Orion Jean, a remarkable 11-year-old boy from Texas in the United States, has been selected the TIME’s Kid of the Year in honor of his commitment to making the world a nicer place.
Since he was in the fifth grade, Orion Jean has developed a reputation for being helpful to people in his neighborhood.
Through his “Race to 100k Meals” Thanksgiving charity drive, he gave away 100,000 snacks to those in need.
He received $500 for winning the National Kindness Speech Contest in 2020, and ever then, he has maintained his image as a compassionate member of his community. He received the TIME Kid of the Year 2021 award.
For me, it can take on so many different forms from just smiling at somebody or holding the door, or even donating food to a local food bank or giving away old toys that you don’t need,” Jean said.
Jean’s effort to show kindness to people did not stop at his “Race to 100k Meals” success, he moved on to launch a book drive where he collected and delivered 500,000 books to kids at book fairs across the country.
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“I used the things that I saw on the news every day,” he explained.
“People losing their jobs and their homes and access to food and books and clothing–things we sometimes can take for granted, and with a little bit of kindness, we can hopefully give back those things.
If we continue giving back, then it makes us feel like we’re getting something just simply by being kind,” he added.