A 10-year-old boy from Fort Worth, Texas is already making a difference in the world with one act of kindness at a time. Orion Jean is changing lives with kindness because it was an important part of his upbringing and education.
It all began after a student kindness competition last year when as part of his presentation, he offered encouraging words to share about taking the first steps. “Kindness is a virtue we can all possess,” he said. “If we are willing to. So why not start today? Because right now, it’s what we need more than ever.”
Orion won the $500 prize money and used it to buy and donate toys to a local children’s hospital. Next, he helped source 100,000 meals for families in Texas. And now he wants to be able to give books to other kids and is collecting 500,000 books in a “race to kindness.”
In a Facebook post by his mother, Kherri Jean, the race is running through the end of the month, and he’s already collected over 120,000 books. “Today was one of my favorite days!” she posted on July 31. “We held a ‘Race to Kindness’ free book fair for the children AND their parents at United Community Centers. It was so great seeing other kids enjoy looking for their new books to take home and love!
“We also received a surprise donation from Weaver of 634 books! In total, another 713 books were collected today and donated to United Community Centers. THIS is what the ‘Race to 500,000 Books’ is all about. We love getting these books right back out into the community and into the hands of others.”
And even if he doesn’t meet the goal of 500,000 books, Orion has done far more to put reading material into the hands of fellow children than most. “It’s all about my moral duty to help people,” Orion said. “You know, it’s my responsibility to be able to see these people who need help and knowing that I have the resources to help them.”
“I want to be able to share my love of literacy with as many people as possible.” Kindness is now a lifelong pursuit for the boy. “I hope that the impact that I have had is enough to keep people continuing to race to kindness and continuing to join me in this marathon because it’s not a sprint,” he said.
“It’s not a one-time thing, it’s not a three-time thing. It’s something that can hopefully be continued on for years and years to come.” His mom says that Orion has great dreams, but he is still a regular kid, “[w]e still have to remind him to take the dishes out of the dishwasher and to feed the dog!” She is so proud of her son because he has modeled their values in his life.
Orion is focused on being a blessing to others in his life, “To say that we are proud is an understatement,” Kherri posted. “More importantly we are incredibly humbled to walk alongside this young man as he lives out his purpose in life. We honestly have no idea what will happen next, but whatever it is…. We will be by his side… racing with him as he follows his heart and his faith.”