Maybe every small town resident feels like they live in the nicest or kindest place because often those communities are tight knit and help each other out when need be. But I truly believe Pittsfield is different. I’ve had the privilege of working and living in several small towns, and although every town has its gifts and its problems, this town is making an effort to show people that good things can happen everywhere too. For 2017, several of Pittsfield’s community groups and individuals have named this the “Year of Kindness.” They have been working together and independently to show the world that little (and big) acts of goodwill can make a difference in people’s lives. Even the town government made a formal proclamation of Pay It Forward Day on April 30th!
Stan, a man in his mid 60s, went to Dysart’s, a local store for sandwiches and chips for lunch. When the cashier rang up the bill, he realized he didn’t have enough cash on him nor did he have his wallet with him. Stan told the cashier he needed to go outside to his car to retrieve his wallet. When Stan returned, the cashier told him that the young man in line behind him had paid for his tab. “I have never had anything like that happen to me. I thanked the young man a number of times prior to him leaving the store. The tab was over twenty dollars,” said Stan. “That act of goodwill will be forever remembered and I truly appreciate it and will most certainly continue the chain.”
During the annual Easter egg hunt at the local ski club, an 8-year-old boy gives one of his Easter eggs to another child when he noticed that child didn’t have anything in his basket.
Jordan Kennedy, a local teacher, received several cups of coffee at school one morning after school children read the local “Kindness calendar” produced by the library. The local middle school has been focusing on paying it forward since last fall, and they did a wide range of things including donating money to a local animal humane society, donating canned goods to our local food pantry, making breakfast for the school maintenance staff, and giving books to a children’s hospital.
After a particularly icky snowstorm (the wet, heavy stuff), a longtime resident was out shoveling the end of her driveway when a young man in a red truck with a plow backed up and came to her aid by clearing the driveway.
Sharon was inside of her home when she heard what sounded to a lawn mower near her house. She looked out to find that a neighbor had kindly mowed her lawn.
Jane has lived near a busy intersection for over 40 years and the other day, for the first time ever, someone stopped to let her out of her driveway. “Amazing what such a simple act did for my day,” she said.
After seeing what other groups around town had been doing with kindness, the middle school special education teacher created a bulletin board about kindness.