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'Love like Lily' | Family of 9-year-old killed in crash challenges others to random acts of kindness

Dozens have committed to doing at least one random act of kindness a day, for 15 days, to follow the example of Lily Kate Powell, who died in Gwinnett County in 2017.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — It’s been about 18 months since 9-year-old Lily Kate Powell was killed in a traffic accident – and her young life is leaving a large legacy in Gwinnett County and beyond. Lily Kate’s parents said then they knew her spirit would live on and make the world better.

11Alive viewers sent word to our newsroom that dozens of people are now in the midst of a 15-day challenge, the "Love Like Lily Challenge," to do one act of kindness every day.

“She lived life to the fullest, she loved deeply,” said Lily Kate’s mother, Jennifer Powell, in the days following Lily Kate's death. “I’m an adult, but I want to learn from her and I want to live like her.  She makes friends, from little old ladies to everybody she meets.  She never meets a stranger, and makes them feel like they're the most important person in the world.  She was so joyful.”

RELATED: A road less forgiven: Driver struggles with death of young girl

The Powell family came up with the idea for the 15-day "Love Like Lily Challenge," for themselves and others, and the latest challenge began on Valentine’s Day. Powell listed in the Facebook group 50 suggestions to help participants think of small acts of kindnesses they could do for others, such as giving groceries to a local food pantry, bringing flowers to a teacher, or donating hair as Lily Kate liked to do.

So far, more than 100 people have committed to the challenge and have been posting their updates on the Love Like Lily Challenge Facebook group.

Credit: Facebook

“She just made sure that everybody that was around her felt included and loved, she loved to hug,” said Jessica Hachat, a family friend. “Let’s make a big impact on her behalf. I think that would be amazing.”

150 people doing one act of kindness a day, for 15 days, would be 2,250 acts of kindness for others. 

The hope is that the 15-day commitment will become a year-round habit.

The Powells, living with the loss of Lily Kate, are finding ways to give--living her best life for others, in her memory and honor.

“And that’s her legacy,” Lily’s mom said. “She has changed the world.”


Join the Love Like Lily Challenge on Facebook.

MORE | Love like Lily: A story of forgiveness