In an extraordinary act of kindness, a young Texas boy has embarked on a mission of collecting 500,000 books for those in need.
At 10 years old, Fort Worth's Orion Jean already has a heart for service. Having collected more than 500 toys for a children's hospital last August and securing over 100,000 meals for people experiencing food insecurity in November, Jean is now working to collect 500,000 books for kids who don't have access to their own.
"Kindness is a virtue we can all possess," Jean, a July 2020 student kindness award winner told CBS News in an interview. "If we are willing to. So why not start today. Because right now, it's what we need more than ever."
Jean started his "Race to 500,000 Books" campaign on May 1. The campaign, which as of August 5, had collected around 120,000 books, ends on August 31.
"It's all about my moral duty to help people," the rising sixth grader said. "You know, it's my responsibility to be able to see these people who need help and knowing that I have the resources to help them."
"I hope that the impact that I have had is enough to keep people continuing to race to kindness and continuing to join me in this marathon because it's not a sprint. It's not a one-time thing, it's not a three-time thing. It's something that can hopefully be continued on for years and years to come," he concluded.
In a recent survey by the children's literacy non-profit Reading Is Fundamental about the impact COVID-19 has had on children's literacy, 94 percent of respondents noted that they are concerned that their children or students do not have access to print books at home. Seventy-Six percent of the respondents also reported not having access to an at-home library. Further, RIF reports that 67 percent of children living in poverty have no books of their own.
RIF interviewed 1,000 teachers, parents and caregivers in the survey.
Photo courtesy: Tom Hermans/Unsplash
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.