Imagine if you could do one thing today that someone else would remember six decades from now.

It’s very possible that something you say or do, either positive or negative, will make such an impact on another person that he or she will remember it for years to come.

Don’t believe me? Ask Maxine Jeffries from Underwood, Minn. Here’s the letter she sent me:

“Dear Nicole, your articles on the kindness of others brings to mind one angel I had 59 years ago. My oldest son became ill with polio at the age of 6 and was paralyzed from the neck down.

After weeks in the hospital, he started moving parts of his body, but needed therapy at a clinic three times a week. We had to take a bus to the center of town and cross two streets to make it to the clinic. My 4-year-old had to hang on my shirttail as we crossed those streets, because I had to carry his 6-year-old brother, braces and all, and that took both arms.

A policeman saw us one day, got our schedule and was there to carry my son for me for several weeks of therapy. On our very last trip, I made him a batch of cookies, but I know that could never repay him.

Even at 84 years of age, I’ve never forgotten his kindness. That police officer is just one of hundreds of kind people we have met over the years.

My son wasn’t supposed to live past the age of 25. He’s now 65. He and his brother live together and are still as close as when they were little – still looking out for each other.”

Maxine, I am overwhelmed by the beauty in your story, the kindness you have shown your little boys, the kindness they now show each other, and the fact that after almost 60 years, you still remember the gestures of one very kind police officer.

Whether they are from yesterday or yesteryear, I hope you will continue to share your stories of kindness with me at or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.



Nicole Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is the mother of three kids and the wife of Bison men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.