Letter from the Editor: Searching for a Good Place

Do you live in a place where people really care?

Reader’s Digest is seeking stories of random acts of towns where people are “up to good” for our search for the Nicest Places in America. Submit your story.

It sounds odd, I know, but I’d like to ask you to scan your life for the next minute, while you read this. You are looking for a place in your world where you’ve felt caring. Where you’ve seen people come together to help others in need, whether it’s for a meal, a laugh, or a hand when disaster struck. A place of big hearts where you feel that you belong and where others share that feeling, even if they are strangers.

You know such a place because you’ve been there. It’s on a front porch in your town after something difficult has happened and help is on the way. It’s on a Zoom call with people collaborating respectfully to address a problem at work or in your city. It could be on the line with someone—a service representative or a local official going out of his or her way to solve an issue for you. You know the phrase “up to no good”? This is a place where you sense the polar opposite: These people are up to good.

collage of past Reader's Digest Nicest Places winnersCallie Lipkin for Reader's Digest, Peter Larson for Reader's Digest, Glenn Glasser for Reader's Digest, Amanda Friedman for Reader's Digest

Scan your schools, your stores, your online experiences, and your houses of worship—any place you gather with others and have felt the power of people being together no matter their background. This is the place where you have said to yourself, I feel helped … These people are making good things happen … I can help too.

Hold that thought, because now I will ask you to do one more thing. Take a moment to write me about those people and why you smile when you think about them. This is important. America today could use this example from your life. It has been a year of storms, shootings, a pandemic, and more, but in our communities, we are still standing—and these places are why. We need to hear any story, no matter how small, of people who have each other’s backs.

In moments when we lose faith, the simplest submission—maybe yours—can restore it. Thank you for following along, and for the stories you will tell. This search for the Nicest Places in America is on­going, and valuable. Join it. And thank you, as always, for reading.

portrait of Bruce KelleyMatthew Cohen for Reader's Digest
Bruce Kelley, Editor-in-Chief

We want to hear from you. Write to me at [email protected]

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Bruce Kelley
Bruce Kelley oversees content creation for both the US and International versions of Reader’s Digest magazines, as well as RD.com and all Reader’s Digest books, including Select Editions. With more than two decades of editorial experience, he has strong expertise leading a content team with a digital-first approach.