in

LoveLove

Project i AM Celebrates 8th Year

Teen entrepreneur Jahkil Jackson fills a Blessing Bag during the Project i AM packing party event celebrating eight years of its existence./ Photo: Izzy Wilson

Jahkil Jackson, creator of Project i Am, is living proof that age doesn’t matter when you want to do the right thing. For the eighth anniversary of his organization, Jackson, a junior at Curie High School, hosted the Blessing Bag Packing Party as part of his giving back initiative to the unhoused population.

The Blessing Bag Packing Party – which stocks up giveaway bags filled with wipes, socks, deodorant, hand sanitizer, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bottled water, and more – took place at True Star’s headquarters in Bronzeville. People of all ages came out to support the Project i Am mission and give of their time to make a difference.

“After eight years, it’s a great feeling to be running this organization, especially being the impact that we’ve made so far,” Jackson said. “It’s important that I understand the amount of young people that I’ve influenced and still are able to inspire.”

During the packing party, 500 Blessing Bags were created and sent to Kennedy-King College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago located in the Englewood community.

Jackson’s overall goal?: demolishing homelessness.

“I know that’s a big goal, but it’s a dream of mine. I hope that it can be accomplished with the amount of young people that I’m influencing and hoping that we can all come together to work toward the cause,” Jackson said.

Throughout the organization’s history, more than 135,000 bags have been distributed.

Moe Hannon, a supporter of the organization, came out to aid Jackson as she also has a passion for helping the unhoused. Hannon found out about the organization after attending an event in Lawndale that Project I Am participated in about the unhoused population. Now, Hannon and her sister are collaborating with the organization to help bring in more donations and support the mission, to create awareness and provide temporary support and long-term solutions for the unhoused.

“Blessing bags are near and dear to my heart. We grew up doing a similar thing, so knowing that Jahkil is doing it on a bigger spectrum and it’s the eighth anniversary; why not come out and celebrate?” said Hannon.

This was Hannon’s second time participating in creating Blessing Bags for the unhoused, her first experience was at Giving Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

“[Jahkil] has such a big vision and it’s contagious,” said Hannon. “The unhoused population is also my passion, so seeing him do it in a younger age is motivating and it makes me want to do more to be out there.”

Though nearly a decade in, Project i Am is just getting started. Jackson has plans to distribute tiny homes in the near future while continuing to inspire people of all ages to do their part and give back to those in need.

“I hope to do Project i Am for as long as I can; as long as homelessness is an issue,” Jackson said.

For more information on how you can make a donation, visit officialprojectiam.com.

By Cierra Lemott, Columbia College Chicago Aumni

Instagram: @cece.kodak / @kodakscamera

X: @LemottCierra

 

True Star Media’s content is made possible thanks to donors like you. By donating at truestarmedia.org/donate you are helping to empower young creators and transform lives.

Written by Cierra Lemott

I'm a professional procrastinator and my hobbies include sleeping, eating, and Netflix binging.

The Double Dream: Ian Foreman’s Double Feature at Sundance 2024

#BBFPodcast – A Conversation With Representative Yolonda Morris