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Random Acts of Kindness Video & Photo Challenge (Let’s Inspire One Another)

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I have the most generous, kind, and loving readers. I am so incredibly lucky. During the 4 years that I’ve been blogging, I have witnessed countless times an outpouring of love and support for one another. It’s amazing the compassion I’ve seen. So that’s where this challenge comes in…

As you may have read, Anne Curry is challenging everyone to commit to doing acts of kindness in honor of the victims killed in Newtown, CT. Like many of you across the country, I am more than ready to take part in this challenge and I imagine that many of you are as well. I truly believe that paying it forward with random acts of kindness can have a powerful impact on your own life as well as the lives of others! What a wonderful way to remind one another that we live in a country filled with so much good.

So who wants to join me in this challenge?! I am hoping that quite a few of you are nodding yes. If this is indeed the case, I think it will be very inspiring to put together a video containing many different acts of kindness by all of you wonderful Hip2Savers.

If you are willing to participate, submit a video clip of you or someone you know in the act of paying it forward. You can use a regular video camera or even an iPhone or smartphone to submit your video clip (there is absolutely no need for this to be a professional video). The video can be as short or long as you want and you are welcome to submit more than one video. It’s all about showing how great the world is and just how much good surrounds us.

Once you have captured an act of kindness on video, please email the video to bekind@hip2save.com. Include your first name and the city and state where your act of kindness took place. Note that if you send your video via email, there is a possibility that your video may appear on Hip2Save.com.

* If you do not have access to a video camera/device, you are welcome to email photographs as well (as long as they have been taken by you or someone you know).

Here are some ideas for ways to pay it forward…

* Be a coupon fairy and leave a coupon behind in a store
* Walk someone’s dog
* Babysit for free
* Clean someone’s house
* Give a lottery ticket to a stranger
* Treat a police officer to a cup of coffee
* Bring some goodies to the fire station
* Pay the highway toll for the person behind you
* Donate food, clothing, and money to the needy
* Smile at every person you meet today
* Raise money for a person who lost their home to natural disasters or fire
* Hold a garage sale and give the proceeds to an organization who helps others

I can’t wait to be inspired by the videos and pictures you send my way!

Collin founded Hip2Save in 2008 and has over 10 years experience as a deals and lifestyle editor, strategist, and creative copywriter. She is debt-free and has been featured in Parents Magazine, Today.com and MSNBC. Connect with Collin on LinkedIn

Join The Discussion

Comments 144

  1. WENDY

    at the gas station and a woman gave up with a gas can…had no money for gas to fill the can…gave her money for the gas….give extra big tips out over the holidays…to pizza delivery guy,place where buy subway sandwiches,dairy queen and the store where buy lotto tickets all year…donate lots of toys and food gotten by using coupons….what a great feeling helping people who do not have much.

  2. Alea

    I love so many of these ideas & comments. Personally, I think it’s pretty hard to capture on camera though – if you pay for someone’s toll or meal behind you, be a coupon fairy, etc – you don’t get to see their reaction. Also, even if you get to see the face of someone you help out – I think most people don’t want a camera on them especially since most people are hesitant to accept “help” (unless it’s Oprah or Ellen than people don’t seem to mind cameras too much ;)).

    • T

      My thoughts exactly! I submitted pictures of what I did…not the people I did it for. Don’t want to make them uncomfortable 🙂

  3. shannon

    We just moved to a new neighborhood and of course so far, my most talked to person is our new mail carrier who has made plenty of deliveries to our door in the short 2 months we’ve been here. Yesterday I have her the $10 starbucks card I got from my Disney rewards and wrote her a note saying “To our Merry Mail Carrier..please have some coffee on us and thank you so much for your service.” Today she left us a thank you card saying “I’ve been called alot of things in my life but never Merry.” She thanked me and was so taken back saying she rarely gets a gift and doesn’t consider herself a nice person but she was certainly smiling by the end of our brief conversation. I’m so glad we did that.

