The search for America's "nicest place" is on. Editors at Reader's Digest have released a shortlist of 50 finalists in its annual "The Nicest Place in America" competition-one finalist for each state.
Over the period of a month, RD collected more than 1,000 heartwarming stories of communities looking out for one another and building bridges rather than walls.
"This year we sifted through over 1,000 stories of places where people stick together because of kindness, and these are the best from each state," said Reader's Digest Editor-in-Chief Bruce Kelley in a press release.
"In doing so, we learned something amazing, which is that no matter what's going on in the news or social media, the truth is that there's goodness all around us. We hope these stories lift spirits and inspire all of us to be better neighbors, friends and family."
Last year, Yassin's Falafel House in Knoxville, Tennessee owned by a Syrian refugee took the title, for being a "pillar" of the community and a safe house for people of all stripes and colors.
This year's search brought in nearly three times the number of submissions compared to 2018.
Finalists were chosen by RD editors and judges including David Brooks, op-ed columnist for the New York Times; Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America; and Sarah Friar, CEO of NextDoor.
Readers can vote now until July 21. For the full list, visit https://www.rd.com/nicest-places-contest/.