The theme of the seventh annual Greater Twin Cities United Way/Star Tribune/U.S. Bank Essay Contest was kindness, and since Minnesotans are the kindest folks around we knew it was going to be good…but we were still blown away by the sheer volume of good!
This year was a smashing success with a record number of submissions: nearly 1,800 metro area third-, fourth- and fifth-graders told us about the good in their communities, giving examples of the kindness they have shown friends, family, neighbors or strangers and how that kindness supported, improved and/or impacted those around them.
It was so tough to narrow down such moving essays, but in between the sweetness, the heartbreak and occasionally the laughter that comes with kindness in our community, 10 essays made their way to the top. But don’t take our word for it, read the amazing words of winner Ben Meisterling and the nine exceptional runners-up!