#BeKindBham: 23 ways to celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day

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Hey Birmingham, Sunday, February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Why wait to celebrate? We’ve got 23 ways you can get started right now.

1. Start each day by complimenting the first three people you talk to.

This will set the tone for not only your day, but theirs too. Start a chain reaction with kindness.

2. Shop local.

Little Hardware has everything from plants to pet supplies. Photo by Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Buy your groceries at Organic Harvest in Hoover, or stop by Little Hardware in Mountain Brook and purchase the supplies for your next DIY project.

3. Send a letter to a friend who lives in a different city.

Snail mail is the most underrated way to show someone you’re thinking of them. It’s thoughtful and worth the extra effort.

4. Say good morning to the person next to you on the elevator.

It’s so simple, but you never know how a person’s day is going and you could change it for the better.

5. Pick up litter at one of Birmingham’s lovely parks.

Railroad Park is eight blocks of green. Let’s keep it clean. Photo by Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Take a walk through Railroad Park downtown with a bag in tow. Along the way, pick up any trash you find. You’re getting exercise and helping the environment. Win, Win.

6. Dedicate 24 hours to spreading positivity on social media.

Shoutout your favorite accounts, and tell your followers why they’re great! (We are @BhamNow on social if you were wondering…)

7. Leave a generous tip for a barista or server.

Want to go the extra mile? Leave them a nice note on the check to go along with it.

8. Donate old clothes or household items to a local thrift store or second hand shop.

When you shop at Sozo Trading Co., all sales go directly to the Sozo Children’s Mission. Photo by Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Check out our story on how to clean out your home and where to donate around Birmingham.

9. Let someone in when you’re driving Highway 280 during 5 o’clock traffic.

Don’t let the construction turn you into a road rager.

10. Volunteer with a local charity.

Get involved with charities like the Ronald McDonald House to help local families or the Black Warrior Riverkeepers to clean up local rivers.

11. Place an uplifting note on someone’s desk, computer screen or car window.

Grab a sticky note, write a quick uplifting message, and you’re done! It’s really that easy.

12. Recycle and create less waste for a week.

Drop off your paper, cardboard, aluminum and steel cans, or plastic bottles any time at the UAB Recycling. Photo by Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Drop off waste at the UAB Recycling Center or Birmingham Recycling and Recovery. Check out our guide to creating less waste and keeping Alabama beautiful.

13. Share a meaningful conversation with a stranger.

Introduce yourself and ask them how they’re doing. It could make their whole day.

14. Write a positive review for some of your favorite businesses in Birmingham.

Take five minutes to tell them what you love about them and why.

15. Cook a meal for someone.

It could be a surprise breakfast for a spouse, a family dinner or a meal for a neighbor or someone in need.

16. Pay it forward.

Filter Coffee just opened in Five Points South. Photo by Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Pick up the coffee order of the person in line behind you or grab coffee for a co-worker at a local coffee shop like Filter-Coffee Parlor in Five Points.

17. Learn the names of your office security guard, mail carrier or the person at the front desk and greet them by name.

This makes an otherwise surface level encounter a bit more personal.

18. Write a thank you note to someone who has recently helped you in some way —big or small.

Hand written thank you notes are guaranteed to make a lasting impression. It can mean a lot to someone to know see the thought behind your gesture.

19. Make an introduction for a coworker or friend.

It could be a career changing connection or a lifelong friendship that you help facilitate.

20. Recommend a book you recently read to a friend, or buy a new book from local bookstores.

Reed Books isn’t only a book store. There you’ll find rare collectibles, nostalgic knick-knacks and antiques all over. Photo by Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Swing by Reed Books downtown or Alabama Booksmith in Homewood.

21. Bake treats for someone in the community like the Birmingham Police or Fire Department.

It’s a small way to say thank you to the people who give so much every day to the community.

22. Make someone a playlist with songs that remind you of them or fun songs just to cheer them up.

Don’t have the words to explain how much someone means to you? Put it in a playlist.

23. Put a quarter —or two— in an expired meter downtown.

Next time you’re walking downtown, if you have spare change, drop a few quarters in an expired meter to make someone’s day. Photo by Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Because who wants to deal with tickets and towing?

Most of these aren’t grand gestures, but they can have a huge impact. Try to incorporate these little acts into your weekly routine and when you do, share it with us on social media @BhamNow with #BeKindBham.

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Hannah Chambley
Most likely Instagrammin’ the Birmingham skyline, behind the camera shooting photos or writing stories (with too many puns) for Bham Now.
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