Don't wait to be great. This powerful message is one that 12 year old Jahkil Jackson has as a tagline for his nonprofit organization, Project I Am. Those word have been a reality for him since he started the organization four years ago, at only eight years old. Since then, he's been acknowledged by the likes of President Barack Obama, CNN, Marvel, Cartoon Network and more for all of the greatness he puts out into the world. Jahkil knew he didn't have to wait until he became an adult to make a difference in the world, and he wants other kids to know they don't have wait either.
Today, my daughter and I attended Project I Am's fourth anniversary celebration here in Chicago. Project I Am was created to raise awareness about homelessness and help the homeless by providing with key essentials like toiletries, socks and other useful items via blessing bags. Jahkil has given out more than 35,000 bags since he started, and continues to find new ways to give back.
The event attracted nearly 200 kids and teens from all over the Chicagoland area who came out to help stuff blessing bags and enjoy open skating in celebration of Jahkil's hard work. My daughter was excited to be a part of something that true makes a difference in other people's lives. She's been pretty adamant about helping the homeless in small ways like giving them change or food since she was about five years old or so. Now, she's inspired to do even more.
You can also help Jahkil continue these efforts by visiting his website to make a monetary donation, send items for blessing bags or purchase cool items with inspiring messages like, "Don't wait to be great."