Nextdoor has provided kind ideas inspired by neighbors for Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, 2022
Did you know performing small, random acts of kindness for neighbors can reduce loneliness? Nextdoor’s global study examining how acts of kindness impact feelings found that knowing as few as six neighbors reduces the likelihood of feeling lonely. As the pandemic continues and people continue to feel isolated, kindness is more important now than ever.
At Nextdoor, kindness is core to our purpose: to cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood to rely on. We believe a little kindness goes a long way towards making life easier, neighborhoods stronger, and the world a better place.
Random Acts of Kindness Day, celebrated on February 17, is an opportunity to encourage kindness in your community. Here are eight ways you can participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day, inspired by neighbors around the world who embody what it means to be kind and welcoming.
1. Connect with a new neighbor
Since you are automatically connected with people nearby, Nextdoor provides a unique way to form new connections and bring those online relationships into the real world. Search or create Nextdoor Groups to find locals nearby with shared interests. Now, there is also a feature to Connect with other neighbors on Nextdoor to keep up with neighbors you know (or want to know) better. You can also check out Neighbors You May Know to find new people that you may want to Connect with based on proximity, Connections in common, on-platform interactions, and your personal contacts.
To help neighbors feel more connected, we also have put together the Nextdoor Loneliness Toolkit with steps you can take to alleviate feelings of loneliness or help a fellow neighbor who might be feeling lonely. The smallest acts of kindness can help build a community of support and compassion.
The Waterside Wine Women combat loneliness with friendship — Houston, TX
Disheartened and lonely after losing her best friend to a sudden heart attack, Cynthia posted on Nextdoor to see if anyone would be open to building a new friendship. She suggested starting a women’s wine group and over 200 ladies around Houston, TX responded with interest in joining. Cynthia invited her neighbors to meet up and the “Waterside Wine Women” group was born. They have now been meeting for nearly five years for happy hours, winery tours, weekend getaways, and more. The group even set up a friendship fund where the women chip in just $25 a year to put away in case any of the members fall on hard times, are battling an illness, or need a bit of extra support. Due to the incredible response, Cynthia now helps other women in Houston create their own friendship groups to form new connections.
2. Help a neighbor in need
When times are tough, we are continuously inspired by the outpouring of neighbors offering help and requesting assistance. Whether it’s doing a good deed such as donating your time, checking in on elderly neighbors, or writing handwritten cards to keep a neighbor in good spirits, a little goes a long way to make a lasting impact.
To put out a general offer to help, you can add yourself to the Nextdoor Help Map so neighbors can know who to reach out to when they need it most.
Neighbors write cards to a 16-year-old with special needs battling COVID-19 — Clawson, MI
Daniel is a 16-year-old with cerebral palsy and epilepsy who is in the hospital with severe COVID-19 complications due to a compromised immune system. His older sister, Caitlin, posted on Nextdoor to ask neighbors to keep Daniel in their thoughts, and see if anyone would be interested in writing him a get well card. In response, the family received hundreds of cards to decorate every wall in Daniel’s hospital room. The family is hopeful that the power of compassion, kindness, and love will help Daniel through his recovery.
3. Reunite lost pets
One act of kindness that your neighbors will be sure to appreciate is keeping an eye out for local pets who have escaped. Whether you find a dog, cat, tortoise, or alpaca, post on Nextdoor so your neighbors can help safely reunite lost pets with their families. A good tip is to browse local animal shelters for ‘recently’ turned in animals. There you can find descriptions and images that could potentially bring home a lost pet.
Neighbors rescue Boogie and Woogie, a father-son alpaca duo on the loose – Oakland, CA
Tobias lives on a small urban farm in Oakland, CA with two alpacas named Boogie and Woogie. One Saturday morning, chaos ensued when they escaped. Tobias raced around the neighborhood searching for the duo until a video was posted to Nextdoor of the two running down a main road. The post went viral with over 3,500 reactions and neighbors came together to corral the two escape artists and safely bring them back to the farm.
4. Share a recipe or homemade treat
Nothing says kindness quite like a delicious baked good, made with love. Make a positive impact and share the love with your neighborhood if you have a special cookie recipe, favorite local bakery, or extra homemade treats to share this Random Acts of Kindness Day.
