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170 Random Acts of Kindness --Inspiration and Ideas


I worked a fundraiser this weekend, and I saw a lot of people giving for the benefit of others. It was inspiring, and so I looked around and found this! Do just one thing on this list today, it's that easy, and spread the smiles!!

1. Leave a quarter in the return slot of the pay phone.
2. Send twenty dollars anonymously to a college student you know could use it.
3. Put a quarter in the parking meter to help someone else avoid a ticket.
4. Leave pennies in the restaurant penny dish.
5. Let cashiers "keep the change."

6. Over-tip a taxi driver who drove particularly well.
7. Throw a dollar into the instrument case of a street musician.
8. Make an anonymous charitable donation.
9. Leave discount coupons out where people can find them.
10. Give a waitress or other customer service worker a generous tip.

11. Pay the tab of a person eating alone in a restaurant.
12. Give a little more money than necessary to the man selling newspapers on the sidewalk.
13. Pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through.
14. Unexpectedly grab the check at lunch.
15. Cancel a personal loan you made to someone.

16. Send an inspirational quote or message to a friend who's down.
17. Say a prayer for someone in need.
18. Leave nice comments on someone's blog.
19. Write a letter of appreciation to someone who helped you earlier in life.
20. Create handmade cards to distribute to people you care about.

21. Send thank you notes to people as often as you can think of a reason to offer thanks.
22. Write encouraging notes on $1 bills and tuck them where people will find them.
23. Clip and send articles you know would be of interest to others.
24. Write notes of appreciation to helpful community groups.
25. Send a Facebook message to a friend and tell them something you appreciate about them.

26. Send your favorite recipe to someone you know will enjoy it.
27. Send a letter to a soldier deployed overseas.
28. Leave a helpful note for a delivery person.
29. Give a co-worker a pat on the back.
30. Bake cookies and ship them to your favorite college student.

31. Encourage a friend to pursue their goal.
32. Give praise to customer service representatives who have inherited your problem.
33. Serve as a mentor to someone rising in your profession.
34. Send a Valentine's day card to a single friend on February 14th.
35. Tuck notes telling a loved one how much you care about them into their favorite book.

36. Give your garbage man or mail carrier a card thanking them for their service.
37. Leave uplifting notes in library books.
38. Send a friend discount coupons that you can't use.
39. Leave a treat for your postal carrier.
40. Write a letter to management praising one of their employees.

41. Bring a box of donuts to the auto mechanics and staff at the repair shop.
42. Give a co-worker tickets to a concert or sporting event.
43. Send someone you love flowers from a "secret admirer."
44. Give a flower to an elderly woman as she walks by.
45. Give treats to your neighbors' pets.

46. Send a bouquet of flowers to your favorite teacher.
47. Leave cookies for Santa.
48. Give a Christmas present to one of your professors.
49. Pick one day out of the week to smile at everyone.
50. Ask the bus driver to wait when you see someone hurrying to make the bus.

51. Offer to help someone on crutches.
52. Let someone go ahead of you in the bank line when you sense they're in a hurry.
53. Relinquish your seat on the bus or subway.
54. Let someone cut in front of you on the highway without giving them the horn.
55. Carry an elderly neighbor's groceries.

56. Pick up a stray piece of litter left by others.
57. Bring your shopping cart all the way back to the store after loading up your car.
58. As a motorist, give people plenty of time to cross the street.
59. Help your neighbor take heavy items for recycling out to the curb.
60. Roll your neighbor's trash out to the curb when you see that they forgot.

61. Shop for someone who is homebound or bed-ridden.
62. Collect the newspapers piling up in the yard of a vacationing neighbor.
63. Allow your staff to take off a few minutes early.
64. Offer to drive even when it's not your turn.
65. Write a sweet note to a family member with a dry erase marker on their bathroom mirror.

66. Drive slowly in neighborhoods filled with children.
67. Hand a bottle of water to a worker who toils in the sun.
68. Hold the door for strangers, especially those with children.
69. Wash a friend's car.
70. Empty the dishwasher, clean the bathroom, or find a different household chore someone else normally does and do it for them.

71. Make a family member's favorite meal.
72. Rake leaves for a senior citizen in your neighborhood.
73. Pick up something that someone has dropped.
74. Help someone load their groceries into their car.
75. Mow a neighbor's lawn.

76. Scrape the ice off a neighbor's car for them before they leave for work.
77. Show your family you care by doing chores and assignments not asked of you.
78. Stop to help a student who dropped their books.
79. Park far away.
80. Help a musician to fill the seats at his next concert.

81. Make breakfast in bed for a loved one.
82. Instead of leaving your clothes in the dressing room at the store, put them back on the rack.
83. Offer your expert assistance to someone who's struggling.
84. Give a tissue to a stranger who sneezes.
85. Stop for someone who's having car trouble.

86. Offer a blanket to a street person.
87. Walk your neighbors pet if they are feeling sick or too tired to do so.
88. Do yard work for friends or family members.
89. Bring a sick friend some soup.
90. Offer to cook for a busy friend.

