It is both Random Act of Kindness Day (Feb. 17) and Random Act of Kindness Week (Feb. 16-22)!

Random Act of Kindness Day was started in New Zealand, where they recognize it in September. In the States, it is always on Feb. 17. It is a day to encourage and participate in simple acts that can mean the world to someone.

A few ideas to help pay it forward today include:

  • Pay for the coffee or meal of the person in front of you in line.
  • Leave a kind note for someone, no explanation needed.
  • Share words of encouragement. You never know who might need them.
  • Put your skills to work for someone in need. For example, offer to create a résumé for someone seeking a new job.
  • Drop off a load of groceries at the local food pantry.
  • Mail a “thinking of you” card to someone you’ve not to talk to in a while.
  • Order a bouquet of flowers to be delivered to anyone in the hospital. That means, call the florist and tell them to pick a hospital or nursing home and deliver flowers to the person the front desk thinks needs it the most. It could be a sick child, an elderly person with no family or college student down on their luck.
  • Send a thank you note to the local fire department, police departments or any military personnel.
  • Just smile.

Other things you can do include planting a tree, downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or something as simple as picking up a piece of litter on the ground.