101 Little Actions that Make a Big Difference through Signature Kindness | Kids Out and About Memphis

101 Little Actions that Make a Big Difference through Signature Kindness

by Carol White Llewellyn

You don't have to be a millionaire to make an impact in other people's lives. All you have to do is step forth each day with the mission of making a positive difference, which I call a signature kindness.

 

Kindness has no wearout factor, and it's always good for the environment. It benefits the giver as well as the receiver. It's something in which you can involve children. It makes the world a little bit better and puts a smile on others' faces. And couldn't we all use more reasons to smile?

 

You may have your own signature kindnesses, which is great! But if you're looking for inspiration, check out our list below, submitted by readers and borrowed from friends. And the more we thought and looked around, the more ideas we came up with, so we're well over 101 now! If you kown of some we should add, please get in touch!

  1. Add a previously-read book to a local “little library” or share it with a friend (or start your own Little Free Library!)
  2. Stash chocolate bars in your bag to distribute randomly to friends (a signature kindness of Laura C.)
  3. Bake seasonal bread loaves and drop one off at a neighbor’s house
  4. Mow the lawn, rake leaves or shovel the walk after it snows for an elderly or infirm friend or neighbor
  5. Can preserves and give them to friends (a signature kindness of June S.)
  6. Purchase gift cards for coffee and distribute them to front line workers
  7. BeYoutiful stonePaint stones with designs or positive messages and adorn a path or walkway (photos of stones found throughout my neighborhood)
  8. Send a “thinking of you” or "keep your chin up) card or inspirational note to a friend or relative (a signature kindness of Elaine E.)
  9. Surprise a friend or relative who enjoys cooking with hand-crafted potholders
  10. Clean out your closet, attic or basement and donate the items
  11. Send someone you love an uplifting video message
  12. Read a story over Zoom, Facetime or Skype to a grandchild you can’t visit
  13. Send a favorite recipe to a friend or family member
  14. Donate blood (a signature kindness of my husband, Ted L.)
  15. Pay for the coffee or breakfast of the person behind you in line
  16. Cook a meal and drop it off at the home of a friend who’s struggling or ill
  17. Make masks against the Coronavirus and gift them to friends (Kelly C.)
  18. Collect fallen leaves and make a leaf bouquet as a gift (example 2)
  19. Share a beautiful photo on social media, and tag friends to do the same
  20. Post the image and description of a missing pet to help find its owner (a signature kindness of Mindy M. and Allison W.)
  21. Do a chore for your spouse or partner that s/he normally does, as a surprise
  22. Join a club whose mission is doing volunteer work (a signature kindness of Danielle and Nicole L.)
  23. Run an errand for a neighbor who can’t get out ( a signature kindness of Marcia T.)
  24. Take a trash bag on your nature walk, to pick up trash that litters the path (a signature kindness of my sister, Ellen)
  25. Offer to take the photo of a couple or family so everyone can be included full-frame
  26. Buy local
  27. Create an “adult blackboard” on your driveway or sidewalk and leave inspirational messages and quotes (Thanks to Kathleen G. for this suggestion. Photo contributed by Kathleen)
  28. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter
  29. Write a note or letter to an individual you admire
  30. Create a piece of artwork and give it to someone you love, for no reason at all
  31. Donate a gently-used coat to a coat drive
  32. If you play an instrument or sing, make a recording or video and send it to a friend
  33. Let someone cut in ahead of you in a store line or on the highway
  34. Add a photo or “memory” message on social media, rather than only the words “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary”
  35. Make a pomander ball with an orange and cloves to give to a friend or neighbor
  36. Call a friend, out of the blue, you haven’t spoken with in a while
  37. At stores offering the option, round up at the register to give to a charity
  38. Volunteer to a cause
  39. Share an article with a friend that you think would be of interest (a signature kindness of Laurie K.)
  40. Help a child with homework
  41. Surprise someone with an off-season birthday cake
  42. Send a gift to someone for no reason at all (A signature kindness of Deb. R. and June S.)
  43. Participate in Bring Smiles to Seniors or Lola’s Smile Bunch, to brighten seniors’ day by sending greeting cards (Thanks to Nancy M. for this suggestion)
  44. Join Zooniverse to participate in research with over 50 active online citizen science projects (Thanks to Nancy M. for this suggestion as well)
  45. Give a stranger (or friend) a compliment
  46. Participate in a voluntourism trip (a signature kindness of Diane S.)
