Good Neighbors

What's the Nicest Place in America? Cast Your Vote!

Enjoy reading about the 50 finalists, then tell Reader's Digest which place should win!


If your faith in humanity has been battered, the Nicest Places in America will restore it. This competition is being organized by Reader's Digest, but I'm betting they wouldn't like the word "competition," because their goal is to find any and all places where "nice people are trying to do right by each other."

Over the past few months the magazine's editors have taken nominations from people who think their town or school (or whatever) is the nicest in the country. A panel of really nice judges narrowed that down to 50, one in each state. And now it's time for you to vote on which should be named THE Nicest Place.

Nicest Places: where neighbors help each other, strangers are welcome, everyone is civil, and random acts of kindness are routine

The stories are really inspiring. For example:

Harding Park, NY. This Bronx neighborhood has "kindness vigilantes" living there. Lydia Clark-Sumpter, who nominated her diverse neighborhood reports someone tied a big smiley-face balloon to her front gate the day she moved in, and people regularly shovel other peoples' driveways and sidewalks when it snows.

Anaheim California. Former mayor Tom Tait (photo above) related the story of a father who, after losing his 6-year old daughter in a car accident, discovered her writings and artwork about her wish for a world filled with kindness. The father put up signs saying "Make Kindness Contagious" around town. Now kindness is part of the city's culture -- they even changed their slogan to "City of Kindness."

Springville, UT, World Folkfest.

Springville, Utah . For 30 years, residents have opened their town and -- literally - their homes to the annual "World Folkfest." Visitors and residents may start out as strangers but end up friends, and most performers and their host families stay in touch afterwards through social media.

Delta Pizza, Delta, PA . The shop is the heart of this tiny central Pennsylvania town, and the owner Sal Ferranti, is generous with his food and his time. He's always made sure there's a enough food left over for anyone who's hungry, including his Amish neighbors. When his restaurant burned down in 2013, the Amish showed up to help him rebuild.

Molalla, OR, students started with a donation jar and have raised $430K+ for needy families in their small community.

Click here to read all of the 50 stories. Simply mouse over the state, click and check out that state's "place" finalist. If you like what you read, vote for that "place" by scrolling to the bottom and following the directions.

Reader's Digest will announce the winner sometime this fall. But I think you'll agree, every place that made this list is a winner when it comes to being nice!

How can you start something good?
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