February 10-16, 2014 is Random Acts of Kindness Week. Here are a few ideas of how to pass on kindness in your community and put a smile on someone’s face.

Write a Letter to Someone Who Made a Difference in Your Life  Sending a postive letter, card, or email thanking them for the positve influence they have been in your life.

Thank Your Police or Fire Department Stop and take a minute to think about all the work our police and fire departments do in your community. Every day these men and women risk their lives to make sure that we are safe. How impressive is that? Why not tell these people how thankful you are for their services

Pay the tab for the person behind you Have you ever experienced kindness from someone you don’t know? Knowing that someone else noticed you can make your day a thousand times better, especially if you’re feeling down. Celebrate those around you by doing random acts of kindness for strangers, just for the sake of making someone else happy. Pay the tab for someone behind you in line at the grocery store, gas station or the drive-through. It doesn’t have to be costly, just friendly.

Beautify your surroundings! Be kind to the environment and those around you by picking up trash when you see it lying around. It doesn’t matter who left it there, just pick it up!

Leave a Generous Tip Next time you eat at a restaurant, leave a generous tip as a surprise for your waiter or waitress. Or next time you get coffee or ice cream somewhere, look for a tip jar and leave more than just the change from your transaction. Why not throw in an extra dollar or two? You are bound to make someone’s day when you tip more than expected.

Be a Friend Who Listens If you have a friend who’s going through a rough time, offer to talk about it with them over a coffee. Think of all the times you’ve wished you had a friend to talk to–be proactive and be that friend for someone else.

Call or Visit Someone Who is Sick  Being sick is no fun. It can be frustrating because you are not able to do the things you normally do. Not being able to socialize with people you normally see can also make being sick very lonely. Call someone who you know is sick and ask them how they are. Or, surprise them with a visit and bring flowers or a card. Knowing that someone cares about you is often the best medicine!

Make a Positive Comment on Facebook Leave a kind comment to someone on Facebook, give one of your friends a nice compliment, or post a positve comment on your own page. So often we are willing to leave a comment if something upsets us; start thinking positively! The next time you read something that really encourages or motivates you, let everyone  know!

Volunteer to help a neighbor or a friend  Take the time to help someone with yard work, offer to babysit for a couple hours at no charge, run an errand, or just show up at the door with a casserole or batch of cookies.

Read to a child  Giving your full attention to children is a simple way to show them they are loved. Reading together can also be a very relaxing way to bond with a child you care about.

Leave Change in Vending Machine  The next time you pass a vending machine or gumball dispenser, check your change purse. If you have enough change to buy a soda or snack, tape the change to the side of the vending machine with a note saying “Snack’s on me!”

Smile at Others  A sincere smile is a very kind and meaningful way to make a positive difference in someone’s day. Without using words, a smile says to a person “Hi, I hope you have a nice day”.
People appreciate being noticed and acknowledged, especially with a friendly smile. Smiling at a stranger is a positive human interaction that seems to be infrequent as people get caught up in their daily tasks. So next time you are at the store, walking down the street, or going to work or school, acknowledge someone with a smile.

No matter how old you are, where you live, or what you do, we all have the opportunity to make kindness a priority: to see the positive in a difficult situation, to encourage others, to listen to our friends and family, to treat others with respect and to volunteer our time, energy, and resources to help make this world a better place.Kindness can truly be a way of living, it doesn’t have to be a one-time act. You can be kind in everything you do. Make the choice to make kindness a priority in your life today!

Leave a comment on any ideas you have about passing on kindness!