  47. Pull up the “wish list” for a local non-profit and fulfill a wish or two
  48. Send cookies or donuts to the team at your favorite radio or TV station
  49. Write a glowing review of a product you purchased or a book you’ve read that you love
  50. Report to the store manager the name and details of the person who gave you great customer service (a signature kindness of Debra R.)
  51. Pet sit for a friend (a signature kindness of my sister Ellen)
  52. Keep an extra umbrella at work to loan a friend in need
  53. Send a coffee or meal card to a college student
  54. Post a positive comment to an author’s blog post
  55. If you go fruit picking, pick extra to surprise a neighbor or friend (a signature kindness of my daughters Nicole and Danielle L.)
  56. Share the abundance of your garden with co-workers (a signature kindness of Rashida B.)
  57. Teach someone a craft you love doing
  58. Make a photo scrapbook for a friend or family member (a signature kindness of June S.)
  59. Create a “necessities basket” of things needed for a new home and drop it off to someone who has recently moved
  60. Start a food drive at work or in your community to help those less fortunate (a signature kindness of Rashida B.)
  61. Create a holiday “feast” basket and leave it anonymously at the home of a family you know is struggling
  62. Print out coloring pages and give them to a teacher
  63. Donate art supplies to a school
  64. Sew the missing button on your spouse’s or partner’s favorite shirt or pants so s/he can wear it again
  65. Accompany a friend to the doctor who would normally have to go solo
  66. Give a mom a break by babysitting the kids for a couple of hours
  67. Organize a car parade for someone who’s having a birthday (a signature kindness of Michelle V.)
  68. Put yard signs on someone’s lawn who’s having a birthday, received a promotion, or deserves congratulations
  69. Email a former teacher or boss who has made a difference in your life, sharing how much they mean to you
  70. Write or email a positive note to a politician you think is doing a particularly good job
  71. Refer a friend to a tradesperson whose work is great (a signature kindness of Elaine E. and Dave and Suzanne G.)
  72. Forward a funny cartoon or meme to a friend (a signature kindness of Laurie K)
  73. Buy pet food and drop it off at a shelter
  74. Leave a gas card at the pumps for the next customer
  75. Keep granola bars in your desk to offer colleagues working late
  76. Coach a child's sports team or spearhead a schoolwide project (a signature kindness of Robin M.)
  77. Give a client a surprise discount on a project you’ve done for them
  78. Pick a bouquet from your garden and give it to a teacher or friend
  79. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food cupboard (a signature kindness of Marcia T.)
  80. Welcome a foster child into your home 
  81. Take homemade soup to a sick friend
  82. Do household repairs for a friend or relative who's not so handy
  83. Leave a generous tip at a restaurant
  84. Become a Salvation Army Red Kettle Ringer for the holidays (a signature kindness of Elaine and Hank E.)
  85. Take your spouse’s/partner’s shoes in to be shined
  86. Take a cart that’s loose in a parking lot to the cart corral
  87. Refer an unemployed or underemployed friend to a job you heard about (a signature kindness of Laura C., Amy B. and Ruth C.)
  88. Act as an employment reference for a friend
  89. Leave grocery coupons for the next purchaser
  90. Volunteer as a docent at a museum or an usher for a theatre company
  91. Teach a child to tie his or her shoes
  92. Treat a friend to lunch (a signature kindness of Justin C.)
  93. Teach a friend how to use new technology or a phone app s/he doesn’t understand
  94. Send a thank you note and/or restaurant gift card to the nurse’s station on any floor in your local hospital
  95. Start a community group to bring like-minded or like-interest people togethter (a signature kindness of Linda M.)
  96. Spontaneously gift a piece of jewelry or a tie to a friend who compliments it
  97. Offer a beverage or lunch to someone doing repairs on your house
  98. Invite a friend of a different religion or background who doesn’t share the same holidays to join you in celebrating one of yours
  99. Send a surprise package to your college-age children, just because
  100. Organize a zoom wine tasting or cocktail hour
  101. Decorate for the holidays the house of a friend who’s had surgery 
  102. Bring homemade baked goods to a fire station
  103. Carry granola bars or packets of trail mix in a ziploc in your car to distribute to those you encounter at corners or street lights (a signature kindness of Elaine E. and her husband)
  104. Make and donate hygiene kits to shelters
  105. Invite a friend to take a walk in a beautiful location s/he may not know about

Choose one (or more) kindnesses and practice it on a regular basis, so it becomes your signature

 


©2020, BeyondTheNest.com

Carol White Llewellyn is editor of BeyondTheNest.com

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