February 16-22 is Random Acts of Kindness Week, a celebration of kindness when people around the world do good deeds for others. The week includes Random Acts of Kindness Day on Monday, February 17.

Studies have shown that kindness is contagious, as one kind act can produce positive physical, mental, and emotional effects for people who perform the acts as well as recipients and observers. We encourage you to join the millions of others who are making the world a little brighter this week. Here are ten ideas to get you started

  1. Donate old clothes or books: clear out the clutter and help others by donating used clothes to charity or dropping off books at your local library

  2. Pay if forward: start a chain of kind acts by buying the drink of the person next in line when you go for coffe

  3. Volunteer in your community: visit the United Way Volunteer Center and sign up to volunteer for a local non-profit

  4. Compliment someone: make a friend or coworker smile by giving them a genuine compliment

  5. Donate to charity: give a gift to your favorite non-profit, or spread the love further by starting your own fundraiser to support them

  6. Make a difference for shelter animals: help your local animal shelter by volunteering to walk dogs or donating items like toys and blankets

  7. Clean up your neighborhood: do something kind for the planet by picking up litter at a local park, beach, or other spot in your community

  8. Leave a generous tip: make your server’s day by leaving a little extra when you go out to eat

  9. Make a small gesture at the store: help out a stranger on your next shopping trip by letting someone ahead of you in line or offering to return their shopping cart

  10. Send a handwritten card or letter: tell someone how much they mean to you by writing and sending them a heartfelt message

During the week, be sure to follow us on Facebook for more ideas on how to be kind!