February 17 marks the National Random Acts of Kindness Day, and while it’s great to have a specific day for doing good deeds for others, we at Austin.com think you should incorporate those random acts into your daily schedule. If you’re looking for a few ideas on how to brighten someone else’s day (and in turn brighten your own), try something on this list of Austin-centric random acts of kindness.
Have some of your own great ideas to share? Tried one of these out and had great success? Let us know in the comments or share this link with your story on social media!
1.) Pay for the person behind you when ordering a treat at Amy’s Ice Cream.
2.) Volunteer at one of Austin’s many wonderful nonprofits. Some programs, like 1 Dog 1 Hour, don’t require you to be an “official” volunteer ahead of time.
3.) Get your donation set up for Amplify Austin, Central Texas’ largest day of giving.
4.) Sign up to clean up a local park. It’s My Park Day is just around the corner! Don’t feel like waiting? Grab a bag and some gloves and go clean up your favorite green space.
5.) Swipe your card or dump some extra coins in an expired downtown parking meter.
6.) Drop a big tip for a busker, a bartender, a musician — help support local music and service industry folks, and help keep these vital parts of Austin strong.
7.) Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you at Alamo Drafthouse.
8.) Take someone new to town on a tour of Austin. Need help getting started? Dig around on Austin.com for great ideas of Austiny places to visit.
9.) Bring donuts or pastries to work for your co-workers.
10.) Grab a coffee at Jo’s on Congress, then hang out near the “I Love You So Much” mural and offer to take photos for excited couples so that they don’t have to get out their selfie sticks.
11.) Leave a care package with a bottle of water, trail mix, and an encouraging note on Lady Bird Lake Trail or one of Austin’s many other great running trails.
12.) Allow someone else to take the parking space you may have been fighting over at HEB or Whole Foods.
13.) Taking public transportation? Give up your seat to someone else who could use it.
14.) Drop off care packages with coloring books, puzzles, etc to Dell Children’s Medical Center. Find a full list of ideas here.
15.) Take the time to tell a mentor or friend how they’ve impacted your life. Austin is full of amazing people like Patsy Woods Martin, surely you have someone just like them who has influenced you to be a better person.
16.) Support an awesome project at your neighborhood school, like this fun time capsule project that Mathews Elementary students put together or one of these great green projects happening all around Austin.
17.) Make someone smile by writing a fun, Austin-inspired haiku or poem on a downtown sidewalk (in chalk, of course).
18.) Leave a note of encouragement at a local gym like Austin Bouldering Project. That extra bit of support may be just what someone needs!
19.) Grab some locally made dog biscuits from Groovy Dog Bakery, Woof Gang Bakery, or Shaggy Waggin Treats and hand them out at one of Austin’s great dog parks like Norwood Estate Dog Park or Red Bud Isle (be sure to get human permission first).
21.) Grab a few $5 gift cards while grabbing your morning juice at Juiceland, then hand them out to strangers. There’s nothing like the gift of health to put a smile on someone’s face!
22.) Smile at everyone you see — you are both in one of the greatest cities on Earth — you have plenty to be happy about!
23.) Wash the dishes in the breakroom at work.
24.) Did you receive great service at one of Austin’s amazing restaurants? Take the time to let a manager know, and be sure to compliment your server by name.
25.) Pick out a random show, pay for a ticket, and go check out a new artist or band you’ve never heard of. Bonus points for bringing along a group.
26.) Take your co-workers to happy hour and grab the first round. If you’re in south Austin, here are some great happy hour ideas.
27.) You could also gather the troops for a happy hour or night out that helps support local charities.
28.) Grab some healthy, individually packaged (and well-sealed) snack packs (like carrots with hummus) and take them to a park, like Mueller Lake Park, and hand them out to parents to give to their kids.
29.) And don’t forget about the parents! Grab some individually packaged chocolate covered espresso beans to hand out, and you’ve made friends for life.
30.) Tape money to a vending machine, like the one at the newly opened cupcake vending machine at Sprinkles.
31.) Write a love letter to your sweetheart. Sure, Valentine’s Day may be over, but that’s what makes a random note even sweeter. Looking for some inspiration? You’ll definitely want to check out this poem we wrote to Matthew McConaughey.
32.) Bring a cedar fever care package to a friend or coworker who is struggling through the season. Load it up with tissues and some of these other helpful allergy remedies.
33.) Spread the word about something wonderful that’s happening in your town. Share a story on Facebook or Twitter, like this one about Austin schools and their greening projects, or this one about some of Austin’s most inspirational young women.
34.) Share some love with Austin’s homeless residents. Buy a few boxes of granola bars and hand them out at stop lights to those asking for assistance.
35.) Take the time to drive an elderly Austinite to their destination. Maybe you’ll even make a new friend in the process!
36.) Round up your fares when you use Ride Austin to have your extra contribution go toward local nonprofits.
37.) Take down some of the decorations from the Christmas trees on Hwy 360, even if they’re not yours!
38.) Clean out your closet and donate some high quality items to SafePlace.
39.) Spend some time reading local blogs and leave a nice comment on a story — trust me, they help to brighten someone’s day! Need suggestions? Austin.com, Free Fun in Austin, and ATX Gossip are some of our faves!
40.) Let someone cut in front of you while you’re stuck in traffic on I-35.
41.) Is it trash/recycling pickup day? Bring in your neighbor’s cans for them.
42.) Go introduce yourself to a new neighbor. These days, we don’t all take the time to get to know the people in our communities, and we’ve got some great ones! Don’t be shy, go say hi!
43.) Give your boss a compliment. They’re usually the ones dishing them out, but how often do they actually receive them?
44.) See someone trying to get a drink at a crowded bar? Let them cut in front of you and help them get the attention of the bartender. Bonus points if you pay for their drink, but the assist alone will likely be greatly appreciated.
45.) Help a tourist out. Austin is a great city for visitors, but sometimes they can get a little lost or need a good recommendation. Pipe up when you notice a stranger in need of assistance.
46.) Drop off some used books at one of the many Little Free Libraries scattered across town.
47.) Actively participate in a community event in your neighborhood. Someone worked really hard to organize that event and will be happy to see you there.
48.) Support local music and check out some new artists you may never have heard of (then buy their album or go to their show) — you may just find a new favorite!
49.) Pay for someone else’s lunch at the drive-thru at P Terry’s, Fresa’s, or another local restaurant.
50.) Working in a crowded coffee shop (like one that serves coffee from our favorite Austin roasters)? Offer to share your table with someone who can’t find a place to sit down.
There you have it — get out and do some good! Have other great ideas we can add? Mention them in the comments!
Featured photo from Pexels, Creative Commons licensed