Families and organizations are coming together across South Fulton to lend a helping hand to those in need. And 12-year old C.J. Matthews, founder of Blankies 4 My Buddies, is helping to lead the way.
C.J. created his nonprofit in 2013 after his mother suffered a devastating pregnancy loss. He wanted to find a way to help children and families who are coping with difficult situations.
His efforts to collect blankets to distribute at hospitals and shelters have attracted lots of local attention. And this year he was thrust into the global spotlight as a #GivingTuesdayKids ambassador when he was highlighted alongside other young philanthropists from as far as Sweden and Brazil.
Each year, he’s able to do a little more with the help of neighbors and community partners. His 3rd Annual Giving Bowl is just one example. The event not only supports families in need, but also gives other kids an opportunity to volunteer and play football with a purpose.
In partnership with H2H, Inc. (Here 2 Help), the bowl has fed 150 families during the holidays over the last two years.
“We want this event to grow larger and larger each year,” said Chris Matthews, C.J.’s dad. “Our focus with creating this game was to teach young men about being humble and showing kindness to others no matter where you are in your life because even the smallest gesture can make a big impact.”
This year’s Giving Bowl will be held on Saturday, December 7 at Sandtown Park (5320 Campbellton Road) and members of the community of all ages are asked to participate.
Boys ages 11 to 14 are invited to arrive at the park at noon to register to volunteer and play in the game. No football experience is required and the main goals are to have fun and give back.
Donors are asked to bring food donations and new, children’s-themed blankets. Food items will be packed and distributed to families in need during the event which ends at 3:00 p.m.
Bags will include staples like rice, beans, grits, canned vegetables and other non-perishable items. Also included are coupons for free pizza from Marco’s Pizza Hapeville and pastries from Publix Super Market at Princeton Lakes.