Small Michigan City Named 2020’s “Nicest Place in America” by Reader’s Digest
Based on everything that's been happening this year, and with the most recent news that several men were arrested after trying to kidnap Governor Whitmer, it can be hard to believe there's actually "nice" in this world at the moment. However, despite all the craziness there is good and it's right here in Michigan.
Reader's Digest has just named a small Michigan town as the "Nicest Place in America" for 2020.
The publication held a contest asking Americans to submit why their town should be considered for the honor. The goal was to show how communities came together since the start of the pandemic. After going through almost 1,200 submissions they gave the crown to Buchanan, MI.
Buchanan is a small rural city in Berrien County, near the Indiana border, close to South Bend. The city has about 4,300 residents.
So what made Buchanan stand out amongst the rest? Reader's Digest says,
The 2020 Nicest Place in America is a town that would not be defeated by the coronavirus while uniting to say that Black lives do matter. It’s a place that has something to teach us all about caring for each other—even the least among us—not when it’s easy, but when it’s hard.
The city was nominated for the title by a science middle school teacher who told the history and importance of the Memorial Day parade in the city and how the pandemic didn't stop the city from honoring those who fought who perished for our country, despite the parade getting cancelled. They hung 103 huge banners across the city that featured names and photos of the city's vets and active military members.
Then, on June 8th, about 250 residents gathered to march for racial equality and justice.
They also stopped at the police station, where they knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds to memorialize Floyd’s death. The Buchanan police chief, Tim Ganus, was there, too—not to keep the protestors in line, but to join the walkers, to lend his voice to the calls for change.
The march drew on the strength of everyone in town, not just the 8 percent of Buchanan residents that are Black.
You can read more about Buchanan's story here and why their town motto is "life is better here." It's obvious that even with hardships, this is a tight-knit community who cares for one another.
Each state had a city representing the "nicest." Hopefully these stories can restore your faith in humanity.