by Matt Powers

What makes a city great is the quality of its people. Theaters, parks, fields, playgrounds, community centers, and other amenities help make a city attractive and enjoyable, but not memorable. Not great. It is the everyday people who live there, care about, and work diligently towards a better quality of life for the whole city that makes it great.

In my view, one quality that makes the people of Little Falls distinctive is their generosity. As President of the Little Falls Public Library, I’ve had the great honor of working with an anonymous donor to reward our employees. The gift was much more than I, or anyone on the Board, expected, and I am stunned not only by the size of the gift but by the wish to remain anonymous. This donor doesn’t need accolades, just the knowledge that their gift has done tremendous good.

This kindness, generosity, and humility I do not think is unique to this individual, but are qualities of many people in Little Falls. Time and again I have seen generous acts, large and small, from people in this city for many reasons. Some like to help causes. Some people. Some animals. Others like to “pay it forward” anonymously. Others to alleviate the pressures of daily life. The people of Little Falls care.

That’s the throughline connecting people in this city: they care. Caring is much more than a feeling. It is a response to the world that dwells in us, triggers our ethical cores. Caring is a call to action. Whether it is donating food to the pantry, volunteering their time and expertise, organizing charity events, or even buying a stranger a meal, these people cared enough to do something. To take an active role in making someone’s life better. To improve the quality of life of everyone.

It is remarkable that so many people in one location have this quality because it is not easy. It takes work and energy to care about people, to go out of your way to show kindness, to see other people in this city not as strangers, but as members of a community. That doesn’t exist everywhere, and it is what makes our city great.