World Kindness Day: Date, history, and ideas

Each year, World Kindness Day is celebrated on November 13  (Reuters/Sean Yong)
Each year, World Kindness Day is celebrated on November 13 (Reuters/Sean Yong)

World Kindness Day is a yearly event created to celebrate kindness and all of its wonderful benefits. It’s a great opportunity to promote acceptance, diversity, and love.

With the UK cost-of-living crisis not going away any time soon, global warming at worrying levels, war, crime, and other events happening that might threaten our happiness, World Kindness Day is probably needed now more than ever.

Here is everything you need to know about the annual event.

What is the history of World Kindness Day?

The first World Kindness Day was held by not-for-profit organisation the World Kindness Movement (WKM) in 1988. They aim to inspire and encourage people to show greater kindness to one another in the hope of creating a fairer, better world.

The World Kindness Movement does not have any religious, commercial, or political motivations, but simply aims to make the world a better, kinder place for us all.

The WKM organisation was born in 1997 at a conference in Japan. Those attending had a shared understanding of the importance of kindness in society. Today, it has 27 representatives from all over the world, from Brazil and China to the UK, Romania, and Zimbabwe.

In the UK, Kindness Day is organised by Kindness UK, a not-for-profit organisation. Kindness Day UK was launched on November 13, 2010, and the event has continued to grow in popularity every year, with increasing numbers of individuals, schools, charities, institutions, and businesses taking part on the same day annually.

How can I celebrate World Kindness Day?

People around the world are encouraged to share quotes about kindness on November 13. Maya Angelou’s, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”, for example. Or Roald Dahl’s, “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

You can also pledge a good deed and find ideas for random acts of kindness, both large and small, on the Kindness UK website. Below are some examples:


  • Hang on to your mobile phone for longer

  • Take your own bag shopping or buy a “bag for life”

  • Turn the tap off while you’re brushing your teeth

  • Walk or cycle to reduce your carbon footprint

  • Turn off electrical items at the plug socket

  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room


  • Sign the petition asking the United Nations to make World Kindness Day a globally recognised day

  • Offer to do a food shop for an elderly neighbour

  • Help a mother carry her pushchair upstairs

  • Take the time to get to know your colleagues

  • Sign up to the organ-donor register

  • Give blood

  • Give someone a compliment


  • Try to reduce your meat consumption eg have a meat-free day

  • Volunteer for a nature charity

  • Only use pesticides as a last resort

  • Help search for a missing cat