There's hardly a person out there who hasn't been blessed by some act of kindness by a stranger or a friend — something unexpected, something generous, without any expectation of something in return.
We hear these stories every day around the office water cooler, or the more modern version, Facebook. You know: someone picked up the tab at a restaurant, or helped make sure that a child got the Christmas present they wanted so badly.
Because those moments of selfless generosity are so common we're momentarily charmed, and then we often move on. These stories remind us of goodness in our community and the kind spirit of strangers. It's part of why this area is so special.
It's part of our job as a newspaper to reflect the nature of our community — that kindness and generosity. To that end, The Billings Gazette is launching a new occasional series spotlighting random acts of kindness.
And we need your help.
If you have experienced an act of generosity, tell us about it. It doesn't have to be an armada of vehicles awarded to those in need. It could be something much smaller and less expensive. Tell us when it happened, where, and who was involved. We want to hear how it affected you.
Here's how to reach us:
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- By email: email@example.com
- By phone: The Billings Gazette newsroom, 406-657-1241.
- By Facebook: Direct Message The Billings Gazette
- By Twitter: @BillingsGazette
- By mail: Attention: Newsroom, Billings Gazette, P.O. Box 36300, Billings, MT 59107.
While we're launching this series during the holiday season, don't envision this series to be holiday themed. We hope there are enough examples of kind acts to help this series last beyond 2019.
As good stories come in and we can report them, we'll share them with you.
Now, for some of the "fine print." We want to spotlight the acts of kindness of individuals. There are so many worthy and great organizations whose mission is to help. That's fantastic, but this is not a series about charitable organizations. Our emphasis is on the random and the personal — individuals stepping up to help others as they see a need.
Finally, because of our own policy limiting anonymous sources, we ask you to provide names of those involved in these kind acts, to the best of your ability. We likely won't be able to tell stories that involve anonymous people because we cannot verify the information, an essential component of journalism we intend to uphold. We don't have to reveal those who do kind acts as a way of spotlighting them, but we do need to do our homework just as we do covering city council or the courts.
We wish you much happiness this holiday season, and ask you to share your stories of generosity and kindness with us today and into 2020.