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20 World Kindness Day Activities to Try at Home and Work

Posted by Seraine Page on Wed, Nov, 04, 2020

kindness-01World Kindness Day is November 13.

Right about now, we could all do or witness acts of kindness to lift our spirits.

When we are empathetic and kind, it can improve confidence, happiness, and overall optimism. And when others experience or witness our kindness, it may encourage them to do some good of their own.

Collective acts of kindness lift up both individuals and communities, which is why sprinkling a little extra sweetness out into the world on November 13 can start right in the workplace.

Ready to get started?

Below are ideas that can be tried both inside and outside the workplace. Whether your team works together in an office or remotely, they can spread empathy through different variations of these World Kindness Day activities.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite ideas:

1. Say Hi and Smile

Never underestimate the power of a smile, especially in the workplace. When you look people in the eyes and smile, you show them that you see them and acknowledge their presence in the world. It makes people feel welcome and/or breaks down barriers. Next time you walk through the office, smile, and say hello to all your colleagues.

An alternative idea for remote workers: Send out random emails to teammates with a subject line that reads, “Here’s Your Smile for Today” with a funny gif and a note to say hi.

2. Write a Recommendation

Recommendations are valuable, especially in an era where layoffs have become inevitable for some companies. Whether or not a coworker’s job is in danger, surprise them by writing a recommendation letter for them and sending it to their inbox. Follow-up and write one on LinkedIn, too.

3. Send a Message of Gratitude

Think of any teammates who have gone above and beyond on a project or helped you out recently. Go ahead and send them an email of gratitude. This works well for both in-house and remote teammates. If you love stationery and prefer a handwritten message, dash off a note thanking someone in your office for what they do. It will help them feel their efforts are appreciated.

An alternative idea for remote workers: Consider praising a teammate via email to management and recognizing them for their hard work. CC them on the message so they see it.

 4. Make Some Baked Goods 

Who can turn down goodies? If you love to bake, consider bringing in a treat for the team. Ask any colleagues if they have food allergies you should be aware of to help them feel included and able to partake of your baking gifts!

5. Pass Out Random Kind Notes

Help a coworker start their day off right by placing kind messages on their desk throughout the day. Randomly write encouraging notes and place notes on colleagues’ desks as one of your World Kindness Day activities. Don’t sign your name so it stays a mystery!

An alternative idea for remote workers: Send postcards to your favorite colleagues throughout the week with notes of encouragement. 

6. Learn Something New About a Coworker

Consider making a concentrated effort to learn something new about a coworker. The next time you see them, have a mental note to ask them about whatever it is you recently learned about them. It will show you were actively listening and engaged with your previous conversation. It also shows you care about the personal anecdotes, too.

7. Kickstart a Helping Fund

There’s no doubt everyone falls upon hard times at some point. If your company allows it, spearhead a fund to allow donations from employees that are reserved for coworkers who are going through difficult times. Discuss setting a cap on a dollar amount of contributions that may be used by an employee, if needed. These funds can then be dipped into to provide gift cards or cash to employees who are struggling financially — whether due to illness, a death in the family, etc. — that can be used any time during the year.

An alternative idea for remote workers: Remote workers can digitally donate to a fund, too. Or, consider allowing employees to contribute to a stockpile of PTO days that can be shared or “donated”  to an employee who may need them.

8. Start Slack Shoutouts

Create a Slack channel — or another communication method — to post teammate shoutouts. Surprise fellow colleagues with written praise. If you’re a manager, you can easily use a workflow builder inside of Slack to create a positive online environment for individuals to uplift one another in. Start a channel and let the kindness spreading begin!

9. Create a Colleague Kindness Jar

Decorate a mason jar with the words “Spread Kindness” on it. Next to it, leave a sticky notepad with a sign that says, “Share a kind word about a colleague.” Be sure to name them by name and drop it in the jar. At the next staff meeting, ask individuals to draw a slip of paper (if there are enough) and read aloud the comments. If there are only a few, have a leader read them aloud. This idea can be easily modified to fit families with little ones at home, too.

An alternative idea for remote workers: Throughout the month, ask workers to send stories of random acts of kindness they witnessed in their neighborhood. Sharing collective experiences of altruism may spark an interest in your employees to keep spreading it.

10. Put Together Birthday Boxes

Birthdays are a big deal, even if we don’t like to admit it. Have a team put together birthday boxes or bags at the start of the month to hand out to those individuals with birthdays during that month. Include items like a birthday card signed by the team, a gift card to a local coffee shop, an inspiring book, and anything unique that the person collects, likes, etc. Drop off the birthday bags with a balloon to their desk on the morning of their birthday.

11. Write Thank You Cards to First Responders

Local emergency personnel and law enforcement workers have worked hard this year to try and keep our communities safe while also doing their best to save lives. Consider spending World Kindness Day crafting cards to send to a local hospital, fire station, or even a police station. A few words of encouragement and love can go a long way. You can do the same for healthcare workers, too.

