1. Compliment those around you.
Or make a whole day out of it. “Pick a day that you walk around a lot (shopping, going to the park, festivals) and give some people random (yet relevant!) compliments! You’d be surprised how many people’s face would beam with happiness because of one nice sentence.” (Source)
2. Pay the toll for the person in the car behind you.
“I have heard that every year during the holidays, on the Golden Gate Bridge, there usually is an incident where someone will pay [the] toll for the person behind them. What’s interesting is this causes a chain reaction. The next person in line may repeat the good deed. Toll workers have reported that sometimes this chain can go on for many cars.” (Source)
3. Donate any books you no longer read.
“If you have books you’re not going to reread, jails and prisons are a good place to donate them (call first — some places won’t take hardbacks). Self-help books are especially welcome.” (Source)
4. Drop off any food left over from a large event or dinner at a shelter.
Thanksgiving leftovers are delicious, so spread the wealth. (Source)
5. If you commute by bike, carry an extra patch.
“And as a bicycle commuter (at least part time), I try always to carry a patch kit and pump. I stopped one afternoon on my way home and helped another cyclist who was new to bike commuting and had gotten a flat, with no tools and no idea how to fix it.” (Source)
6. Or, if you don’t have a car, pay for the coffee of the person behind you.
The day Alyssa O’Neill passed away from an epileptic seizure, the 18-year-old texted her parents that she wanted to get a pumpkin spice latte the next morning. Unfortunately, O’Neill never made it to Starbucks.
A few days after her funeral, the O’Neills decided to pay it forward in her memory. They bought pumpkin spice lattes for 40 people at the local Starbucks. Weeks later, the chain of good deeds is still going stong.
Read more about the story here.
7. Help carry bags for anyone who looks like they’re struggling.
Whether in a parking lot, or up the stairs of the subway station, this small piece of help can go a long way. (Source)
8. Leave change in places kids are likely to find them.
Nothing is more exciting for a kid than finding a lucky penny. (Source)
9. Let someone cut you in line if you aren’t in a rush.
“Especially if that someone has an antsy child and the parent looks frazzled.” (Source)
10. Buy food for someone who needs it.
Many people don’t like to give money to the homeless for fear of where their money is going. If it’s a hot day, buy a water for someone in need, or if it’s cold, see if they’d like a coffee or tea. (Source)
11. Offer to take a photo of a family at an event or attraction.
“Something I’ve done quite a few times is offer to take photos for families when they’re at some event/attraction. Most people are reluctant to ask strangers, especially if they’re tourists and they don’t speak much English” (Source)
12. Put vouchers or coupons that you don’t need on community notice-boards
There is no need for the coupons to go to waste. (Source)
13. Use extra quarters to pay for nearly expired meters.
Everyone loves a meter fairy! (Source)