UT alumna starts business to inspire random acts of kindness

Abigail Zeitler

Whether it’s slipping an encouraging note to a friend or buying Starbucks for a stranger in line, people perform random acts of kindness regularly. UT alumna Gloria Chan makes these gestures easy with her new business, Packs of Kindness.

Chan’s company, which launched in November, sells plans and supplies for people who wish to pass on favors to others. Customers can to buy packages that include different items such as gift cards, dry pantry goods, handwritten notes and cookies.

“We are all in need of kindness,” Chan said. “With our fast-paced lives and constant presence of technology occupying our attention, it’s become easy to forget that we can look around and find opportunities to spread kindness all around us.”

Chan got her inspiration for the business after she and her college roommate, UT alumna Hannah Stewart, discovered a shared love of doing random acts of kindness. Stewart said one of her favorite memories was when she and Chan dropped off a Target gift card and note at a small Mexican restaurant in San Antonio. She said they didn’t know that restaurant owner’s house had recently suffered fire damage. The owner of the restaurant contacted them quickly after and thanked them for their generosity.

“The restaurant owner told [Chan] that she would be using the gift card to buy bedroom items for her young children to replace what had been lost,” Stewart said. “It reminded me that you never really know what another person is going through.”

Stewart shared a blog post with Chan in college about performing random acts of kindness. The blog post said that people should celebrate their birthdays by doing one nice thing for every year since they were born. Chan said she has made that goal her birthday tradition since then.

“When I first started doing this, it took me a full day to brainstorm, plan and shop for supplies to do my random acts of kindness,” Chan said. “I realized it must be tough for someone who has never done this to figure it all out.”

Now she works to make doing random acts of kindness possible for anyone who wants to. Chan said the mission is to make spontaneous kindness easy, to make being generous fun and to help the world become more empathetic every day.

“I hope Packs of Kindness will help more and more people make a positive impact on their communities,” Chan said. “As long as we can keep doing those things, and keep growing those effects, Packs of Kindness is doing its job.”

Stewart said the best part of showing kindness to others is the way people then go on to do acts of kindness for other strangers.

“You can start a ripple effect of kindness through one small act,” Stewart said.

Chan said the main goal of Packs of Kindness is to help people remember how good it feels to surprise people with kindness. 

 “It’s not common to look up and notice strangers who could use some kindness,” Chan said. “I’m guilty of it too — but I want better for myself, and for the world.”