  4. C.M and T.

    We purchased tooth brushes as stocking stuffers from https://smilesquared.com/products For each one you purchase – a child in need receives a tooth brush. http://www.toms.com/ is another great way to help children in need – each pair of shoes you purchase gives a pair to a child in need. We purchased a pair of children’s shoes and donated them for a foster child – helping two at once 🙂

  5. Steph

    No video or picture, but I saw a homeless man patrolling the intersection for change. I didn’t feel comfortable giving him cash (could buy drugs or alcohol), but I did go to McDonald’s and bought him a $5 gift card. When I passed through the intersection again, I waved to him and gave it to him and told him “Please buy some food. Happy Holidays!” He looked so happy! I live such a wonderful life, I have never wanted for anything, it was the smallest thing I could do!

  6. Steph

    Another idea for a random act of kindness, that I do on a regular basis since I get home earlier than most of my neighbors. If it is a windy day, I bring their empty trash cans up to their garages so they don’t blow in the street. So easy to do, your kids can help too!

  7. Ashley

    Please consider bringing some of your coupon or clearance toys to a local children’s hospital (most can no longer accept used toys d/t infection control). The ones that fold up for travel are especially useful for children who are stuck in bed due to all the IVs and equipment they are hooked up to. The children’s hospital in Minneapolis always needs more XBox games and controllers too.

    • Alyssa

      This is a really good idea. Sadly, I know from experience that the toy selection gets very old after your 4th stay at a hospital – especially when stuck in isolation and only being able to bring a few toys into your room. The oncology unit of the Children’s Hospital is typically where your longer stays are (from one month, to 4 days every 2-3 weeks for over 2 years of treatments). Thanks for suggesting this!

      • Ashley

        We spent 10 months in and out of oncology. One time we were there for a full month. Nothing cheers up a sick kiddo more than a “new” toy. 🙂

  8. Ali

    Collin, I really want to try this. I have been so down lately and I know that part of it is because I lost my brother on Aug 21st and this is the first Christmas without him. I don’t know that I will send in any pictures but I am definitely going to try this and maybe it will bring me out of my slump. Thanks for sharing this idea. I hadn’t heard about this.

    • Steph

      Ali, sending special thoughts your way with your recent loss.

  9. CourtneyAmanda

    Don’t forget your local animal shelter workers! Take snacks for them, and/or treats for the neglected animals. Comfort items too, if you have old towels or blankets.

  10. katie

    I do random acts of kindness all year. But most are anonymous. I don’t want recognition, or even a thank you, I just want to help when ever I can. I will never videotape because I don’t think that is what it is about. I am happy to see so many others do everyday things. Merry Christmas!

    • Julie

      I agree, I think when one creates a Random Act of Kindness, it should remain under wraps. That is what makes it genuine. No need to share or be recognized for the act… it is done from a more organic place with no expectations in return. Video taping or sharing what you have done takes away from that. Thanks for all of the great ideas & for those willing to act out in kindness! This is definitely a time in our lives, nation & season for it! Thank you, Colin!

    • Wendi

      I agree, I pay it forward all year around. Sometimes I pay for the person behind me etc. Sometimes I will give people a coupon for a free box of Krispy Kremes. I have a stack of them that I got a charity auction that I keep with me. Just this week, I was at Walmart picking up my site to store purchase and a man wanted to put a 23.97 lala loopsy doll on layaway. Walmart said they were no longer taking layaways. He just stood there looking at the doll. I could tell he was pondering on what to do. The associate said I can hold it for 24 hours and that is it. The guy said ok, but I said I would pay for it. He was so thankful and relieved. I would rather be anonymous, but it was hard to do it then. He asked for my address. I was hesitant, but gave him my work address. I hope his little girl loves her doll.

