CHICAGO - This Giving Tuesday, one South Side teen is lifting spirits – not only in Chicago, but around the globe.
"Today we are having 400+ kids from 60 cities to make 10,000 ‘Blessing Bags’ on a Zoom call," said Jahkil Jackson, founder of ‘Project I Am.’
As a young boy, Jackson made it his mission to help those in need. Now a sophomore at De La Salle Institute, his reach continues to grow one ‘blessing’ at a time.
"I hope that it’s giving them the hope to go out in the world and make a change for themselves," said Jackson.
Jackson founded his organization, ‘Project I Am,’ when he was just 8 years old.
On Tuesday, the now 15-year-old led an effort to assemble 10,000 ‘Blessing Bags.’
"Soap, tissues, socks – things that can help them on a daily basis. There’s granola bars, wipes, all the daily essentials that we sometimes take for granted," said Jackson.
On Tuesday, 500 bags were packed at Discover’s Shine Bright Community Center. The rest were assembled by kids and teens in other cities.
"LA, Atlanta, Florida, New York, London as well," said Jackson.
In the coming days, the ‘Blessing Bags’ will be distributed at shelters – and to homeless individuals around town.
"To think about a young boy that’s 15 years old that could be doing anything with his time and wanting to give back is very critical," said Juatise Gathings, director of community outreach and operations at Discover’s Chatham Customer Care Center. "It’s an awesome opportunity for us to have our employees come out and volunteer and support, but also bring their young kids as well so hopefully [Jackson] can inspire them to do the same thing."
Jackson is encouraging other young people to follow their dreams.
"Do something that you’re really passionate about, it’s never going to be fun for you if you’re doing something you really don’t love," said Jackson.
Jackson is setting out to distribute 20,000 ‘Blessing Bags’ by New Year’s Eve.