BOISE, Idaho — As the City of Trees continues to grow, leaders are attempting to grapple how they can continue what makes Boise an attractive and great place to live.
It's something Mayor Dave Bieter has been thinking a lot about in recent years.
"As we get bigger are we going to get meaner?" Mayor Bieter asked. "I think people have a fundamental concern about that."
These concerns helped spur Bieter to launch a new initiative to address this, called "Boise Kind." The program will highlight, protect and promote core community values that are at the heart and soul of what makes Boise a kind, welcoming city.
"We want to be a part of keeping that alive and even expanding it and going farther," Bieter said.
One of the projects that is part of the new initiative is #BoiseKind, which hopes to inspire and capture acts of kindness, big and small, throughout the city.
Whether it's thanking furloughed federal workers, giving Valentines to seniors, or selling cupcakes to help the homeless, Boiseans are finding ways to show their acts of kindness.
For the mayor, kindness means to put someone else's needs above your own.
His vision for the initiative doesn't end there. Mayor Bieter has enlisted the help of a number of community partners and leaders to make it happen.
This summer, Boise Kind will launch an annual day of service and volunteering and he wants to get schools involved too.
"If this is really going to be long-lasting, if this is really going to be substantive, it needs to pull you out of just your smaller groups," Bieter said. "I think that's part of how we'll know we're successful is when people are stepping up and stepping out a little bit."
Bieter believes it's fundamentally up to everyone in the community to keep those acts of kindness going. That way the community can help people understand, no matter how big the city grows, what it means to be a Boisean.
"We call ourselves the city of trees, Maybe the City of Kindness is where we ought to go," Bieter said. "You know it has a very nice ring to it."
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