Sometimes, people don’t realize how big of an impact they’re making. They do something because “it’s the right thing to do” or they brush off their kind act because it seems too simple to even count as kindness.

Perhaps they believe they aren’t making a difference in the long run, but Amanda Klyn, from Corson, S.D., would beg to differ. Here’s her story.

“I wouldn’t have made it where I am today without a specific couple I was blessed to meet. During my college days, I made some bad decisions, which led to me being in hot water with my college about my living situation. I needed to find somewhere to live in town or move back onto campus, which I could not afford.

“I was trying everything to work it out on my own, but I couldn’t. In a last-minute plea for help, I texted my pastor from my hometown, asking if we had any congregation members in the area who happened to have a spare room. He said he’d get back to me.

“After a few hours of panicking and pretending to work on my studies, he texted me back. We didn’t have any congregation members in town, but he sent me the phone number of a local pastor who rented out his basement to a couple from my college. A couple who had just moved into a place of their own, leaving the pastor without occupants in his basement!

“I met with the pastor and his wife. I was dumbfounded that they were willing to work with my measly budget. The apartment was fully furnished with everything I needed and more, and they rented it to me for a very small monthly fee.

“For the first time in months, I felt like I was actually going to be OK. I could finally see a way through the mess I’d made and realized I’d actually be able to afford my last semester of college and graduate.

“The whole situation ended up being a dream come true in so many ways. If this couple hadn’t opened up their own home to me in my time of need, I would still have done everything in my power to graduate, but I would have struggled a lot more.

“This couple didn’t just offer me a place to live, they encouraged me and believed in me more than I could believe in myself at the time. They cared about me and checked in on how I was doing physically, mentally and emotionally. They even kept up with my crazy schedule as a nursing student who was working her way through college.

“As a lost college girl crying over my textbooks, the kindness offered to me by this couple was my life-source. I often wondered during that time if I’d ever make it through. Thanks to them, I did.”

Maybe your kindness is small or maybe it just seems like the right thing to do. Regardless, it matters.

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.