An alternative idea for remote workers: Remote workers can join in on this one, too. Or, consider donating to local causes that support local emergency personnel and law enforcement families.

12. Do a Street Cleanup

For one of your World Kindness Activities, consider organizing a street cleanup. Not only will your community take note of seeing someone cleaning up, but the earth will be grateful when trash doesn’t get swept into local waterways. Whether you do this project solo or have your friends or colleagues join you, you’ll feel proud of cleaning up roadways. Don’t forget your gloves!

13. Pay for Someone’s Coffee

One of the easiest ways to “pay it forward” is to do so when a person can’t object to your kindness. Consider paying for someone’s coffee next time you’re at the coffee shop. Ask the cashier to let you know the total behind you in the drive-thru and offer to pay for it. Or, buy a cup for your favorite coworker and bring it into the office.

An alternative idea for remote workers: For employees who are doing a great job, management can send out a coffee shop gift card once a month with a handwritten note thanking them for a job well done. For remote workers who want to give back, consider gifting a fellow remote coworker with a gift card to their favorite coffee place.

14. Donate School Supplies to a Local School

It’s no surprise teachers often bring in extra supplies paid for with money out of their own pocket. Some students also don’t have the means to pay for expensive school supplies, which makes donations to classrooms all the more valuable. Consider calling your area’s local school district to see what types of supplies are needed and picking a donation date to drop some off.

15. Write Sidewalk Messages

This is a fun activity to do if you have kids. Get some chalk and write positive messages for your neighborhood to see. Inspiring quotes, smiley faces, and uplifting notes may just make your neighbor’s day.

An alternative idea for remote workers: Send off an email to your colleagues or friends with an inspiring story or positive thinking quotes to help everyone start their day off right.

16. Create “Blessing Bags”

With an increase in unemployment numbers, some individuals in your community may be hit harder than others. Local women’s shelters and homeless shelters are always in need of donated items like clean socks, hand sanitizer, mini toiletries, etc. Consider collecting and donating items to your local shelter. Or, have Ziploc bags stuffed with items like clean socks, toiletries, tissues, etc. and hand them out to those you may see standing on street corners. Write a handwritten, kind note to include in the bag.

17. Compliment Someone Sincerely

Compliments are nice to receive, but they’re also nice to give, too. Whether you see someone on the sidewalk and compliment their outfit or praise a colleague for a job well done, do it with complete sincerity.

An alternative idea for remote workers: The next time a coworker mentions a brilliant idea, aces a presentation, or wraps up a huge project, send them a quick email to let them know how great of a job they’re doing and that it’s not unnoticed.

18. Plant a Tree

The world can never have enough trees. Aside from their natural beauty, trees provide an incredible amount of oxygen and store carbon. If you have a green thumb and enjoy being in nature, consider giving back to the earth by planting a tree. If your company has the space, consider creating a community employee garden or mini courtyard park with fellow green thumb employees.

19. Donate to Your Favorite Cause

There’s no better day to donate to your favorite non-profit organization than on World Kindness Day. Research a cause that matters to you (whether it’s saving animals, restoring the environment, fighting against human trafficking or something else) and donate. Any amount — big or small — makes a difference to those nonprofits with tight budgets.

An alternative idea for remote workers: If you’re an Amazon Prime fan, you can donate to your favorite cause any time through using the website Amazon Smile. Choose a charity and every time you make a purchase,  0.5% of eligible purchases will be donated to your selected cause through Amazon Smile.

20. Write a Review for a Local Business

Nothing spreads faster than a word on the streets of a good business, and local businesses need all the help they can get right now. Next time you stop by your favorite local bookstore, restaurant, or corner coffee shop and receive exceptional service, give praise to the business online. Write and post a 5-star review on a site like Yelp or Google Reviews. It doesn’t need to be too long, and it always warms an entrepreneur’s heart to see you had a good customer experience.

Give World Kindness Day Activities a Try Anytime

What the world needs now is a little bit more kindness.

It can be as simple as picking up the mail for your sick neighbor or chatting with a colleague to see how their daughter’s weekend sporting event went. Kindness doesn’t need to be complicated.

The list above is not by any means an exhaustive one, but it’s a starting point to get you brainstorming. There are a ton of different approaches you can take for World Kindness Day activities.

The important point of the day is to just pick one kind activity and try it out. If you love it, you can make it more than an annual tradition — you can do it daily, weekly, or monthly.

How do you plan to celebrate World Kindness Day? What are some of your favorite activities to do? Check out our list of 14 Ways to Spread Kindness at Work for more ideas!

What are some of the best acts of kindness you’ve ever seen? Please share your heartwarming stories below!

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Topics: Wellness at Work

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