Not long ago, we asked our users whether they had ever done a good deed and kept their actions a secret.

Here are some of the answers, from dropping off Christmas trees on a neighbor's doorstep, to putting extra change in the laundry machine for the next person to use--whoever that might be.

If you'd like, share your experiences on our "Good Deeds!" discussion board. Or you may be inspired to go out and do a good deed of your own!

About 8 years ago, my husband and I were friends with a young couple (just like us) from church who had recently had a baby boy. The husband had suddenly been laid off from his job and we knew how difficult it would be for them to make ends meet. We secretly sent them a gift certificate to a local grocery store. Of course, they never found out who sent it and we like it that way. If I am ever in the same position, I would hope someone would bless me with the same favor.

While eating out with my young daughter, I noticed a table with 8 police officers. This group of men put their lives on the line for all of us. And I'm sure they don't have excess money. We secretly got the waitress to bring us the whole table's bill and then paid it with our own. It was fun to teach my daughter about giving back.... But it was a little strange...being scared of getting caught by the cops before we could make our escape!

I did last Christmas. It made me feel very good, happy. A kind of inner glow. At the same time, it is very difficult to do things for people without expecting thanks. It makes you think about your intentions. Why does it seem so important that other people value your actions? I still haven't found a satisfying answer to that....

It just gives me a warm and uplifting feeling. I know God is saying "Well done!"

In my Bible, there are some passages which talk about doing things in secret...even to the point where if your one hand does something, your other hand should not know of it. To me, this says an awful lot.

One of my coworkers had a bad day at work, so I left a rose in a vase on her desk with no name or card, hoping to cheer her up. Her reaction really surprised me: She told another coworker that I had "left the rose for a (male) coworker" and that I was "after him." Since then I have had second thoughts on leaving small gifts or doing nice things for others.

I had a good friend who passed away at an early age. I gave his wife weekly checks for 12 weeks to help thru some bad financial times. I have been blessed with my own company, and felt that this is what God would want me to do. I felt like I was doing God's deed.

I have done what some may call "good deeds" in secret, but when I look around, I am so grateful to God for all God has given me/us that it is the least I can do. It is a very humbling feeling when we think how much more fortunate we are in comparison to millions around us. In fact I try to stay anonymous or do it randomly (with strangers) because it is embarrassing to me that whatever I do I feel is too little.

Sharing love, gifts and actions is what God is all about. My experience has been that blessings come back in different and unusual ways. Just another reason to give more.

The greatest return on an anonymous deed is that my now adult children do random deeds secretly. I believe that what goes around, comes around, and God gives back to us many times over.

A colleague lost her mother and when she returned to work she was devastated. I left her little gifts every day for a few weeks. I never told her who did it but I know it helped her.

When my husband was still alive, we, as a family, did good deeds all the time. After my husband was killed, myself and our girls continued the practice. Every Christmas, the amount of money that would have been spent on my husband, we would pick a child or a family that had very little and spend that amount of money, or more, on them. Because of this, our girls are thoughtful and loving persons. We never let the people know where it came from. We did not require their thanks. God blessed us in so many ways. Then and now. Whatever a person gives in the name of God comes back to them tenfold. This I believe.

Lots of times I've been so excited and wanted to jump up and down and tell someone, but the highest form of giving is anonymously, sometimes it's hard, but it's great.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in our laundry room of our apt. complex, and I put someone's clothes in the dryer for them and inserted the coins, just happy to do a random act of kindness to someone else. It's a small example, but perhaps it helped someone out who needed those coins for something more worthwhile.

My husband and I decided when we first got married that Christmas was not about us. Each year we take the money we would have spent on ourselves and buy for families that cannot afford to celebrate Christmas. We buy them gifts and a Christmas tree (complete with homemade ornaments) and on Christmas eve we drop them off at their doorstep with a note reminding them that the season is about giving, that they are cared about by someone and someday we hope they would share this with someone in need. We never thought that the one year when we could not do so--because my husband had been laid off--someone would return our act of kindness by leaving gifts on our doorstep. The wonderful thing is no one knows we do this. This is the first time I've shared this with anyone. It is a wonderful feeling to have your act of kindness bring out the kindness in others.

In al-anon we have the "just for todays." They are little suggestions for people in recovery. One of them is: Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways:
  • I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count.

  • I will do two things I don't want to do--just for exercise.

  • I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

  • Opportunities to do "random acts of kindness" are all around us. You just have to be watching for them. There is no good deed, no matter how small, that isn't worth doing.

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