The Kindness Project
THE KINDNESS PROJECT
In 2020 The PB & J Theatre Company, The Prevention Council and Carol Joy, the founder of JOI NEURON joined forces to talk about ways to navigate the isolation of the pandemic. We came up with The Kindness Project, a wellness initiative that inspires and promotes kindness and empathy within a classroom, a school, a neighborhood, a community.
We are invested in this project because we recognize the power simple acts of kindness hold. Through empathy and kindness, we understand other cultures and people who are not like us. Encouraging all of us to act kindly toward others is a positive coping method during the pandemic and beyond. When we build relationships in a community we reduce violence and loneliness and increase wellness.
ACTS OF KINDNESS PRODUCES HEALTHIER BRAINS
According to the Dartmouth College study of wellness: “Performing and witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin.” Oxytocin increases self-esteem and optimism. Kindness is chemical. Research on the science behind why kindness makes us feel better has centered on oxytocin. Oxytocin plays a role in forming social bonds and trusting other people. It's tied to making us more generous, and friendlier. When individuals provide acts of kindness they build better selves and better communities at the same time. Studies have also linked random acts of kindness to releasing dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that can give us a feeling of euphoria. This feel-good brain chemical is credited with causing what's known as a "helper's high.” In addition to boosting oxytocin and dopamine, being kind can also increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood.
There are so many ways to act kindly. Here are 100 ideas that don’t cost much but have a big impact:
Wash someone’s car.
Write a thank you note for your mail carrier.
Bake dessert for a neighbor
Walk dogs at the animal shelter.
Check in on an elderly neighbor.
Set up a lemonade stand and donate the profits.
Send a card to a service member.
Bury treasure at the playground.
Set the table for dinner.
Leave bubbles on someone’s doorstep.
Put money on a stranger’s layaway bill.
Tell someone why they are special to you.
Donate outgrown clothes.
Buy a coffee for a stranger.
Pass out stickers to kids waiting in line.
Talk to someone new at school.
Write chalk messages on the sidewalk.
Weed or shovel for a neighbor.
Donate food to the food pantry.
Bring flowers to your teacher.
Tell a manager how good their service was.
Tape change to a parking meter.
Donate socks and supplies to the homeless shelter.
Give a lottery ticket to a stranger.
Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while to say hello.
Tape money for the ice cream truck to a friend’s front door.
Take treats to the fire station.
Read a book to someone.
Leave heads up pennies on the sidewalk.
Donate a book to a doctor’s office waiting room.
Tell someone how much you love them.
Say hello to everyone you see.
Make someone else’s bed.
Hold the door open for someone.
Wave at kids on school buses.
Sing songs at a nursing home.
Invite someone to play on the playground.
Tell the principal how great your teacher is.
Donate a toy to Toys for Tots.
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
Say thank you when you see service members.
Fill a kindness jar with candy for another family.
Make a thank you sign for sanitation workers.
Make a busy bag for a family with young children.
Bring cookies to the custodian.
Help make dinner.
Donate new pajamas for foster kids.
Make a get well card for someone.
Bring your neighbors’ garbage cans up for them.
Take care of someone’s pet while they’re away.
Leave a popcorn surprise on a DVD rental machine.
Share a special toy with a friend.
Clean up your room without being asked.
Tape a video message for faraway friends.
Leave kindness stones at the park.
Give a candy bar to the bus driver.
Send dessert to another family at a restaurant.
Give spare change to the food pantry.
Buy extra school supplies for a teacher.
Make muffins for your pharmacist.
Teach someone something new.
Reuse paper when you are drawing.
Pay for someone’s toll.
Give someone a hug coupon.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Write a note for someone’s lunch.
Collect money or items for your favorite charity.
Donate coloring books and crayons to the children’s hospital.
Write a poem for a friend.
Ask for donations instead of birthday gifts.
Help someone unload groceries at the store.
Make a candy gram for the police department.
Collect books for the library.
Adopt an animal online.
Decorate tissue boxes and hand sanitizer for nursing stations.
Make a homemade gift for someone.
Clean up your toys without being asked.
Deliver water bottles to the homeless shelter.
Create activity bags for families of deployed soldiers.
Give high fives to a friend.
Make a thank you card for your librarian.
Dry the slides at the park with a towel after it rains.
Make play dough for a preschool class.
Send a postcard to a friend.
Smile at everybody. It’s contagious.
Help someone with their homework.
Pick up litter.
Say thank you.
Put birdseed out.
Compliment someone at school every day.
Play with someone.
Don’t be stingy with hugs.
Make someone something.
Send a real card.
Help a stranger.
Pick up after yourself.
Play a board game with a grandparent.
Help cook dinner.
Make someone laugh