SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - It only takes a small act of kindness to make a big difference in the life of someone in your community, like a service provider, a community leader, a lonely person or a neighbor.

Acts of kindness are often simple gestures that help us be a good neighbor, lift up others, or make our community a place we love. You are invited to turn talk into action by taking part in the "100 Acts of Kindness Challenge" from March 20 to Saturday, March 26, 2022. This challenge is being organized in celebration of Mister Fred Rogers' birthday and "Won't You Be My Neighbor Day" on March 20.

"Our goal is for residents of Greene County to achieve 100 acts of kindness toward their neighbors during the week," said David Burton, University of Missouri Extension county engagement and community development specialist.

No advance registration is needed to participate but Burton says he does want people to use the MU Extension website ( to help document the act of kindness you or your family did, if you witnessed an act of kindness, or if you were the recipient of a kind act.

"Just search for the 100 Acts of Kindness challenge on our website and use the registration button to tell us about what you did and the impact of it," said Burton. "About 20% of the people who submit examples will get a $10 gift card for food."

Residents of Greene and Dent counties are eligible to win prizes by entering acts of kindness thanks to the Greene County MU Extension Council, the Dent County MU Extension Council and Salem Area Community Betterment Association.

For those wanting some ideas of what to do, Burton suggests these 100 different ideas.



1. Participate in a charity walk or run.
2. Donate blood at the American Red Cross or Community Blood Center of the Ozarks.
3. Donate gently used clothes to Goodwill.
4. Give old blankets to the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri or other animal shelter.
5. Donate a bag of cat food to Watching Over Whiskers.
6. Write a positive online review for a locally-owned business you love.
7. Drop off used books at your favorite library for the Friends of the Library book sale.
8. Pick up trash at a local or neighborhood park.
9. Donate diapers or training pants to Isabel’s House.
10. Donate feminine hygiene products to Harmony House.
11. Find a volunteer opportunity on
12. Donate a new pair of children’s shoes to Cents of Pride.
13. Write to a local government official and thank them for their service.
14. Attend a free community event and learn about the hosting organization.
15. MW: Commit to buying an item from a locally owned business and stick with it.
16. Shop at a farmer’s market.
17. Write something you love about your city on your city’s social media page.


1. Go for a walk and bring a small trash bag to pick up trash along the sidewalk.
2. Use sidewalk chalk to write an inspiring message on the sidewalk in front of your home.
3. Ask an elderly neighbor or parent with young children if you can pick up items for them while you’re at the store.
4. If you play a musical instrument, give invitations to your neighbors to attend an outdoor concert on the curb at a given time.
5. Introduce yourself to a neighbor, especially if you’ve lived near each other for a while but haven’t met.
6. Compliment a neighbor on a feature of their home or garden.
7. Make yourself available by spending more time in the front yard.
8. Host a garage sale with special discounts for your neighbors
9. Offer to mow the lawn of a busy young family or older adult neighbor.
10. Make a double batch of the cookies you’re baking and bring some to a neighbor.
11. Know parents who could use a night out?  Offer to babysit a neighbor’s child for free.
12. Place books in a “little free library” box in your neighborhood. 
13. Organize a blitz neighborhood cleanup.
14. Make dinner for a neighbor who has just had a baby or surgery. 
15. MW: Throw a socially distanced happy hour. Invite your neighbors to hang out on their porches one evening, in waving and shouting distance.  
16. Sit on your front porch or in your front yard, and smile at anyone you see outside.



1. Call your mom or dad just to say I love you.
2. Tell a friend what you love about their children.
3. Send a message to a friend, letting them know you appreciate them.
4. Reconnect with an old friend you’ve lost touch with over the years. Share a memory you carry with you.
5. Do chores for a family member who could use some extra free time.
6. Let your spouse sleep in when it’s his/her turn to get up early with the kids.
7. Donate to a friend’s favorite charity in their name.
8. Give a friend a book you think they would like.
9. Send a print of a photo you took of a friend or their child.
10. Write a letter of encouragement to a child you know is having a hard time.
11. Send a friend a helpful or inspiring article that made you think of them.
12. Write a sweet, encouraging note and put it in your child’s lunch box or under their pillow.
13. Send a positive text message to five different people right now.
14. Let someone go in front of you in line who only has a few items.
15. Leave quarters at the laundromat.
16. Encounter someone in customer service who is especially kind? Take an extra five minutes to tell their manager.
17. Buy a plant. Put it in a terracotta pot. Write positive words that describe a friend on the pot. Give it to that friend!
18. Everyone is important. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name.  
19. Write your partner a list of things you love about them.
20. Run an errand for a family member who is busy.
21. Drop off flowers or chocolates to a friend out of the blue
22. Make amends with someone you have wronged.
23. Take a walk through a local park with a friend.



