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$250 from New York woman inspires kindness in Holland, MI

Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra reads from Ramona Scott's letter that inspired the new program.
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra reads from Ramona Scott's letter that inspired the new program.

City leaders in Hollandare launching an initiative they hope will inspire random acts of kindness. The city will distribute ‘pay it forward’ cards that people can give to others after doing them some kind of favor. It could be monetary, like paying for their cup of coffee, or something simpler, like letting them go ahead at the store checkout line. The cards encourage that person pass the card, and a new favor, forward to a second person. They also ask that people share their stories of kindness on a new website so the city can track how the results spread.

Holland City Councilwoman Nancy DeBoer helped come up with the idea.

“We just think its an awesome way to encourage doing good for others and for us to see how even a tiny individual effort can grow into a huge effect.”

Last year, Holland attracted national news media after being named the 2nd happiest and healthiest place to live in America. Ramona Scott from Brooklyn, New York was inspired by one of those reports. She sent $250 to the city in hopes they could pay it forward. City officials said they wanted to see that $250 spread beyond just a few people, and decided to create the initiative.

‘Pay it Forward Holland’ cards are free. You can order them and find out more at payitforwardholland.org.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.