11-year-old Orion Jean Kid of the Year: Texas recognized by TIME Magazine for its commitment to kindness

An 11-year-old boy from Texas has made it his mission to make the world a kinder place.

Orion Jean has been named TIME’s Kid of the Year 2021 after a year pay it forward.

“For me, it can take a lot of different forms, from just smiling at someone or holding the door, or even donating food to a local food bank or giving away items.” Old toys you don’t need.

For Jean, it all started two years ago when he won the National Kind Speech Contest

“By the time I wrote the speech, COVID was really starting to emerge. The world seemed closed and hope was like – it was like, Where is it? Where is hope? Where is love? In Where is kindness?”

His victory speech brought him a $500 prize, but he didn’t use that money to buy a video game or go get some sweet treats.

Instead, Jean returned again, creating Race to Kindness– an initiative to support charitable projects in its community.

WATCH: Disney Parks Surprise 11-Year-Old Boy in “Magic Christmas Day Parade”

The first charity project was a toy drive to benefit patients at a local children’s hospital.

When that was done, he turned to a food pantry, delivering 100,000 meals to families in need in Dallas-Ft. Valuable area.

But he didn’t stop there. The event was followed by a book launch, where Jean collected and delivered 500,000 books to children at book fairs across the country.

“I used things that I see on the news every day,” explains Jean. “People have lost their jobs, their homes and their food, books and clothes – things we can sometimes take for granted, and with a little kindness we can hope to give back those things. If we keep giving, it makes us feel like we’re receiving something simply by being kind.”

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Dais Johnston

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