1. Give an unexpected compliment.
2. Let someone cut in front of you in line.
3. Ask the person who’s serving you how their day is going.
4. Pay it backward – buy the coffee or tea for the person behind you in line.
5. Help someone struggling to carry their grocery bags.
6. Stop to assist someone who looks lost.
7. Say something encouraging to a parent who’s struggling with rambunctious kids in a restaurant or grocery store.
8. Offer to return a stranger’s grocery cart to the front of the store.
9. Donate flowers to a nursing home.
10. Leave a great coupon next to that item in the grocery store.
11. Pass along a compliment to a service worker’s boss.
12. Give an extra tip and write an encouraging note along with it.
13. Keep an extra umbrella in your car to give to someone stuck in the rain.
14. Write a thank you note or leave a box of goodies in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
15. Smile at someone who looks sad.



1. Write a thank you note to a teacher who made a difference in your life.
2. Send a note to your child’s teacher thanking them for their efforts during the pandemic.
3. Send in glue sticks, pencils, sticky notes and paper towels for your child’s classroom in the middle of the school year as supplies dwindle.
4. Send hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes for a classroom. 
5. Call your local school district and pay off a student’s overdue lunch balance.



1. Bring in a favorite treat and leave it in the break room.  
2. Compliment a colleague to your boss.
3. Surprise a coworker with a cup of coffee.
4. Take a colleague out to lunch.
5. Leave a treat in a co-workers mailbox.
6. Post a sticky note with an uplifting message on the bathroom mirror. 
7. Write a thank you note to someone who has helped your career.
8. Make friends with someone new to your company.
9. Add a positive comment to the conversation if office chatter becomes negative.
10. Compliment a coworker on a recent success in the workplace.
11. Introduce a colleague to a contact in your professional network.



1. Go to bed an hour early.
2. Take a social media hiatus.
3. Visit the Springfield Botanical Gardens for a walk.
4. Read a good book about neighboring to get you inspired. Let me recommend these books: “The Art of Neighboring,” “Next Door as it is in Heaven,” “The Abundant Community,” “The Vanishing Neighbor,” “How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird,” “This is Where You Belong,” or “The Simplest Way to Change the World.”MW: Figure out one beautiful place in your town - a creek, a park, a river - and spend some time there.



1. Say hello or wave each time you see your neighbors.
2. Bake a plate of cookies or a favorite dessert for your neighbor.
3. Write a message or draw a picture on neighbor’s sidewalk with chalk.
4. Bring in your neighbors’ garbage can or offer to wash their car.
5. Leave a bottle of bubbles, flowers or coloring book on neighbor’s doorstep.
6. Ask an neighbor if there’s a chore you can help them do.
7. Offer to walk your neighbor’s dog, water their garden, rake leaves or shovel snow.
8. Deliver a homemade card to your neighbor, or leave it in their door.
9. Set up a reverse lemonade stand with free drinks for neighbors.


This list was developed for "Won't You Be My Neighbor Day" activities in 2021 by the Springfield-Greene County Library District and University of Missouri Greene County Extension.

University of Missouri Extension is at the forefront of a national movement that recognizes the importance of neighboring in community development. MU Extension is offering classes like "Neighboring 101" and "Becoming an Engaged Neighbor" along with three annual neighboring events as a way to raise awareness and encourage others to focus on neighbors.

To learn more about our "Engaged Neighbor" program or the impact of neighboring, go online to or contact David Burton at or 417-881-8909. "Becoming an Engaged Neighbor" can also be found on Facebook.


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