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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Jamie McCaffrey

31 ways to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day in Chicago

Written by
Nick Kotecki

It's Random Acts of Kindness Day! To celebrate, let's be a little gentler, a bit more kind and a lot more patient today. Here's a bunch of ways to be more thankful for those in your life and around you in Chicago.

1. Give to Chicago’s homeless—it’s cold out there.

2. Offer to take a photo for Chicago tourists.

3. Donate or help out at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which assists one in six Cook County residents.

4. Adopt a pet at PAWS Chicago or find out how to volunteer.

5. Double tap your Ventra card to give the person behind you their fare.

6. Give up your seat to someone on the CTA.

7. Grab an afternoon snack for your coworkers (we suggest the best doughnuts in Chicago).

8. Grubhub a friend their dinner without telling them (be sure to leave their phone number!)

9. Show someone around who's new in town.

10. Donate your old cell phone to the Secure the Call, which gives cell phones to seniors and domestic abuse shelters.

11. Generously overtip your bartender or waiter.

12. Offer directions to lost tourists in the Loop.

13. Caffeinate locally! Take a break from Starbucks and pay it forward at a local coffee shop (like Ipsento or Gaslight).

14. Buy groceries from your local corner store instead of Target or Jewel.

15. Smile at someone, anyone. It’s nice.

16. Abandon your usual Chicago road rage and just let the pokey guy merge.

17. Finally donate to that cause at the cash register.

18. Pick up a piece of litter (or three) on your street.

19. Tip the CTA performer at your stop, and give them a thumbs up!

20. Say thank you to a janitor or someone else working a thankless job.

21. Shovel or salt the remaining snow on your neighbor’s sidewalk.

22. And if they come outside, introduce yourself! These are only the people you’ve been living next to for months.

23. Add a few coins into someone's parking meter that's almost expired (where it's still possible).

24. Buy a small gift for your roommate, friend or partner when out shopping.

25. Ask the bus driver (or pause while boarding) to hold for the guy chasing after it down the block.

26. Let someone on the train before you.

27. Don't let the tall guy standing in front of you at tonight's concert ruin the evening. He can't help that he's a monster.

28. Actually laugh at the door man's jokes.

29. Give your extra tokens away at an arcade bar.

30. Send a paperback book to a woman in prison.

31. Hold the elevator for the person who just stepped into the lobby.

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