  11. Patricia

    For those that just got or will be getting snow, how about shoveling the older neighbors walks, or making a snowman in the yard of a sick child? I rarely get
    snow in the south, so enjoy it when you get it…..Thanks for all everyone does

  12. Harmony

    I love doing this kinda thing. Not too long ago me and my aunt saw a homeless man and his dog in a parking lot. Went to the nearby pet store and spent $30 bucks on food and treats for the dog and gave the guy some money. It was so nice helping and seeing his face light up. Not to mention how happy the dog was so have a huge bone to chew on.

  13. Susan

    I received an amazing act of kindness this afternoon. I arrived home to a ups package on my door, in it was a letter from my company stating that I was selected by the employee foundation secret santa to receive a special gift this holiday season. Enclosed was a check to assist us at this time of the year. The person who did this for me requested to remain anonymous, they made and exceeded our christmas. Thank you whoever you are!

  14. pamela

    I agree to the fact that random acts of kindness should remain as anonymous but in the same respect it also can make the person feel good to get some of that recognition sometimes – im in a place in our finances right now that i dont have a lot of money to buy extra stuff to give but i do donate through out the year whenever i come across deals that make items free like denture stuff or depends i take those to the nursing home and they appreciate them alot but i dont tell em who i am or anything – just that im dropping off a donation – apparently my church pastor found out though that i had been donating and without saying who i was he gave me recognition to the church congregation of the work i had been doing – it made me feel great inside -noone besides the pastor knew it was me but it didnt even matter – just knowing that i helped someone was enough for me

  15. Amie

    I paid for a ladies coffee at a Starbucks in target.She was reaching in her purse and I quickly held my Starbucks app up for him to scan then walked away. I believe she was still trying to hand money to him until he told her it was paid for. I am going to be dropping off my pamper jars, of which I am putting my free Starbucks drink stickers promo in. ( I have 5 filled up since it started lol) so I was saving them for after the holidays but I am choosing to use them to give free drinks out. I am now homeschooling and we are to light school days in prep of Christmas so we will be doing some things the next few days! We will catch up! 26 here we come.

  16. carrie

    My fav color is purple…and my coworker gave up her purple pen to ME recently. Something that seemingly keeps my going – even tho its weeks later!!!

  17. Vi C.

    We have just submitted our application to adopt a hero at http://www.homefronthugs.org/carepackages. We came across this program and think this is a great way to show kindness to heroes that fight for us everyday. We are so blessed with being able to spend time with our loved ones during the holidays. These soldiers ask for things that we already have from couponing from deals from Collin, such as deodorant, lip balm, baby wipes, antibacterial hand gel, water enhancers (MIo), scented candles, stickers and stationary cards to write to their children, small toys to give to local children, etc… The list goes on. I hope we can make at a soldier feel that someone back home is thinking about them wih these care packages with these simple items that we get for cheap or free on a weekly basis!

    • Suzanne H

      Just checked out their website. I am definitely going to apply and am going to see if my office will adopt as well. Thanks for the info!

  18. Jennifer C

    I love reading these!! They make me smile 🙂

  19. Alonda St John

    I like to shovel the driveway and so my neighbors always have there boys do theres and ours so when i can i do the same and give those little helpers a break or a hand. Plus the other day i went to burger king and i got some food for my daughter and i took one of the tips that collin has posted a few days again and paid for the person behind me inlines meal. The lady at the window was shocked and wanted to know if i knew him. I said “no” then she asked me if i wanted him to know my name. I replied “no”. she wished me happy holidays and went on my merry way. I also filled an application to work at a shelter where homeless people go to eat. Hope to start next month. Happy Holidays!!

  20. Lynne W.

    My 9 year old daughter asked me the other day if she could cut off her hair and donate it to someone with cancer who needs a wig. (Her friend had done this over the summer). If she will let me, I will make a video clip of her having her hair cut on Friday.

