BYUTvBrooke, a mother of three young children, suffers from a rare disease that often puts her in so much pain that she can’t get out of bed. When this happens, her husband Jeremy has to take a day off work to care for the family. Understandably, finances are strained and every day is unpredictable.
To make matters worse, when Brooke needs to go to the Emergency Room, getting from her house to her car is “like climbing Mount Everest,” according to her friend Jamie. The family didn’t have a “proper path from their house to their car as well as a driveway,” Jamie said.
That is, until Random Acts TV, a television show I co-host on BYUtv, swooped in. The show features acts of kindness done for good, deserving people who could use a friendly helping hand.
In our first-ever episode of the show, “Dream Driveway,” we put Brooke and Jeremy up in a hotel and took them out to lunch and a movie to help them celebrate their anniversary while Shawn Hastings and his company Good Concrete went to work. At the movie, we premiered a short commercial we made showing Shawn and his team building Brooke and Jeremy the new driveway of their dreams.
The new driveway changed their lives.
“It’s very humbling that people…think of us,” Shawn said when he witnessed the transformation. He was crying. We were crying. All their friends were crying. It was an amazing moment. You have to watch it.
This kind of thing is what Random Acts is all about. There is too much suffering in the world, and we see it as our job—as the job of everyone—to help alleviate it when we can in whatever ways we can. Shawn is a hero, but he is not unique.
A few episodes later, we met Cole Keller, a young boy with special needs. His incredible mother, Sarah, was determined to do everything she could to ensure her son’s well-being. With the help of Shawn and his concrete company, Random Acts secretly transformed the Kellers’ backyard into a sanctuary the whole family could enjoy.
If you look closely in the background of this episode, called “Backyard Blitz,” you’ll notice a familiar face, Jeremy, Brooke’s husband. He was right there with us, paying the kindness done for him forward.
There are people like Shawn and Jeremy all over America. I know because I’ve met them. We’ve traveled all across the country and found and filmed wonderful people doing wonderful things for each other while asking nothing in return.
That’s why we’re proud to be teaming up with Reader’s Digest to find the Nicest Place in America, a place where people are nice to each other and kindness is the golden rule.
The period to nominate a place is over on June 5th, and with hundreds of amazing entries, we’re far from ready to crown one of them the Nicest Place in America.
BYUTvSo, first off, if you haven’t already, go to right to the nomination form and enter your town, neighborhood, village, place of work, place of worship or anywhere else you know of where the people are just plain nice.
Next, check out all the amazing places we’ve already found and the incredible stories of the people who live there. So much inspiration.
And stay tuned, because on June 21, we’ll be announcing the ten finalists and asking for you to vote on which you think should be named the Nicest Place in America!
The winning place will be on the cover of the November issue of Reader’s Digest, so don’t forget to vote and make your voice heard!
Where I come from, Provo, Utah, we make nice a part of our lives every day—heck, we even made a TV show about it! But I know we’re not alone. America is full of nice places. And we’re going to find them.