Homelessness is a longstanding national issue that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and an 8-year-old from South Carolina has set out on a mission to support individuals facing housing insecurity. Taji Johnson is paying it forward by providing tents for those who have been displaced, WJBF reported.
In January, the youngster launched Taji’s Tents; a fundraiser created to purchase tents for people facing homelessness in his local community. Within 10 days, Taji garnered $2,700 in donations and was able to buy 34 tents. He and his family traveled to Columbia, South Carolina to distribute the tents to people in need.
“He’s so happy to be able to provide shelter to homeless people. He really is,” his mother Chemikia Johnson told the news outlet. “He said he’s doing it forever. He’s going to give as many homeless people shelter as he can.” Taji—who aspires to be president one day—plans to take his initiative to other areas in South Carolina and Georgia, including Charleston, Greenville, Macon and Augusta. “We’re going to order more tents and keep passing them out,” Taji shared.
Projects like Taji’s Tents are needed, especially in South Carolina and Georgia. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness reported an estimated 4,287 people experienced homelessness on any given day in South Carolina. In the state of Georgia, nearly 10,234 individuals experienced housing insecurity daily.
Black youth throughout the country are tapping into the power of giving back. Through his initiative Race to Kindness, Orion Jean—TIME’s 2021 Kid of the Year—distributed over 500,000 books to children and provided over 100,000 meals for families facing food insecurity in the Dallas-Fort Worth community. “I hope that by spreading kindness, I can inspire people to change their ways and be more kind in the future,” he shared.