26acts

#26Acts of kindness you can do right now

Dec. 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM ET

Inspired to spread good in the world after the tragic elementary school shooting in Newton, Conn. last week, people around the country are committing random acts of kindness in honor of the victims.

Connected through the hashtag #26Acts (#20Acts and others are also trending), created to honor the 26 people who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, check out some of these small acts of goodwill, from a man in California who paid for coffee for the people of Newtown, to people baking treats for their teachers to say thanks. Get inspired: These are so easy, you can start your own acts of kindness right now.

#1: Surprise someone going grocery shopping by leaving a small treat in their cart.

#2: Serve at a soup kitchen in your neighborhood. You can find volunteer options at sites like DoSomething.org 

#3: Put a smile on a child's face by donating a toy. Check out the TODAY toy drive for ways to make the holidays happy for kids and teens in need.

#4: Deliver something sweet to your local first responders.

#5: Share your knowledge by volunteering in the classroom. Organizations like United Way Worldwide can help match you with opportunities to become a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor.

#6: Thank your teachers with a homemade gift or message.

#7: Donate to Sandy Hook relief. Many funds have been created in honor of the victims, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund, which will be administered by the school PTA to provide counseling and pay for funeral expenses.

#8: Buy Newtown breakfast! You can reach out to a local business, like the Newton General Store, which has already received donations from people around the country to cover the meals of people in the town.

#9: Find a local blood drive or go to your local blood bank and donate. As the Red Cross says, "the need is constant."

#10: Help someone stay warm this winter: Donate a coat, or hold a coat drive in your town to collect much-needed jackets. Organizations like One Warm Coat can help point you in the right direction.

#11: Keep helping victims of other tragedies, like those devastated in Hurricane Sandy. Here's a list of organizations still working on relief efforts.

#12: Take good wishes global by helping out with international relief efforts. Non-profits like charity: water have opportunities to get involved with projects overseas.

#13: Donate your frequent flier miles to volunteers on their way to help, or send them to military families.

#14: Lend a hand - literally.

#15: Get your hands dirty!

#16: Surprise a family with free food.

#17: Thank those working to keep you safe.

#18: Spend some time with senior citizens - and bring your pet!

#19: Leave a nice note on a stranger's car.

#20: Surprise a service member with a card. The Red Cross can help deliver your holiday mail for heroes.

#21: Get crafty! Find out if your local hospital accepts knit hats for newborns, or make them for organizations like Knots of Love which will donate them to cancer patients.

#22: Make a trip to the pump a little less painful for your fellow driver.

#23: Give a special tip to someone struggling.

#24: Share a meal with someone in need by donating to your local food bank. Feeding America can help you find one in your area.

#25: Say a nice thing to someone in a sour mood.

#26: Pass it on.

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