As children, we are taught to be kind and mind our manners by saying “please” and “thank you.” We are told that we are the future and that we can do anything to which we put our minds. But as we grow older, we forget that anything is possible and that the world is full of opportunities. When we begin to take on more responsibility and worry as adults, we lose the child-like faith to pursue our young ambitions because society labels the pursuit as too precarious.
Today, turning on the news means being bombarded with one difficult story after another. Whether it is the rise of coronavirus cases, politics, natural disasters or anything else this year could throw at us, it is hard to remember that there are still so many good moments in this world. For nine-year-old Deontra Jackson, the negative news became too much and she was determined to make the world a better place.
Deontra started to see the civil unrest and hardship in our country and asked her mom, Demeatrice Jackson, “What can I do?” Needing to show that there is still kindness in our community, Deontra wanted to donate snacks to local government employees and essential frontline workers.
“It’s never a bad thing to invest in your baby,” said Demeatrice. So they went to Sam’s ClubTM and bought snacks for the Town of Collierville’s sanitation workers. Deontra gave all 40 employees a snack and drink to thank them for their service. Since then, she has handed out snacks and goody bags to the town’s police officers, firefighters, the doctors and nurses of Collierville Baptist Memorial Hospital, Town Hall employees and to the local Amazon headquarters.
Even after bringing kindness and moments of light-hearted joy to so many in Collierville, Deontra is not done. According to Demeatrice, they still have plans to bring even more snacks to government volunteers and essential workers.
Deontra’s generosity and kind spirit have not gone unnoticed.Local news stations and the Deontra’s Kindness Tour Facebook group have helped spread the word about what she is doing to promote unity throughout Collierville. Her kindness has inspired others to donate and help her cause.
Watty Brooks-Hall, owner of The Brooks Collection, heard about Deontra through her Facebook group and was impressed with what she was doing. “In these crazy times, it’s so nice to see kindness happening,” said Brooks-Hall. “Deontra has gone the extra mile in providing these ‘goody bags’ and through her kindness, I know she has put a smile on many faces.”
At the young age of nine, Deontra has impacted her community in a way that some adults have not been able to do. Her smiling face and her simple acts of kindness brighten up the town and remind people that there is still so much goodwill in our world.
story | AK Lewellen
photo | Nicholas Cotros