After living through the ultimate tragedy, the Barróns became America's Kindest Family
Parents magazine held a contest that began last April looking for the kindest family in America. Real kindness isn't about winning awards or getting your name on the cover of a magazine. But Parents thought that the campaign was a great way to inspire "families to continue to do good and to share their stories."
The contest was judged by a panel that Parents called "moms and dads who are fierce advocates for kindness and inclusivity." The judges included Parents Editor in Chief Julia Edelstein; Parents Latina Editor in Chief Grace Bastidas; NBC News' 3rd Hour of TODAY co-hosts Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin, and Al Roker; and actor Kristen Bell, amongst others.
The winning family is a wonderful example of how people can take the lessons of tragedy and turn them into compassion for others.
The Barrón family from Oklahoma won the contest for their exceptional commitment to helping children with cancer and their families. For Luke (39), Holly (38), Keaton (forever 8), Reid (7), Holden (4), and Conley (2), kindness is a personal mission.
Their greatest inspiration is their son Keaton who passed away at the age of eight from leukemia.
Towards the end of his life, Keaton was visited by a volunteer at the hospital named Kay and the two started the K Club. "Kay's name starts with K, and we called Keaton 'K,'" Holly told Parents.
Its mission statement written by Keaton is "To be kind to others, be courageous, compassionate, and caring."
The club raised money by selling clubhouse dues for just $1 and has grown to have a significant impact on the lives of countless families. The K Club helps kids with cancer and their families by throwing several fundraisers a year, including a golf tournament and a Christmas celebration where they sell baked goods.
The K Club also collects diapers, wipes, and clothes for a pregnancy resource center, makes hygiene packs for those experiencing homelessness, and donates funds to build wells in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Teaching Kids How to Be Kind and Think About Others | Barrón Family - The K Club | Parentswww.youtube.com
The club also makes K Packs that allow parents to remember the children they've lost to a terminal illness. They include recordings of the child's voice and artwork.
"It's an honor to provide a tiny bit of hope or peace in the most unimaginable time in a family's life," Holly says. "We feel for every parent who may lose a child and will do anything and everything we can to be there for them."
The family also oranizes fun events, such as a monthly LEGO party at Oklahoma Children's Hospital where Keaton was treated, and they provide treats for parties honoring kids who are leaving the hospital.
The Barróns think that the K Club is a great way for Keaton's younger brothers to keep his spirit alive.
"I think Keaton would be pleased with it all, but I don't think he'd be like, 'Whoa, this is unbelievable!'" Holly said. "I think he'd just say, 'Yeah, this is what I'd planned. Good job.'"
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