Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to the Maryland native, Landon High School sophomore, and pilot, TJ Kim.
TJ, 16, a sophomore at Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, brainstormed with his family in McLean, Virginia, about ways to keep active and to serve the community while he had the time. They settled on Operation SOS — Supplies Over Skies.
The most recent flight carried 3,000 gloves, 1,000 headcovers, 500 shoe covers, 50 non-surgical masks, 20 pairs of protective eyewear, and 10 concentrated bottles of hand sanitizer to Winchester to help supply a hospital in nearby Woodstock.
The goal, he said, is to make deliveries to all seven rural hospitals in Virginia defined as critical access hospitals. The flights will become progressively longer. If all goes according to plan, the final trip will take him to Clintwood in far southwest Virginia.
TJ’s flight instructor, Dave Powell, said he was blown away when his student first proposed the project, especially since he knew how disappointed TJ had been with the cancellation of lacrosse.
Here is TJ in his own words about why he decided to put his flight skills to the service of rural hospitals in this time of crisis:
“They kind of conveyed to me that they were really forgotten about. Everyone was wanting to send donations to big city hospitals,” TJ told the AP, speaking to the response from the rural hospitals he’s delivering to. “Every hospital is hurting for supplies, but it’s the rural hospitals that really feel forgotten.”
TJ hopes to attend the Naval Academy when he graduates from Landon and become a naval aviator. We salute TJ Kim and Operation SOS in serving those in need in these challenging times. Proving everyone can make a difference no matter their age. Today, we honor TJ Kim as this week’s Evolved Man of the Week.