Garner's video received warm responses from social media users with several promising to adopt the practice in their lives.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 11, 2022. It has since been updated.
Jennifer Garner has long been an advocate of little acts of kindness that bring a smile to someone's face. The "13 Going on 30" star took to Instagram to share a simple tip for giving back to the community and possibly making a huge difference in someone's life. In the short video, the 49-year-old actor filled a Ziploc bag with everyday items like socks, tissues, granola bars and toothbrushes before handing them out to people experiencing homelessness. "Random act of kindness: gather these essentials in a quart-sized Ziploc bag and keep them in your car to give away when you see someone in need. Inspired by my kind friend, @whitneyformt." Garner captioned her post.
"A pair of thick socks. Kleenex. Hand wipes. Disposable toothbrushes. Chapstick. A couple of granola bars. I forgot this time, but like to add feminine hygiene products, too. Add $5, $10, $20 and a smile," she added. Garner's video received a warm response from social media users with several promising to adopt the practice of handing out zip-up plastic bags with essentials to those in need. "I did this a couple Christmases back and I honestly don’t know who got more out of it. I was walking on air after. It felt amazing," commented @themindful88.
"Love this! Made about 60 packages of something similar for our local food pantries to hand out. It's the little things you forget about that people really need like warm socks, feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizer etc," wrote @myriambostwick. "This is brilliant and deeply kind. Adopting this immediately," wrote @fionastiles. Aside from using the platform to promote the idea of being kind to those around us, Garner also practices it in real life by performing kind gestures for random people. According to TODAY, in a video shared on her Instagram story earlier this month, the star purchased coffee for customers at Starbucks and tipped employees.
"May I please have a mint tea grande?" Garner asked a barista before giving the employee money to cover the orders of customers behind her in line. "If I give you this to pay for the people behind me, and then this for you guys. So, that's for you guys. This is just to pay for whoever is behind me. Is that OK? Just tell them to 'have a good day!' and pass it on." In a text overlay on the video, Garner emphasized the importance of good deeds. "Coffee is always a worthwhile little act of kindness," it read.
Back in January 2022, the actress baked and delivered homemade cookies to staff members at the LAC+USC Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine, which is affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "I'm so sorry to take you away," the actor told the medical professionals once inside. "I appreciate you," she added, before taking a group photo with everyone as one staff member held Garner's basket of treats for all to see. "#FirstResponders are still in the thick of it and miles past burn out," the "Elektra" star captioned the clip shared on TikTok. "We see you and appreciate you! (Thank you, #LACUSC Emergency Med!)"
"These random acts of kindness are happening all around us, all the time, everywhere," Garner told PEOPLE in 2019. "The smallest acts—picking up trash at a local park, volunteering at a shelter, buying a cup of coffee for someone who needs it—make the world a happier, more gentle place... Kindness is contagious, truly."