91. Bake brownies or muffins to give to elderly people you know.
92. Keep your bird feeder full.
93. Recycle as often as you can.
94. Patronize green product and service vendors.
95. Ride a bike instead of driving.

96. Initiate a neighborhood clean-up project.
97. Visit the animals at the pet shelter.
98. Fix something at a park or community space without seeking reward.
99. Help a foreign visitor navigate his way.
100. Attend holiday events at places of worship outside your own religion.

101. Learn some key phrases in the language of immigrants that you know.
102. Vote, and encourage others to vote, without taking sides.
103. Extend a small courtesy to someone who is not of your race or religion.
104. Thank volunteers at events for their service.
105. Find an organization that helps feed and clothe poor children overseas, and consider sponsoring a child for a small amount of money each month.

106. Volunteer a few hours of your time at a local charity of your choosing.
107. Host a charitable, social, or civic group at your home.
108. Buy the Girl Scout cookies, even if you end up giving them away.
109. Handle the phone pledges at your local PBS station.
110. Introduce yourself to someone you see regularly, but have never spoken to.

111. Collect magazines for distribution to hospital patients.
112. Give boxes of old books to schools, libraries, or nursing homes.
113. Donate old computers and peripherals to charitable organizations.
114. Sign up to be an organ donor.
115. Give blood at the red cross.

116. Donate the canned foods that have been sitting on your shelf for months to your local food pantry or shelter.
117. Donate all excess items in your home to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
118. Give to a charity of your choosing.
119. Volunteer to help at your school's library.
120. Initiate a neighborhood watch committee.

121. Participate in an Adopt-a-Highway program.
122. Buy multiple copies of your favorite books and donate them to libraries.
123. Tell your waiter to please compliment the chef when served a great dish.
124. Let someone vent without responding in kind.
125. Fill a bag with shoes, clothes, and toys you never use and donate them to your local Goodwill store.

126. Give a compliment, out of the blue, to a stranger.
127. Speak kindly to those who may have slighted you.
128. Let the other party do most of the talking.
129. Be agreeable when the issue is a relatively small one for you.
130. Really listen to members of your family.

131. Come home from work free of all work-related tasks and thoughts.
132. Randomly thank police officers and firefighters for their service.
133. Thank members of the armed forces for their service when you see them.
134. Call an old friend out of the blue.
135. Genuinely talk to your cab driver.

136. Reconnect with an estranged family member.
137. Apologize for something that happened a long time ago.
138. Give an adversary the benefit of the doubt.
139. Speak well of someone.
140. Write down a few things you like about someone and email the list to him or her.

141. Listen intently to someone who needs to be heard.
142. Stop gossip in its tracks.
143. Tell a lady who's obviously put some effort into her appearance that she looks nice.
144. Tell a tired mom in a grocery store that her kids are well-behaved.
145. Make some handmade cards with your kids and take them to a nursing home on the next holiday.

146. Greet someone enthusiastically with a firm handshake or a bear hug.
147. Make eye contact, and smile.
148. Tell someone how much you love their outfit.
149. Turn off your cell phone and have lunch with a parent.
150. Leave your mailman Christmas cookies and a thank you note.

151. Tell someone how much you love their outfit.
152. Always let a pedestrian cross in front of your car.
153. Make breakfast in bed for a loved one.
154. Give someone flowers for no reason.
155. Surprise someone.

156. Be overly excited to see someone.
157. On your next Starbucks visit, buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
158. Purchase a handful of $5 McDonald's gift cards, and keep them in your car to give to homeless people you pass when driving around town.
159. Volunteer for a couple hours at your local soup kitchen or food pantry.
160. Offer to babysit your neighbors' kids for free one night while enjoy a dinner out.

161. Mention your friend in a Tweet when something reminds you of him or her.
162. Call a grandparent or other relative with whom you haven't spoken in a while.
163. Keep some change in your car or pocket to give to homeless people you drive or walk by.
164. Text your friend an inspiring quote or verse when they might be having a hard week.
165. Take a homemade meal to a sick or elderly neighbor.

166. Spend an extra minute or two checking out at the grocery store to ask the clerk how his or her day has been.
167. When canned food items go on sale at the grocery store, buy as many as you can and drop them off at your community food bank.
168. Leave your cell phone in your car the next time you meet a friend for lunch or coffee so that you can focus on that person.
169. The next time you're on a walk or at the neighborhood park, pick up any trash you see.
170. Teach a child in your neighborhood a new sport or help him with his homework.

Christie Ray Harrison is a student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. She will graduate in May 2012 with a degree in Editing and Graphic Design. She has experience in a wide variety of journalism-related industries, including copyediting, graphic design, public relations, writing, magazine design, social media, marketing and web design. She can be found online at http://www.linkedin.com/in/christierayharrison.

Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," a preeminent time management authority, the author of 56 mainstream books, and an electrifying professional speaker, making 778 presentations since 1985. He the author of "Breathing Space," and "Simpler Living," and his 60 Second Series with Adams Media, including the 60-Second Organizer, 60-Second Self-Starter, and 60-Second Innovator, are popular titles in China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Poland, Spain, France, and Brazil. Jeff can be found online at http://www.BreathingSpace.com.

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