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Anonymous 'thank yous' brighten up Internet

Anonymous 'thank yous' brighten up Internet

(Anonymous Thank Yous)


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SALT LAKE CITY — One woman safely found her way around Vietnam, a father in disbelief had his family’s meal paid for and another woman finished a marathon thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Quietly started earlier this year, Anonymous Thank Yous is a place where people can say thank you to strangers who lent a hand physically, emotionally or otherwise. The website is the creation of Michael McCarlie, who has worked in politics for several years, for the George W. Bush administration and for the Mitt Romney campaigns, among others.

His experience in politics has taken him all over the nation, where he met "incredibly decent people." While living in New York City, he noticed strangers constantly doing kind things. Upon his return to Utah, an experience he had after forgetting his wallet led him to create a site to thank kind strangers who, for example, offer some change when a customer is 71 cents short.

“I want to have a place where we can aggregate the anonymous thank yous,” McCarlie said. “Collectively, I feel like there’s so much more good than bad.”

People have submitted dozens of stories to the blog about times they were down on their luck or just needed a considerate act without knowing it beforehand.

“People are responsive to things that people do for them,” McCarlie said. “Some of the stories have been really dramatic… but a lot of the stories are really, really simple.”

He hopes that these small acts on the blog will inspire readers to action.

“I hope that this inspires people to both recognize what’s happening around them and to do something themselves,” McCarlie said.

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Celeste Tholen Rosenlof

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