  21. karen

    What a great idea Collin. Awhile back there was an elderly women looking at the same product I was at the grocery store, it was BOGO free and I had a few BOGO free coupons making them both free. She inquired about what I was doing. I told her, take these two coupons and these 4 products you’ll get them all for free. She was so greatful, and I felt awesome knowing I helped someone who really needed the help. This also happend to me at Walgreens, the women asked what I was doing, I told her and explained how I was getting these products for next to nothing and earning RR. I gave her some extra coupons and a quick coupon lesson and told her to go to your website, you think she won the lottery. I don’t own a video camera or a smart phone, and my digital cameras not the best, so I’ll just enjoy being a coupon fairy and spread the word to anyone whos interested in learning : )

  22. Patty

    We have had a difficult year emotionally due to the death of my husbands mother and brother. There has been a lot of sadness, anger, survivors guilt that my husband has been dealing with and does not want any help – through this of course our home life is struggling. I love to bake and do a lot of it at the holidays. This year I did more and made plates of cookies and other desserts for our new neighbors, the nice unappreciated ladies at the starbucks in my work building, security guards and so on and so on. On the local deliveries I make my husband come (and our son) so that he can see the happiness when others receive. I am trying to find some joy for him during this tough time, while at the same time teaching my son to give without receiving. Luckily he loves to give (and receive). As I was sitting sad at my desk yesterday thinking about things one of my dear friends stopped by and gave me a scarf (cowal) that she crocheted. It was so sweet. We don’t do gifts for each other. She wrote a very touching note about the year I’ve had and that whenever I wear it consider myself hugged. Of course I cried. It was so sweet and has made me want to make others feel the same way more so than before.

  23. charity

    My husband, who does not coupon but supports my efforts, did something really wonderful and out of the blue last night. We went to out for a quick dinner before starting to wrap presents. Our waitress was very nice and did a great job. As we were getting ready to leave, she was telling a co-worker that she hadn’t even made $20 in tips that evening. She mentioned that someone did not tip, and 2 others left about $5 each, so it was a slow night for her. My husband looked at me and said “How do you feel about making her night a good one?” I just smiled and told him to do what he felt was right. He paid our ticket and left her a $10 tip (our bill was only $15). As we were walking out the door, she realized what was on the receipt and the smile and thank you made our evening. We don’t have a lot to give, but it felt nice knowing that we made a complete strange have a better day.

  24. Sunny

    My uncle received a scratch off lottery ticket as a gift yesterday. He won $100 on it and while going in to cash it in he ran into a homeless guy and he was generous enough to give the ticket to the gentleman and told him to go cash it in and walked away.

    I thought that was great!

  25. patti

    Just remembered I bought a King Size Hershey Bar last night for work snack today. Put a sticker on it and put it out in the mailbox for the mail lady. Merry Christmas!

  26. kristy

    WOW…I decided last night I was going to do this. This morning as I am dropping my 8 yr old daughter off at school, there was a Police standing at the gate protecting our children. He had a green Sandy Hook jelly bracelet on. I rolled down my window and handed him a note and a gift card for Publix. He was overcome with joy! He was SO APPRECIATIVE! I said, I know it isn’t much and he said, “It is the thought that counts”. That small act of kindness made him so happy that it was infectious! My daughter asked why I did that and I told her, “Wouldn’t this world be a happy place if everyone did 1 kind thing a day for someone else”. There is no way to bring the victims back, but we can all try to make the world a nicer place and help those in need!!!

  27. Becky

    I just volunteered for these sweet little animals at the humane society. They take only donations to keep this facility going. Remember them during the holiday. They sure could use some food.

  28. shannon

    I have twenty coke reward points to give away per one item on my twenty six list so the first person to leave their email address here will receive them 😉 Be sure to write your email address in a protective form though so and so at dot com etc.

    • mary

      I would love to have it 🙂
      You are so kind!
      Mary.b161 at gmail

      • shannon

        sent your way mary 🙂

  29. Betsy

    I’m glad you mentioned this. I’ve already started, and it feels great! It has helped boost my spirits through this difficult week!

  30. Ashley57

    For the first time ever, I gave food to a homeless person today. I have always been so nervous to do so, but lots of people on here talk about it. He was so happy! He put it away in his backpack like it was a treasure. I hope he isn’t hungry tonight.

