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Nine Ways to Spread Kindness

For the holiday spirit, there’s no better feeling than being able to help someone in need or add a little surprise joy to someone’s life. Kindness is contagious and you never know if your action will inspire another to act with kindness, too. We can often become bogged down with everyday life and responsibility. Breaking the monotony and doing something special, no matter how small, can have significant benefits for you and others. Discover a little inspiration with nine ways to spread kindness within a community. You don’t have to wait for the holidays to act on these either. Here’s a tip. Pick something nice to do once a month and make a habit of spreading kindness. One of the best habits to have!

Sometimes we take the small things for granted. Helping others or bringing joy doesn’t mean handing out cash or buying the newest or hottest gift. This list goes way beyond that; It’s filled with human compassion.


This is one idea I love that my family recently did. Make a trip to your local thrift store, such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill, and buy as many walking shoes and boots as you can. Once you have a few, or a box full, donate the shoes to local shelters. It may surprise you how many homeless or those in crisis, including children, don’t have shoes that fit well or may be falling apart. Shoes can be expensive and this minor detail can turn someone’s day around.


When is the last time you received or wrote a handwritten letter or card? Handwriting special messages is fading with the ease of social media, email, and the internet. There is something special about taking the time to handwrite some kind words and giving this to someone. Anyone really. Even a stranger. This doesn’t need to be a two-page letter. Even two sentences with a simple, genuine message can brighten someone’s day. Below are two ways to spread kindness with your handwriting.

  1. Write a thank you, just hello, or holiday card and place one in every mailbox in your neighborhood. Or as many as you can.
  2. Write a thank you, just hello, or holiday card and hand this over to anyone in public service. Your mail carriers (USPS, UPS, FedEx) or sanitation service drivers are most common. We find hand delivering when least expected is best. Wait for the drivers to stop at your home and deliver with a smile. These are some of the most thankless jobs and everyone deserves a thank you and joy.
photo of vintage stationery 9 ways to spread kindness
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on


Food is a necessity for everyone and is often a difficult thing for some families to provide. With the cost of groceries on the rise, families are spending a lot more. If you find yourself with a little extra cash and want to make a significant impact, offer to pay for the family’s groceries in front of you at the checkout line. Some offers may not be accepted, however, more often than not, someone might be incredibly grateful for your giving power. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t work out. Don’t give up. Try again another day. An extra $100 saved unexpectedly could mean so much more than you know. Here are some words to start the conversation:

  1. “Today I’m paying it forward. Would you allow me to pay for your groceries? I’d love to help!”
  2. “Excuse me. I’m looking for a way to give back. May I pay for your groceries?”
  3. “It’s the season for giving and I want to help. May I pay for your groceries?”

Drive Through

Like I said, kindness is contagious. You’ve probably heard stories of the positive impact of paying for someone’s meal behind you in the drive through. These can and will sometimes go viral. All it takes is one person to start a trend worth following! If it doesn’t continue into a trend, that’s okay too. Next time you have the chance, ask the cashier if you can pay for one or all the orders placed behind you. Just imagine how big the smile and surprise will be when the cashier shares with the customer that someone paid for their meal. And as you drive away, it will fill you to the brim with good vibes!


Are you a crafter or creator? If you make something that can be useful for others, try making a special batch and donate. For example, recently I had the opportunity to donate handmade soap to an organization that was putting together many care packages for the homeless. The care packages had a lot of personal care items and soap was needed! I packaged up 40 bars for donation and it felt great to help in this way. If you have something special to donate that can help those in need, reach out to local charities or shelters and ask if the item is needed.

Public Safety

Another thankless job includes those who work in public safety. Your local police and fire departments would probably love a surprise lunch or sweet treat. You can hand deliver or ask a local sub shop or bakery to deliver to the department. If you don’t deliver yourself, be sure to ask about adding a “Thank You” note with the outstanding treats you choose. This is a guaranteed way to bring a little joy to a large group of individuals that sacrifice everyday protecting and serving you!

Used toys or Clothing

Before you decide to take that box of used toys, books, or clothes to a donation center for resale, consider a new venue that frequently gets overlooked. The local women and children’s shelter. Typically, these organizations work off of donations and very little state or local funding. These shelters provide a temporary safe living space for women and children who are displaced because of a terrible situation. Sometimes the families that receive help from these organizations arrive with nothing more than what is on their back. Reach out to a local shelter and ask what they need and share what you have available. Storage space may be limited or perhaps they have a need for gently used toys or books for certain ages.

Power and Water

Power and water are essential for everyday comfort and hygiene. Many times, the power and water companies will have accounts that fall behind and are about to turn off. Every town is unique but many times, water or power will be shut off regardless of the situation for the family and time to bring an account current is limited. With an hour of your time, you could help a family in need.

Even if it is a little help, it matters and could make the difference for someone to get back on their feet. Visit or call your local company and explain you would like to help bring someone’s account to current or help with a payment. Especially one that is about to shut off. Many companies will not question who is paying or why, and will gladly accept the payment. Imagine the hope you will share with a stranger. Everyone needs help at some point in their life.

Animal Shelter

The shelters that take care of unwanted, lost, or stray animals are frequently volunteer only and operate on donations. There are few ways to help your local animal shelter now. Purchase dog and cat food in bulk, donate old blankets and towels, or ask about volunteering some time to help clean, walk the dogs, or play with the cats. The staff are probably low in numbers and anything helps. If you love animals, this is a great way to assist. And if you are good with photography, you might be able to volunteer your time taking sweet adoption photos of the animals for the shelter to post on their website or social media.

We are not walking the rock alone, but for some, it can feel that way. Life is hard. Even the smallest gesture can have a huge impact. Give back to your community. Nothing compares to the power of a helping hand or a kind gesture.


Helping others is a great way to also help yourself. Wellness is important for everyone. Read Mindfulness is Awareness to discover new opportunity.

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