Random Acts of Kindness That Spread Joy Every Day

Updated by Sarah Ruiz

These days, it’s more important than ever to find moments of joy. Whether it’s giving yourself a treat or surprising someone else, creating and sharing happiness can make a big difference by brightening dark days and boosting us through tough times.

Here at Cratejoy, we’re passionate about helping people discover joy, find connections to happiness, and share their delight with their friends and loved ones. Our award-winning monthly subscription boxes allow people to enjoy new experiences and share some fun with the ones they care about. We’re honored to help people create moments of joy, love, and happiness from the comfort of home.

As the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the world, Cratejoy wants to help connect people and give them moments of joy throughout all of life’s ups and downs, milestones, and celebrations. To inspire moments of joy and help others, we want to encourage you to share random acts of kindness with those around you.

This month, we’re going to share and celebrate our favorite ways to spread kindness, especially since Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17th. Below are some of our favorite uplifting ideas to show small acts of kindness to your friends, loved ones, and our community. We hope you’ll try a few of them today and create a moment of happiness and positivity for someone you love, a stranger, or yourself. And check back throughout the month for more random acts of kindness ideas to help you spread joy every day.

Get Crafty and Creative

Whether you’re a maker, a crafter, or just interested in showing kindness, you can craft something wonderful that’s sure to help others and inspire positivity.

  • Make some face masks for your coworkers or neighbors. If you add a filter pocket, place an encouraging note in the pocket with some uplifting words or even your favorite silly joke.
  • Learn a new craft with a friend or family member. Try sketching or painting something together, or grab a couple of kits and learn to cross-stitch or knit. Point out what you love about the other person’s work.
  • Put together a photo collage for a loved one. Include photos of the two of you through the years, or celebrate or honor a beloved pet. Either a printed collage or a digital one set to music is sure to spark joy and show kindness. Include sticky notes of handwritten positive comments over time.
  • Decorate your windows, driveway, or sidewalk to brighten your little corner of the neighborhood. Place colorful posters in your windows, and use sidewalk chalk to write encouraging messages. This is especially great for elderly neighbors!

Paying It Forward

You know that feeling you get when you find money in a coat pocket? When you show kindness by paying it forward to a friend or stranger, they feel just as uplifted and grateful.

  • Pay it forward by buying the next person's morning coffee at your favorite local coffee shop. You’ll spread kindness by surprising a grateful stranger. They might be inspired to do something awesome, too.
  • Make another donation to your favorite charity, food bank, or nonprofit. Add a note with your donation about why you appreciate their work and what a great difference they make in your community.
  • Leave an extra-generous tip the next time you get food takeout or have a meal delivered. The restaurant employees and your delivery driver will definitely appreciate the kind gesture.
  • Give a surprise treat to the person behind you in line at the grocery store by paying for part of their groceries. For many people, this can make a big difference.
  • Add some money to an expired or almost-expired parking meter. It’s an easy way to help others, saving them a few cents while showing a lot of kindness. You never know who's running late at the laundromat.
  • Leave money in the vending machine or even a returned library book, making this a small gift for someone who needs it most.
  • Send a gift subscription box that gives back to the community to a friend you’ve been wanting to see. You’ll enjoy unboxing your goodies together — either in-person or on a video call — and share a neat new experience while helping others.
  • Celebrate the next holiday, no matter how big or small, and deliver a thoughtfully curated gift subscription box in honor of it to your BFF or partner.

A Supplies Surprise

Many nonprofits and community organizations were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by losing donations, funding, and volunteer hours. Here are some random acts of kindness ideas that can support these groups as well as service workers.

  • Give personal care supplies to your local homeless shelter. In the winter, water bottles, blankets, and warm clothing are an especially welcome way to show kindness to homeless persons.
  • See if a nursing home near you needs personal care items or accepts food donations. Reach out to your coworkers, neighbors, and friends to host a supply drive or fundraiser that gives even more.
  • Donate food, towels, or litter to your local animal shelter. If you can buy items in bulk, that could make your donation go even farther.
  • Make your mail carrier’s day a little easier by leaving them hand sanitizer, wipes, a bottle of water, and a thank-you note filled with gratitude.
  • If your doctor’s office or clinic accepts food deliveries, send them a sweet surprise from a local bakery or store, like cookies or snacks.
  • Put together a care package for a friend or neighbor, especially someone going through a hard time. Include a thoughtful note to help spread kindness.
  • Surprise your coworkers, babysitter, or the last friend who did you a favor with a gift card. Whether it’s to their favorite restaurant or to help with their next grocery bill, they’ll appreciate it.
  • Surprise your neighbor's dog (safely!) with treats for them and maybe even bake cookies for your neighbor, just to say hello.
  • Treat yourself, a friend, or a loved one while making a difference. Order a subscription box that gives back to a good cause or a subscription box that supports a Black business , and make your day a little brighter while you help others.

Fun and Free

You can always spread kindness without spending money. Sometimes, your time and thoughtfulness are the greatest and most appreciated gifts of all.

  • Let a person go in front of you in line the next time you’re in a store. It’s a sweet and simple gesture that’s sure to be appreciated.
  • Reach out to an old friend. Postcards and letters are always a delightful surprise, and a social media message is a sweet gesture as well.
  • Schedule a video phone call to catch up with a loved one or longtime friend. Include something fun in the background that you can talk about, like a recent craft project or a photo of the two of you.
  • Offer to babysit for free for a family member or friend in your close circle. They get a few moments of respite, and you and the little one get to spend some quality time together.
  • Pitch in for a neighbor or relative who’s elderly or having mobility issues. Mow their lawn, rake some leaves, or water the plants to make their day a little easier.
  • Write an encouraging note to a coworker. Point out something great about their work and mention how much you appreciate having them on your team.
  • Leave a love note for your partner where they’re sure to find it. This little gesture is a small but heartwarming way to say, “I love you.”
  • Send a gratitude text to someone you see all the time or someone you haven’t seen in a while. It can add a big boost of positivity to someone’s day.
  • Put your phone away during a conversation and be present for it. You’ll focus more on what’s being said and show the other person that they matter to you.

We hope that these random acts of kindness ideas help spread joy to those around you, and we look forward to sharing more ideas for Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th.