Over the past two years since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen huge impacts across nearly every aspect of our lives.
Yet in the face of so much difficulty, uncertainty, and loss, there was one theme that kept surfacing, seemingly at the times when we needed it most: kindness.
We all saw the examples of it in our communities: College students signing up to run delivery routes for Meals on Wheels. Social networks adding new features to allow neighbors to give and receive help from one another. Residents banding together to support healthcare professionals with meals from local restaurants. For every story like these that made the headlines, a hundred others went unreported.
And it’s no surprise. In repeated studies, scientists have found that kindness is a character trait that’s actually hard-wired into our brains from birth.
In fact, it’s been argued that the instinct toward compassion—not of survival of the fittest—is actually what enabled humanity to survive and thrive in the first place.
“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” – Nelson Mandela
In light of all this, and in response to the unique times through which all of us are currently living, today we recognize the 50 kindest cities in the US with the introduction of the 2022 Kindhearted Cities Index.
After evaluating the most populated 2,500 cities in America across 17 indicators of generosity, fairness, equality, corporate responsibility, and sustainability efforts—including data from our own VolunteerMatch database on volunteer connections within every ZIP code in the US—we arrived at a list of cities whose communities we feel collectively exemplify the virtues of concern, compassion, and kindheartedness.
To see if your city made it onto the 2022 Kindhearted Cities list, and to find meaningful opportunities to get engaged in your community, head over to the 2022 Kindhearted Cities Index.