Many of us know from experience the value of a kindness received during a difficult time.

A kind gesture tells us we’re not alone. A helping hand eases the burden and raises us up. Through the thoughtfulness of others we receive strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

We are blessed to know many people in Ketchikan who make good use of the opportunities that we all have to show kindnesses large and small. Such folks are the true strength of our community. We are grateful for your presence.

We also are profoundly grateful for the local organizations that have a mission of kindness. One of those is the First City Council on Cancer.

The all-volunteer nonprofit First City Council on Cancer assists cancer patients by providing grants to help cover the documented costs of travel, lodging, meals, vehicle rental and medical bills not covered by insurance.

The FCCC mission is supported by donations and fundraising efforts within the local community. This support has enabled the organization to disburse about $2 million in personal grants to cancer patients in southern Southeast Alaska during the years since FCCC was formed in 1995.

And, despite pandemic disruptions, the First City Council on Cancer continues to reach out, recently announcing the availability of up to $3,000 to first-time applicants (more information can be found on the FCCC website at firstcitycounciloncancer.org).

At its heart, the FCCC personal grant program is a gesture of kindness — community members reaching out through their donations and volunteer efforts to assist others. It says you are not alone in this. Your neighbors are taking action to help raise you up, get you through.

It’s wonderful to see the First City Council on Cancer continuing into its second quarter-century of spreading kindness. It reflects the best of Ketchikan.