13-year-old's charity provides blankets to kids in need

Janet Shamlian

A 13-year-old boy from Georgia whose annual act of giving was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic found a way to still help others in need.

C.J. Matthews hosts a flag football game called the Giving Bowl every December. It's a fundraiser for a charity he started. "Blankies 4 My Buddies" gives blankets to children who, in some way, are struggling.

When asked what's special about giving someone a blanket, C.J. responded, "Because a blanket ... it's warm. It's comfortable."

COVID-19 canceled this year's contest, but not his mission.

"I know there's a lot of kids in the world and a lot of kids in my community who are on the streets or in shelter homes not getting enough food to eat or are lonely," C.J. said.

C.J. Matthews / Credit: Marcus Redd
C.J. Matthews / Credit: Marcus Redd

A drive-thru donation event netted 150 blankets. Cash donations will allow him to give away almost 1,000 blankets. "He has a heart of gold. He always has," Kristen Wright-Matthews, C.J.'s mother, said.

"He does it with open arms," she added. "He has really embraced what I think is his purpose in life."

When he hands the blankets over, C.J. said he hopes kids realize, even this year, kindness has not been canceled.

"It's gonna feel really good to me because I'm helping another soul, another soul to be happy in life," he said.

As for his efforts, C.J. hopes other kids take away the following: "I want them to know that comfort and kindness is anything anyone can do at any time or any place."

A GoFundMe account has been established to help C.J. reach his goal of comforting 1,000 kids this winter.

C.J. Matthews, 13, with his younger brother, Kollin Matthews, 4. / Credit: Blankies 4 My Buddies
C.J. Matthews, 13, with his younger brother, Kollin Matthews, 4. / Credit: Blankies 4 My Buddies

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