Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use this site?
There are a number of different ways to use this site! You can share about your own acts of kindness or read hundreds of inspiring stories by others. You can browse through our rich collection of kindness ideas for every occasion and age group or order Smile Cards. You can also become a part of our vibrant online community or subscribe to a newsletter. If you're up for it you can also join our 21-Day Challenge!

Do you charge for any of your services?
No. :) Everything here is (and always will be) a labor of love. KindSpring is a 100% advertisement-free portal, run 100% by volunteers. Our wonderful team is comprised of scores of dedicated individuals located all around the world. Together we maintain our web portal, send out a weekly kindness newsletter, ship Smile Cards all over the world for free and allow people anywhere to download, print and republish our content without any restrictions.

Who runs KindSpring?
KindSpring is run 100% by volunteers who live all over the world. We do not belong to any one profession, or culture, nor do we subscribe to any one religious or spiritual group. What binds us is simply our commitment to making the world a brighter place one kind act at a time. Learn more about our awesome team!

How did KindSpring start?
In the summer of 2003 a kitchen table conversation between the founder of ServiceSpace and a young college student unleashed the tidal wave of good now known as KindSpring. Discussing the unpleasant ritual of hazing that takes place in frat houses across the country, the two wondered aloud what would happen if the intention behind playing pranks on people was flipped on its head. What if instead of playing mean practical jokes, people started playing kindness pranks on each other? What if they left an anonymous card behind inviting the recipient to pay-it-forward and keep the spirit going? Where would the ripples of that lead? These were open and irresistible questions. A small team of volunteers immediately put their heads and hearts together to set things in motion. Within the span of a week the first Smile Card had been drafted and within the month the first set had been printed and were in play. There was no looking back. Now there are over one million smile cards in the world shipped to over 90 countries. :)

Is KindSpring a company, a non-profit, or project?
KindSpring is a project of ServiceSpace, an innovative non-profit that works at the intersection of volunteerism, technology and the gift economy. Founded in April of 1999 by Nipun Mehta, it continues to hold steadfast to its three counter-intuitive core principles of being all-volunteer-run, steering clear of fundraising, and focusing on small acts. You can learn more about ServiceSpace's unique work and approach here.

What is HelpOthers?
HelpOthers was the former name of KindSpring. The name was changed in 2013 to more closely reflect our values and purpose. But the site and all its activities are still run as a project under ServiceSpace and all other aspects of its ownership and ethos remain the same.

Where are your headquarters?
KindSpring is a virtual project with no formal office buildings. We are headquartered in people's hearts :) Our volunteers work out of their living rooms, cafes, and at their kitchen tables all over the world.

What are Smile Cards?
Smile Cards are business-sized cards that serve as reminders for an infectious game of 'kindness tag.' The idea is, when you do an anonymous kind act for someone, you leave the card behind, to let the recipient know that someone reached out to touch their life with kindness, and now they're 'it' and it's their turn to pay-it-forward by doing something kind for someone else and passing the card along. It's easy, fun and transformative. Anyone anywhere in the world can order smile cards off this website and our team of volunteers will ship them over at no charge!

How can I get some Smile Cards?
You can get your smile cards by clicking here, and joining the game of pay-it-forward!

How are Smile Cards funded?
Smile cards are funded by ordinary people -- not by big grants or companies. Thousands of micro and macro contributions from everyday people who believe in the power and importance of kindness are what make it possible for us to print and ship smile cards all over the world.

But seriously --- how does this project sustain itself?
Because generosity is generative -- and what goes around comes around. :) The kindness that we enable circles back to support us in myriad ways. Some people share creative ideas of compassion, some contribute stories of inspiration, some sponsor cards for others -- and in all these and many other ways the kindness just keeps spreading! We're just grateful for the opportunity to be humble instruments along the way.

When will my smile cards arrive?
If you are located in the United States it will typically take about a week from order date. For other locations, it generally takes 2-4 weeks depending on the mail delivery system of each country.

I would like to do this activity with my entire group or class. Can I order more cards?
Of course! Click here for information on bulk orders.

Is there a code of conduct for the KindSpring community?
Yes, absolutely. You can read it here: Code of Conduct

What are KarmaBucks and how can I use them?
KarmaBucks are a form of "kindness currency" used on this site. After you post a kindness story you are gifted two KarmaBucks every time someone leaves a comment on your story, and one KarmaBuck every time someone adds a 'smile' to your story. The most common use of KarmaBucks is to gift them to other members as a token of appreciation. People often gift KarmaBucks with a thank you note for instance, when someone has written a nice comment on one of their stories, or when a story of someone else's touches them deeply. KarmaBucks can also be sent for no other reason than to simply spread the love! They are a great way to make someone's day! When you pay-forward your KarmaBucks, recipients are listed as your 'friends' on KindSpring, thus facilitating connections and broadening your community.

How can I make a donation?
You can help sponsor smile cards by making a donation online or by writing a check. You can also make a gift of United States stamps to help cover mailing costs. Visit our donate page for more details!

How can I volunteer with KindSpring?
There are many different ways to volunteer your time and talents with KindSpring, including helping to ship smile cards, editing our newsletters, building our social media presence, and becoming a community weaver! To get started, login into ServiceSpace with your KindSpring email and password, then fill out your profile and then go through our online orientation. Following that, you can sign-up for the various open opportunities. You can browse through our list of open volunteer opportunities and sign up for any one of them here.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to drop us a note. Thanks for being partners in kindness!