‘Can Kindness Change a Nation’: Haitian-American 11-Year-Old’s Efforts to Help Others Earn Him Time Magazine’s Kid of the Year – Yahoo News

At the height of the pandemic, amid coronavirus fears and a racial reckoning dominating the news in the summer of 2020, Orion Jean, now 11, posed a simple question: “How can kindness change a nation?”
With encouragement from his teacher at the time, Jean entered a speech contest where he spoke about kindness, he not only challenged himself to deliver such a passionate message, but he also challenged his community of Mansfield, Texas.
“You could hold a drive-up bake sale and donate the proceeds to a local food bank. … You could send a letter to an essential worker thanking them for their hard work,” Jean said during the kindness speech.
“The way that COVID affected the economy and caused many people to get laid off from their jobs … I knew I wanted to do something to spread a little joy and brighten someone’s day,” Jean said.
Jean won the speech contest on kindness, which earned him the top prize of $500. He donated the money to a children’s hospital, but little did Jean’s parents know he was just beginning.
“Almost two years ago when he started out with the race to kindness, this was never something that was on our radar,” Kherri Jean said of her son.
Jean said after helping the local children’s hospital, he felt like he was able to make a difference which led to him launching his Race to Kindness initiative. Jean managed to collect 500,000 books for kids who lack access to quality reading materials, he also helped secure 100,000 meals through donations for people in need.
“Those 100,000 meals were 100,000 people who are hopefully able to get a meal they might not have had otherwise, and knowing that might have put a smile on their face and brightened up their day is what matters to me,” Jean said.
Over the last couple years, Jean’s charitable efforts have only gain momentum. He was featured in the Haitian Times, and was an invited guest on “The Ellen Show” in October, where his Race to Kindness initiative was awarded $10,000 by Katy Perry.
On Feb. 9, 2022, Time for Kids and Nickelodeon named the Haitian-American 11-year-old their 2021 Kid of the Year, an honor that recognizes extraordinary young leaders who are making a positive impact in their communities.
Jean’s parents have accompanied their son on his journey from a short speech on kindness to the cover of Time magazine. His mother says supporting your kids no matter what is key.
“Every child will lead in their own way. For Orion it was wanting to lead with kindness. Supporting your child when they have an idea in their head, but when they just don’t quite know how it all comes together and remind them of the why; when you always go back to the core of why you’re doing something, it helps them stay focused and on the right track,” Kherri Jean said of her son’s ambitions.
Despite all the public accolades, the sixth grader says he is constantly working to become a better version of himself, with the hope of inspiring others to do one thing:
“If they see a problem in their community, go out and fix it and do the same thing I and many other kids and adults and organizations are doing across the world,” Jean said.
Jean is featured on the cover of the Feb. 28/March 7 issue of Time.
More news from our partners:
‘Everyone’s Mad at Me S–t’: Monique Reveals Tyler Perry Will Meet with Her, Without Her Husband, If She Apologizes to Him and Oprah
Black Americans Might Miss Out on the $68 Trillion Transfer of Generational Wealth. Here’s Why.
‘They Didn’t Like Him Stopping Them’| Texas High School Baseball Coach Suffers Broken Arm After Being Jumped By Middle Schoolers
Publicly announcing multi-billion-dollar gifts is a 'fundamental matter of public interest,' says one philanthropy expert.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti asked residents to donate to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center following the Rams' Super Bowl win.
Alabama's first QuikTrip Travel Center is now open off Interstate 20/59's Exit 77 in Tuscaloosa.
Business news from Richland County and Ohio.
Through the Great Depression, multiple recessions and now a pandemic, Barden Lumber has continued to thrive for the last 100 years.
Lena Schaefer, 16, is the fourth female to have achieved Eagle in the Columbia-based Great Rivers Council, which covers 33 counties in Missouri.
The laptops are intended to help refugees connect with others, pursue education, contact employers and reach family back in Afghanistan.
January's Find Your Cause looks at the importance of maintaining physical and mental health as we age through exercise and engagement.
The goal is to raise $20,000 for the schools and scholarships at the organization's upcoming fundraiser.
Student volunteers with the Pueblo Food Project filled bags of fruit for hundreds of elementary school students Wednesday for Valentine's Day.
Some towns will have the ability to fully fund the volunteer squads while some will have to weigh their priorities.
“Being the leader of a nonprofit organization, we’ve all heard about MacKenzie Scott, and her team making these gifts. But for me to receive a call from a member of her team, it was something I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams."
As they celebrate the 200th anniversary, the Rochester Female Charitable Society's members can look back on an impressive record of achievement.
The Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry is hosting the annual fundraiser in person on March 12 at the Bastrop Convention Center.
Kids will soon be running around empty tennis and basketball courts, if they're lucky to get a spot.
The city of Grandview Heights will host the Nordecke tailgate parties held before most Columbus Crew home games during the 2022 season.
The first phase of parks improvements could be voted on by the Council during the March 1 meeting.
Want to be an exhibitor at this three-day event at Keystone Truck and Tractor Museum?
Goals for 2022 outlined in five categories
Sources within the retail food industry have said Shearer's brand potato chips are not being produced anymore, ceasing at the end of 2021.


What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.