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Kindness Catch-Up


TIME’s 2021 Kid of the Year, Orion Jean, has continued his mission to spread kindness. TFK Kid Reporter Harper Carroll spoke with him about his latest projects.

Thirteen-year-old Orion Jean is a kindness ambassador. The TIME 2021 Kid of the Year is still changing the world. “You never know the impact that one kindness will make,” he tells TIME for Kids.

To date, Orion has donated more than 100,000 meals to food-insecure families. He has donated more than 500,000 books to kids. And he has continued to raise awareness of his Race to Kindness initiative.

He has also published books. His first was A Kids Book About Leadership. It’s about how everyone can become a leader. “We all feel like we have our limitations,” he says. “If we let go of that, forget all of our flaws or just choose to not let them hold us back, then we can reach our full potential.”

Orion’s second book is Race to Kindness. 
It comes out on May 7. He says it shows how everybody can be kind. “One of the easiest ways to be kind,” Orion says, “is to just choose to go out there and do it.”

In 2020, Orion took a chance. He wrote a speech about kindness and entered it in a contest. He won! Orion used the prize money to start spreading his message far and wide.

For his first charity event, Orion collected toys. He donated them to the Dallas Children’s Hospital, in Texas. “[The nurses] told me that it was the largest donation they had ever received in their time there, and that the kids were going to be so happy,” Orion says. “It gave me that feeling when you know that you’ve made an impact in someone’s life. That is a feeling that I will always treasure.”

Orion’s latest project is the Race to 1,000,000 Kindnesses. “[It’s] about people getting out there and spreading kindness,” he says. Orion is hoping that in one year, people will perform a million acts of kindness.

“Anything is possible with the power of belief, the power of kindness,” Orion says. “Choose to go out there and be kind.”