Acts of Kindness

Big-hearted 5th-grader on a mission to get 100K meals to people in need before holiday season

October 30th, 2020

Orion Jean is certainly not your average 5th grader.

It all started when he entered the “Think Kindness National Speech Contest” where the question assigned to participants asked, “How can kindness change a nation?”. Orion’s speech and response earned him 1st place.

The judges of the contest were absolutely blown away by Orion’s eloquence and heartfelt words. It was impossible not to be moved – an excerpt reads:

“The difficult situations impacting our world has shown us that kindness is more important now than ever before,” he said. “We’ve heard about the families hurting from this pandemic; the communities suffering injustice, and the people being OVER virtual learning… We could really use a big hug right now. And that’s just it. Kindness is like spreading hugs around the world to those who need it and those who might not even know they need it.”

When Orion won the speech contest, the Chisholm Ridge Elementary schooler was awarded $500. Given that the entire speech and contest revolved around kindness, Orion knew that the money would have to go to good use.

It wasn’t long before a lightbulb went off and Orion knew that he wanted to use the money to begin a mission spreading kindness to the world — that’s when he started Race to Kindness.

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A post shared by Orion Monaco Jean (@orion_monaco_jean) on

Since setting up Race to Kindness, Orion aims to create events that spread joy and kindness to the community.

The ambitious 10-year-old’s first event was called Race to 500 Toys. His goal was to use his contest winnings to buy toys for kids at the children’s hospital and set up a website and social media account to get the word out.

Not only did his idea begin to spread like wildfire, but Orion was also able to surpass his goal. He received donations to come up with 619 toys to give out to children at Children’s Health in Dallas.

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Race to Kindness #1- “Race to 500 Toys for Children’s Health”- Mission Accomplished! I can’t believe that my first “Race to Kindness” project is over. We made the final delivery of 619 toys to Children’s Health Hospital (Dallas)! It was so humbling to talk with the nurses and hear about the impact my toys are going to make on the children in their care. I am inspired even more now to help spread kindness around the world!!!! Thank you again to all the donors that accepted my call and joined me in the “Race to Kindness!” If you didn’t get to enter this time, don’t worry….The “Race to Kindness” is never over! 😀You can join me on my next project or create your own “race” to spread kindness. Stay Tuned for my next race coming soon!!! And a special thank you goes out to @homedepot for donating a van to transport all of the toys! We couldn’t have done it without you!

A post shared by Orion Monaco Jean (@orion_monaco_jean) on

After the giant success of the toy drive, Orion came up with his next mission — to donate 100,000 meals to those in need by Thanksgiving.

“I’m asking everyone to join me in a race to kindness,” Orion told MSN. “This has been a rough year for everybody, and now it’s more important than ever to show support and love to anyone who needs it.”

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For people living from Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana, Orion encourages people to drop off meals to be donated. On his website, he instructed what should be included in the bagged meal:

  • One bottle of water
  • 2 tangerines or one apple in a zipped plastic bag
  • 1 applesauce cup or tuna pouch
  • 1 packaged granola bar
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DFW CBS Local Source: DFW CBS Local

And the most important part of the meal? He tells every donor to write a positive and uplifting message on the bag.

As of October 29th, 2020, Orion has collected nearly 30,000 meals and we’re certain he’ll meet his goal if we spread his story. If you’d like to donate a meal or learn more about Orion’s cause, you can visit his website or follow him on Instagram.

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A post shared by Orion Monaco Jean (@orion_monaco_jean) on

Orion is clearly one special kid and his kindness is making so many people happy. Watch the speech that sparked his movement in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Good News Network, Race to Kindness, Instagram/Orion Jean, CBS Local

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