CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - A Northern Virginia teen took “giving back” to new heights: flying in some much-needed PPE for a local hospital.
17-year-old TJ Kim piloted a Cessna aircraft to deliver the packages to the staff at John Randolph Medical Center.
“Being up there is really freeing. I love flying,” said Kim, who had been making his way around a cockpit since he was 15 years old.
A year ago, his flight training facility in Leesburg was one of the businesses that did not close down, and he said he thought it was a really great way to tie in community service and his flight training at the same time.
On top of that, these flights are a component of his non-profit: Operation SOS (Supplies Over Skies). So far, he has almost two dozen flights in four states under his wing.
“Throughout my journeys and meeting more hospital workers, I’ve definitely learned a lot more about the need. Especially with rural hospitals, I’ve learned that they’ve been shutting down at a rate never seen before, so just trying to come out here and help in any way that I can,” Kim said.
Joe Mazzo, CEO of John Randolph Medical Center, was on hand to personally assist with the hand-off of almost a dozen boxes of assorted PPE.
“It’s a unique delivery. We’re excited, and I’m just appreciative of his efforts,” Mazzo said, adding that it was the first time the hospital had supplies flown to them like this.
“I think this just really shows what COVID has done to us as a nation, in just supporting each other and coming out in any unique ways,” Mazzo added.
Kim says he wants to continue to do these missions and move forward with training towards a private pilot’s license.
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