It’s humbling to realize that while I was sitting on the living room floor watching my kids tear into the colorful assortment of presents under the Christmas tree, other lives were unfolding simultaneously in ways much different than mine.

Jayne Holtgrewe of Moorhead spent her day nursing her husband back to health after he experienced a terrible fall.

But instead of grieving for what has happened or what may be to come, Jayne’s heart is full of gratitude. She knows that the right people in the right place at the right time saved her husband’s life.

She is certain that kindness was the greatest gift she received this holiday season, and she wants to be sure to say thank you to all involved.

“As I sit in this hospital room with my husband, waiting and watching for every sign of healing, I think about how I wouldn’t be here had it not been for some wonderful neighbors and good Samaritans, who saw a problem and stopped to help.

With all the ice and slippery roads we have been dealing with here in Moorhead/Fargo, my husband took a severe fall on our driveway a couple days ago. Unfortunately, I was not home, but for some reason my neighbor came home for lunch that day, not a typical routine for her. She saw him slip and fall backwards on the concrete and immediately took action. By chance, two more angels just happened to be driving by and stopped to help a stranger. Between the three of them, they were able to help him into the house and then proceeded to call the police, fire department and an ambulance.

Without their quick actions, my husband could have laid there for who knows how long. Time is of the essence when someone has a head injury, and because of the kindness of strangers, an incredible neighbor and our fantastic community’s heroes in uniform, I am able to sit here, in this hospital room, with my husband.

How do you ever thank anyone for that gift?

If that were not enough, yet another angel arrived from across the street and shoveled and scraped down my driveway and front steps. I’m sure he thought nothing of his act of kindness, but after I spent a very long day at the hospital, his gift was exactly what I needed.

My husband, I’m happy to say, is showing signs of healing, small steps, but steps nonetheless in the right direction. I’m hopeful each day he will improve and get stronger.

I know true gifts are the gifts of people, and no store or online shopping site could ever match the gift of kindness.”

May we all walk into the New Year realizing each and every day, without fail, all we have been given and all that we have to give.

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 a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. You can visit Nicole at