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Two young girls have transformed their hometown into the kindness capital

Two young girls have transformed their hometown into the kindness capital

Helping people is something Raegan and Rylyn learned quite early in their lives, especially after their parents, Rhonda, 51, and Ryan, 50, adopted two children with Down syndrome.

One day while Raegan Richins and her little sister, Rylyn, were heading back home they saw a few "Just Be Kind" signs posted in yards along the way. It instantly hit a nerve. "We have siblings with special needs and we both felt that people sometimes weren't as kind to them as they should be," said 13-year-old Raegan.

And just like that, an idea was born. As soon as they arrived home, the sisters came up with a plan to create their own colorful yard signs which would bear a simple message: "Be Kind." The two young girls quickly got to work using spray paint and wooden block letters to create their multicolored signs which now sell for $10. The proceeds go to local charities. 

Source: bekindsigns.org

What started with a modest ambition of just selling 65 signs multiplied to 3,000 signs as the simple message touched thousands of residents in La Grange and beyond. They have since raised over $40,000 for the Humane Society, food pantries, and other organizations, according to PEOPLE. Their impact is such that their sign can be seen in countless shop windows and in the front yards of people in their community. 

"Kindness just makes the world a better place," said Rylyn who is still amazed about a decision made by the local city council and the mayor to make the city of La Grange "Kentucky's kindness capital" due to the girls' popular yard signs. "An act of kindness doesn't have to be something big. It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone, which is what I do at school all the time and it always makes me happy," noted Raegan.



 

Helping people is something Raegan and Rylyn learned quite early in their lives, especially after their parents, Rhonda, 51, and Ryan, 50, adopted two children with Down syndrome following the death of their brother Kallen shortly after birth. Kallen also had the disorder. When the girls' eldest sister Kendall, 16, who had Down syndrome, passed away last year, they took up spray painting as a means to cope with the pain. "It always lifted our mood when Kendall was sick," recalled Raegan. 

The girls' work was displayed on a massive video billboard over Times Square recently and they even got a spot on the Today show. Now they look forward to the future and plan on spreading kindness with their signs, t-shirts, and cards. They are also writing a book together. "I can't tell you how many of our signs we see each day. But every time we see one, it makes us happy because we know we're spreading kindness," said Raegan.

Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | WHAS11

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