LA GRANGE, Ky. (FOX 56) — La Grange has dubbed itself the kindness capital of Kentucky. From the time you drive across the city’s border, the telltale signs are everywhere — on patios, in yards, and store windows. The force behind the movement is two little girls with a large collection of spray paint.

In 2019, Raegan and Rylyn Richins had an idea that caught on like wildfire. Raegan was 10 at the time. Rylyn was 7.

The girls said they were on a long road trip and really tired when their car had a flat tire.

“I guess we were really mad at each other,” Rylyn said. Once they were back on the road she said they saw a sign in a yard that read, “Be Kind.”

“That made us happier. It brought us a little joy,” Raegan said. “And we said we should do that here. Because it brought us a lot of joy, we were like, ‘Hey, we can do the same where we live.’”

Now four years later, Raegan and Rylyn Richins have become Oldham County’s goodwill ambassadors known as the “Be Kind Sisters.”

“At first, we just started making them and we were like, ‘We can just give it a test run, I guess.’ And then we went to some places and people really liked them,” Raegan said.

They also want to promote compassion because of their love for children with special needs. They have a younger sister and brother who have Down syndrome, as did an older sister who died in 2021.

“We noticed some reasons why people weren’t being kind to them,” Raegan said. “We were like, ‘Hey, maybe this will make them more kind.’”

Their parents said the girls came up with the idea completely on their own. “They truly did it because they wanted to be the voice of kindness for their siblings, for our family, for this community,” said their mother, Rhonda Richins.


Raegan and Rylin have now made more than 5,000 signs, spreading their message coast to coast. It even showed up on a billboard in New York’s Times Square.

Rhonda said, “We also have friends that took some signs to China. That was huge!”

The owner of “Mainly Creative,” a La Grange gift shop, said “Be Kind” signs are one of her biggest sellers. Sometimes the girls will bring her 20 signs in the morning and they’ll be gone by afternoon.

They sell for $10 each and all of the proceeds go to charities the girls support, things such as food banks, animal shelters, and organizations that help people with Down syndrome.

Raegan and Rylyn even lobbied the mayor and city council to have La Grange named as Kentucky’s Kindness Capital.

“It was eight to nothing,” said Mayor John Black. “Well, probably nine to nothing since I got to vote myself. I have eight city council members, so it passed nine to nothing with no discussion. It went down quick. It was one of those no-brainers.”

The movement has paid off in waves. The girls and their hometown have been featured in national news articles and on NBC’s Today Show.

HGTV came in and painted murals throughout the city, giving it a happier look to match its reputation.

Rhonda said she doesn’t believe one sign can make a difference for everybody, “but it makes a difference for them and their friends.”

“I had a friend of mine tell me she was just not having a great day and then she saw someone wearing a Be Kind shirt,” Rhonda said. “Immediately, they thought of the signs, they thought of the girls, and they changed their attitude.”

But the girls want people to do more than plant a sign in their yard.

Rylyn said people should “just add small, teeny tiny acts of kindness into your day, maybe like smiling at somebody who’s lonely or just holding the door.”

Rhonda said she and her husband, Ryan, have wondered if the girls were ready to retire from the project.”

Their dad asked if this is something they still want to do, and they were staunch in saying ‘Yes, absolutely.’”

They don’t try to sell the signs online or outside of their home area. That’s just too much to take on. So the girls encourage others to make their own signs. They often meet with church, school, and scout groups to share their mission.

“It’s perfect that other people are making Be Kind signs,” said Raegan. “That means the kindness is being spread.”