“Even though it’s been a difficult year with the coronavirus pandemic, a politically-divided country and social unrest, there is a bright spot in one Kentucky town.
Two young girls are encouraging people to come together — using two words ‘Be kind.’
Twelve-year-old Raegan and 9-year-old Rylyn Richins are sisters. They’ve been making and selling yard signs that say ‘Be Kind’ since last year. The girls donate all of the proceeds to local charities. People all around their county started buying the signs and displaying them on their lawns, in front of their homes and businesses. LaGrange City Councilwoman Andrea Essenpreis was so inspired by the display of signs she asked the city council last year to proclaim the City of LaGrange, ‘Kentucky’s Kindness Capital.’ Essenpreis says after Raegan and Rylyn spoke to the council there was a unanimous vote, and the mayor signed an official proclamation.
Essenpreis says she’s proud of Raegan and Rylyn, ‘What they did was just state, you can make a difference no matter how old you are, no matter what gender you are, no matter how much money you have.’
The councilwoman and bakery owner says every time she sees a sign in a yard, she thinks about the people who live in that house and how they’re choosing kindness in just the simple way of putting a sign in their yard, saying, ‘These are our values and this is what we stand for.’
This September the city of LaGrange, Kentucky unveiled a permanent, large sign welcoming visitors. It’s one of the first things you see driving into the town. The sign with pink, green, and white letters reads, ‘Welcome to LaGrange, Kindness Capital of Kentucky.’
When the Richins sisters started painting and selling signs they had no idea what kind of an impact they would have.
Rylyn says she and her sister just wanted to make a difference in their community. She says they got the idea last year when they saw a sign in LaRue County, Kentucky with the words, ‘Just be kind.’ Rylyn says while driving home from a trip, the family was hungry and cold.
‘And we were not in the best mood and then I see the sign and it’s fun with lots of pretty colors. That just made us so happy. We just wanted to start doing it here’ Rylyn says.”