At the risk of sounding like a commercial, I would like to share with you something really neat that’s been happening in the Fargo-Moorhead area this past month.

Gate City Bank is getting ready to open a new branch in West Fargo, and to celebrate, the business has challenged it’s employees to live up to the company motto, “For a better way of life.”

The month of February has been dedicated to showering the community in kindness. Ninety acts of kindness to be specific, one for every year of business.

It sounds like a cool project, but sometimes when an edict is handed down from a boss, it has a way of losing its appeal.

I wanted to get to the heart of the matter and hear what the employees really thought about this assignment, so I started popping into various Gate City Bank branches and subtly asking what this kindness project is all about.

All of the acts of kindness are listed on the company’s website, but I can tell you, it was way more fun to hear about them from the people who actually did them.

An employee at the branch near 25th Street and 32nd Avenue South in Fargo told me with a big smile about how the employees got to buy their mail carrier lunch at Erbert & Gerbert’s. Then he told me how fun it was to surprise the nearby fire department with a platter of sandwiches.

At the Gate City Bank on Broadway in north Fargo, I was especially touched when an employee told me how this project goes right along with what her family practices in their home. Her husband, who is battling a serious illness, makes a conscious effort to do regular random acts of kindness because it makes him feel better mentally and physically.

Shoppers have been left speechless at grocery stores and coffee shops when they are handed gift cards from bank employees.

One waitress in West Fargo was almost brought to tears by a very generous tip thanks to the 90 Acts of Kindness Project.

But even in the banking business, not everything has to do with money. Employees have volunteered their time at a horse rescue ranch and a cat shelter, carried a woman’s groceries to her car, and even pumped gas for someone while the driver got to stay nice and warm.

Each recipient of a random act receives a card labeled with the act number and an invitation to the Veterans Boulevard West Fargo Grand Opening, which starts Monday and runs through Friday.

Events are planned at that location all week long, everything from meeting Thundar and the new Bison football coach to an FM Opera Young Artists performance. At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, the final 90th act of kindness will be presented.

These acts are all over the board, they don’t follow a certain mold, but they all point to the same principle: When we lead with kindness, we create a better way of life.

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.

Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday. You can also get a Daily Dose of Inspiration from Nicole at