10 Meaningful Ways to Carry Out Random Acts of Kindness

10 Meaningful Ways to Carry Out Random Acts of Kindness

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Let’s continue celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week (Feb. 14–20).

Although few of these ideas are actually random, these 10 acts of kindness will make you and the recipient feel wonderful.

1. Invent a holiday for someone you love. I have “Mia Appreciation Day” for my wife. Your appreciation day can be as simple as picking a date and writing a thank you note each year to read out loud on that day.

2. Think of the people who have made a difference in your life. Take 45 minutes to write those people a letter telling them why they’re wonderful.

CHECK OUT: 5 Side Effects of Kindness on Health

3. Take a few minutes to send postcards to sick children who are fighting serious illnesses and want to receive mail.

4. Send cards to lonely seniors. Love for the Elderly will distribute your mail to seniors in need.

5. Put a dozen paper hearts or smiley faces in a box or on a card. Write something special on each heart about someone close to you. Make someone’s day with this gift.

6. Look for opportunities to share compliments. It takes no time, costs nothing, and will make someone feel awesome. Don’t just think it. Say it.

7. Listen. The greatest gift we can give people is our time. We can put down our phones, lift our heads up from our computers and really listen without interrupting.

LOOK: Spree of 318 Random Acts of Kindness Across Boston

8. Donate items you’re not using to people who need them. (Here’s a list of places to donate things in the US). And, it doesn’t get easier than this – through Give Back Box you can box up household items, games, clothing or other items you no longer need, and Give Back Box provides a prepaid shipping label so you can ship the items to Goodwill at no charge. This is only offered in the US. (Goodwill is a nonprofit that provides job training and jobs.)

9. Follow up. When my friend Mary was diagnosed with cancer, she received overwhelming support. However, as her lengthy treatment progressed, the support waned. Because of that, Mary now finds a reason to send a note or reach out every few weeks when someone she knows has cancer. A divorced friend told me something similar. He said it felt like everyone forgot about him a few months after his divorce, even though it was still tough.

Let’s reach out months after a trauma (disease, divorce, death, etc.). My friends said that even an occasional note makes a big difference, and even if the person sending the note wasn’t a close friend.

This is a great week to send a few notes.

10. Only have a minute? Text or email someone right now, to tell them you’re thinking about them.

Adapted from Brad Aronson’s blog. For Brad’s full list of Random Acts of Kindness, check out 98 Random Acts of Kindness on Brad’s blog.