TJ Kim is too young to drive alone, but he can fly…and he has put his pilot’s license to good use, delivering critical medical supplies to rural hospitals.
16-year-old Kim lives in Virginia and delivers supplies including masks, gloves, gowns, and other protective gear to rural hospitals throughout the Commonwealth.
Kim told the AP that these smaller hospitals feel like they have been left behind:
“They kind of conveyed to me that they were really forgotten about. Everyone was wanting to send donations to big city hospitals. Every hospital is hurting for supplies, but it’s the rural hospitals that really feel forgotten.”
Rather than use the epidemic to relax on the couch or enjoy time off, Kim and his family began Operation SOS — Supplies Over Skies.
His latest mission was to Winchester, VA, where he delivered:
- 3,000 gloves
- 1,000 head covers
- 500 shoe covers
- 50 non-surgical masks
- 20 pairs of protective eyewear
- 10 concentrated bottles of hand sanitizer
He’s starting “local” but as time passes, he is expanding his reach to other area in Virginia and may look outside state lines as well.
Dave Powell, Kim’s flight instructor, heaped praises upon him:
“For TJ to be more concerned with the needs of others in his melancholy state just reiterated to me how amazing this young man is.”
Kim’s father sources the supplies, all of which are donated to these hospitals. Kim says this, not the flying, is the hardest part of the mission. As someone in that line of work, I can certainly attest to that.
What a heartwarming story. Kim hopes to attend the Naval Academy and I’m sure he has now has a perfect topic for his personal statement, with plenty of media coverage to attach to it. Kim is another example of people using the current crisis to help others during their time of need. His work is inspiring.