Former cook bakes rare date-nut bread to satisfy neighbor’s craving — New York, NY
When Nicole’s neighbor posted on Nextdoor that he was experiencing a “doomed craving” for date-nut bread but couldn’t find it anywhere, it sparked a thread of over 100 comments from neighbors on the hunt to help him find a loaf. Nicole used to cook for a living and especially enjoys the magic of homemade treats, so she was inspired to bake some of the rare bread herself and take orders on Nextdoor. She often shares her delicious creations with neighbors in her building or members of the local community garden, and takes pride in being her neighborhood’s “unofficial grandma that doles out homemade goodies.”
5. Donate to a local cause
There are endless nonprofits and organizations in need of community support and encouragement including local schools, food pantries, blood banks, and more. If you aren’t sure where to start, check your Nextdoor feed to keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities and donation drives or spearhead your own project to help neighbors in need.
Teacher organizes annual winter donation drive for low-income students through Nextdoor — Los Angeles, CA
Stephanie teaches kindergarten in a low income area of Los Angeles where families of students struggle to afford back to school supplies and other necessities. A few years ago, she noticed her students shivering in class and turned to Nextdoor to ask neighbors to donate warm clothing and other supplies for the children. She was overwhelmed when neighbors fulfilled wish after wish by providing the students with gloves, blankets, hats, jackets, umbrellas, mittens, and even school supplies. At first, Stephanie only expected to collect donations for her kindergarten class but she quickly received enough clothing to cover 400 students in all grades from head to toe! “It’s been beautiful,” she shared, “it’s all to see the look on the kids’ faces when they get something they’ve needed and it’s all been thanks to Nextdoor.”
6. Do a favor for your neighbor
We could all use a little help from time-to-time with daily tasks. For some, yard work and other housekeeping tasks may be a pain, but for others it can be a huge burden without the help of others. Make an offer to take out garbage bins, shovel snowy driveways, or mow a lawn to help your neighbors stay safe and brighten their day by taking a task off their to-do list.
Volunteers shovel a neighbor’s walkway during a winter superstorm — Ontario, Canada
In early January, Ontario experienced the biggest snowfall in over a decade and Maria became worried as snow piled up on her driveway. She had spent the last 22 years caring for her disabled mother now in hospice care and the snow blocked access to the lift her mother relies on to exit the home. Looking for help, Maria turned to her neighbors on Nextdoor and made a post on Nextdoor asking if neighbors could help shovel their walkway. Within minutes, she had nearby neighbors come to her driveway ready to shovel snow and volunteers continued to help throughout the coming days, clearing the seemingly never-ending snow and creating a safe path from the lift to the sidewalk and beyond. Maria was brought to tears with gratitude and now has a renewed appreciation for her neighborhood.
7. Participate in a community initiative
It feels good to do good, and coming together with a team of neighbors for communal kindness activities can lead to an even bigger impact. Choose a cause you are passionate about and find a group of like-minded people who are eager to make a difference in your community.
Passionate neighbor spearheads project to support families and businesses in her community — Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K.
Kerry was announced as a 2021 U.K. Neighbor of the Year following her incredible work lifting community projects off the ground. She became part of a local project with the mission to create more space in the community to reduce traffic and allow local cafes and pubs to operate more safely. At one point, Kerry led over 200 volunteers and through Nextdoor she organized a series of events to gather families to support the initiative. Kerry shared, “You’ll never know what fabulous people live just up the road from you who are also super keen to work on the same thing that you are unless you reach out.’’
8. Show appreciation for fellow neighbors
Thanking neighbors for their kindness can be an act of kindness by itself! Give a shout-out of encouragement on Nextdoor to appreciate a neighbor who makes an effort to wave each morning, or someone who goes out of their way to help others to inspire your community.
Kind truck driver helps neighbors stranded on snowy freeway — Raleigh, NC
Recent snowstorms left Bernadette and her husband, along with thousands of others, stuck on a highway in Virginia for hours. Thankfully, they were stuck next to a kind truck driver named Mohammed who handed out cases of water, offered some food, gave gas to those who ran out, and even let strangers borrow his phone to call their loved ones. Bernadette wanted to express her gratitude, but she didn’t have Mohammed’s contact info so she posted her story on Nextdoor with a smiling photo of the truck driver and received nearly 12,000 reactions. After a bit of help from her neighbors, Bernadette was able to track down Mohammed’s phone number to thank him personally and show him the overwhelming amount of love on the Nextdoor post.
Spreading kindness is both rewarding and helps communities thrive. Random acts of kindness don’t need to be extravagant. In fact, it’s the simple, small acts in your own neighborhood that can have the biggest impact. For more creative ways to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day, visit randomactsofkindness.org.
To connect with your local neighborhood, please login at nextdoor.com.