On Friday nights, you’ll spot Lillian Ford cheering for the Barnesville Shamrocks. But throughout the week, Ford is busy helping out her community, through a platform she created called, “Kindness U: Lillian’s Leaders of Tomorrow.” 

“So I’m a member of the Miss Ohio Organization and with that you need a platform and I’ve always liked helping in the community and I wanted to grow something that would be really big in my community,” says Ford. 

Kindness U is an organization that helps others through a number of missions around Barnesville and Belmont County, including food pantries, helping those around the holidays, and summer lunch programs. 

“It feels really great, seeing the smiles on people’s faces whenever I’m helping out is really amazing.” 

Ford hasn’t just impacted the community but she’s encouraged those closest to her as well. 

“Lillian is just always there for me and she has supported me through many steps in my life,” says Grace Starr. 

“Oh my goodness she has been a blessing since the day she was born,” says Amy Carpenter. “She is so wonderful, how kind she is, just her presence and everything you couldn’t ask for a better little niece.” 

And Ford’s dedication to her community hasn’t gone unnoticed. She was just recently named the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival Queen. Something that means the world to her.  

“Now I’m the queen so I get to represent Barnesville in all of the festivals around Ohio.” 

One thing is certain, Ford’s family is very proud of her efforts. 

“She has just so much heart for everybody and everything she does and when she gives back to this whole community it puts a smile on everybody’s face and I am just so proud of her from Christmas to the fundraisers she does, it’s amazing.” 

Since Kindness U has started, the group’s numbers have increased from 15 to about 100 members. And Ford hopes the culture that Kindness U creates within her community will continue to grow, not just in numbers but in spirit too.  

“This girl is on top of the world. She is going to be unstoppable.”