put them on lockers.
- Another version is to leave a note saying "You are beautiful" on a public restroom mirror.
- Or make some kindness rocks and leave them around town.
- Send a thank you note to a teacher who made a difference in your life.
- Rake your neighbor's leaves (or do some other kind of yard maintenance if you don't have an abundance of leaves like we do here in the Midwest.)
- Give someone a compliment. Better yet, give several people a compliment. Make sure you direct a few of those to folks you don't know.
- Pick up trash that isn't yours and dispose of it. This is great to do at a park, playground, or beach, but helpful no matter where you are.
"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." -Henry James
- Donate blood - kids can do so if they are 16 or older with parental permission in most states, according to the Red Cross. (If your kids can't donate, you could ask them to write notes of gratitude to those working at the donation center that you can take with you when you go.)
- See if your animal shelter will let you come play with the cats or dogs, or take dogs for a walk, or if there are any other needs there that you can meet, such as donating old towels and blankets.
- See when the next Honor Flight in your area is (they are trips that take older veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the monument erected in their honor and some of the other amazing sights there) and plan to attend the welcome home ceremony.
- Start collecting pop tabs and donate them to your area Ronald McDonald House.
- Call (yes, phones also work to place phone calls!) an older family member with whom you haven't spoken in a while just to say, "I love you."
- Text someone just to say, "I think you're awesome."
- Offer to return someone's cart to the cart corral at the grocery store, or return one that's left in the parking lot.
- Tell a librarian that you appreciate the work they do. While you're at it, see if they accept donations of books you don't want any more for a fundraising book sale or something similar.
- Bake cookies for someone not expecting them, like a neighbor, the mailman, the garbage collector, etc. (I know this isn't entirely free, but if you have items on hand, it doesn't require an additional expenditure and really, it's pretty inexpensive.)
- Gather some family or friends who play instruments or sing and do a performance at a local nursing home or senior center. You don't even have to play together, if that's too tricky, but if five of you each perform a few songs, you can have a 30 min. concert pretty quickly.
- Play on Free Rice, a United Nations Food Program that will donate rice to hungry people for every question you get right on their learning web site.
- Tell someone who did an act of kindness for you how much you appreciated it. If they inspired you to do something for someone else, let them know that, too.
- Sign up to volunteer together at a local food pantry or an organization that gets food to those in need, such as Feed My Starving Children, which is popular in the Chicago suburbs.
- Smile at someone. "A warm smile is the universal language of kindness," said William Arthur Ward.
You May Also Like: 4 ways to teach kids about compassion
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