20 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Do Today!

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Remember how great you felt the last time a stranger flashed a smile your way? Or how exciting it was when you found extra change in a vending machine as a kid?

Kindness is truly what makes the world go ’round, and we all have the power to make someone’s day. Here are 20 things you can do today to pay it forward.

20. Pay for the person behind you in line.

Who knows? You might even create a chain reaction like this guy did!

19. Leave quarters on your washing machine at a laundromat.

Because we always seem to run out at the worst time…

18. Brush the snow off of someone’s car in the winter.

Your hands are already cold anyway.

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17. Leave a quarter in a candy dispenser.

You’ll make a kid’s day.

16. Leave your debit card in the ATM.

Just kidding.

16. Leave a thank you note and a treat in your mailbox for the mailman.

Because who knows how often they get the acknowledgement they deserve?

15. Tip your server more than necessary and leave a nice note on your receipt.

Working in the service industry is tough enough as it is.

14. Make a goodie bag for a homeless person.

Snacks, band aids, bottled water, gift cards, warm socks and lip balm are all great to include.

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13. Make eye contact and smile, or nod hello at someone while walking by.

Sometimes all it takes is a smile.

12. Cook a meal for a friend who is going through a tough time.

Nourishing food is one of the best gifts you can give.

11. If you walk by a car with an expired parking meter, put a quarter in it.

Because parking tickets are pretty much the worst thing ever.

10. Offer a homeless person your leftovers the next time you eat out.

Let’s be honest, they’ll probably go uneaten in your fridge anyway.

9. Each time you get a new piece of clothing, donate an old one.

Or better yet, give it directly to someone in need. Not a big shopper? You can still give a coat through this wonderful program!

8. Ask the new person at work out to lunch.

Remember how you felt on your first day?

7. End your next email with a compliment.

You never know how much it might mean to someone.

6. Share your umbrella.

No one actually likes getting caught in the rain.

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5. Write a thank-you email to a teacher or mentor who touched your life.

And encourage your friends to do the same by signing and sharing this pledge!

4. Start a piggy bank for a cause.

Every little bit helps.

3. Send anonymous flowers to a friendly receptionist.

Chances are they’re used to getting overlooked.

2. Leave an uplifting Post-It note message on the mirror in a public restroom.

Turn someone’s “ugly day” around.

1. Leave your newspaper or magazine behind at a coffee shop, doctor’s office, or on a plane.

Why not let someone else enjoy it?

When’s the last time you performed a random act of kindness? Share with us!

Want to see some of these ideas in action? Check out this inspiring photo list.

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G. H. was raised in Minnesota, but currently calls Seattle her home. She's a blogger, editor, and journalist, and she's written everything from news reports to restaurant reviews. If she's not putting pen to paper, G. H. is probably experimenting in the kitchen, chilling out on her yoga mat, or running through a city park.