  31. Haley M

    Today I went to walmart and there was a bell ringer playing the sax outside and it was freezing, snowing & windy I was running by McDonalds to get myself a diet coke so I went a head and got a large hot chocolate and went back by Walmart to give it to him to warm up a bit…sure felt good to do something nice for a total stranger

  32. Ashley

    I was out and about doing some shopping and random acts of kindness today. Funny thing is, after doing those raok, I ended my day w/a $5 button from JCP (only picked up 1 button), a $10 email from Kohls, and a free pop from the vending machine game after I bought a Diet Pepsi (my mall just got crazy touch screen vending machines). You give, and it comes right back at you!

    I think my favorite act was the smallest one. I bought my kids a little candy from the candy dispensers and I put a quarter in it for the next person. It’s my favorite b/c even though it’s a really small thing, I know it’s something I can afford to do everytime, and I plan on it!

    • Linda

      So true that it comes back.

    • Ashley

      And now I just won a $10 arch card on mycokerewards! I plan in using some of it and applying the rest to the next person’s order. I’ve had an awesome day, life is good.

  33. Linda

    I am on #3 of my 26 acts. I gave the cashier at a fast food restaurant a $5 bill to go toward the next customers order. When they realized why their bill was so low the woman came over to hug me and started crying, as did I thinking about why I was doing this. She proceeded to tell me her grandbaby just died. Oh my goodness. My heart just broke for her as it has for the families in Newtown. Felt like this was a total God intervention moment.

    • Ashley

      Wow. That’s really amazing 🙂

    • Hannah

      ^ totally made me cry right now!
      You just never know how a small act can make someone feel. I think these days people are so isolated; technology makes us feel like we’re closer but we’re really emotionally farther apart. Connecting with someone is one of the best feelings in the world.

  34. Hannah

    I like to leave little baggies on people’s cars, with a packet of hot cocoa or a little sweet (in original packaging of course) and a note of encouragement (such as “I hope you have a wonderful day” or “Just wanted to make you smile, pass it on!” etc).
    I wouldn’t want to take a photo, in fact I leave as soon as I place it on their windshield because I don’t want them to see me. I want the Random Act of Kindness to be from “anyone” or “everyone”. To be faceless, so they never know WHO, but they know that there are good people in the world still.
    “It’s more powerful to be a symbol than just a person” or whatever it is Batman says…LOL.

  35. Theresa S

    I’ve been trapped at home with the flu since the beginning of December. Yesterday was my first outing to the mall (or anywhere else for that matter). So I took along all the Hallmark coupons I have been printing and handed out 12 coupons for $5/$10 off to shoppers in Hallmark. Their reactions were great, especially the last young man who was buying a gift for his dad. He said I touched his heart and that he was going to do something nice for someone else. How wonderful! (25 more to go in #26Acts of Kindness)

  36. cacee

    I started on Thursday: went in to Hallmark and gave a woman a 5 off 10 purchase…she was very thankful. Today, I went to do the Walgreens ThermaCare deal and when I printed the 15 percent coupon, 4 printed. I handed the other three out; one to the person in front of me and one to the next two people in line, all thankful. One guy even saw me getting into my car and he said thanks, again. The best reaction I got was from a woman at Target today. I noticed she had a Crossley record player in her cart, and I had a 10 percent off coupon. She was on her cell phone, so I quietly walked up to her and handed it over
    She looked at it and said in a loud excited voice,”wow!! Are you serious??” I simply replied, ” merry Christmas!” As I walked away I heard her excitedly telling the person on the other line…a woman just gave me coupon for the record player! She was so excited!!! My dad was at a gas station and saw a woman scraping together change for a soda…so he gave her 5 dollars 😉


    THIS IS SO AWESOME i love it!!!! What wonderful ideas! We all watch the news and it’s always terrible things so this is so uplifting!

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