An 8-year-old boy in Virginia is going the extra mile to help the homeless. CBS News first met Zohaib Begg last year, after he made it his mission to gather as much personal protective equipment as possible for frontline workers. He ended up with more than 6,000 items. Now, the self-proclaimed “Chief Kindness Officer” has shifted his focus to uplifting the homeless community.
“The reason I want to give to the homeless is because every time I go to D.C. I see it’s a problem with my own eyes, and I had the desire to help them from my own heart,” Begg said.
Begg recently set his sights on reaching at least 1,000 people in need for Global Youth Service Day, the largest youth service event in the world highlighting the heroics of those aged 5 to 25.
“It means a lot to me and I know how the families feel and I just hope these kits give the families who are dealing through this hard time right now a little bit of comfort,” he said.
Sharon Wise, who was once homeless and now advocates on behalf of homeless people, was by his side. Together, they went to the underskirts of the 3rd Street tunnel off New Jersey Avenue in Washington, D.C., to pass out food, toiletry kits and supplies to people in need.
“They weren’t born one day and say, ‘Hey, I think I want to be in a camp one day.’ You know, they ended up there and seeing him out there with me and some of the other volunteers, it just gives them hope, saying, ‘Wow, this little boy is out here. He cares about us,'” Wise said.
Each kit was filled with donations from local companies to whom Begg personally reached out. “I kept making holes in my socks so my mom got me Bombas, and I thought they’re very comfy. Then I thought, ‘Hey maybe Bombas could give me some socks.’ So me and my mom emailed them for 50 socks and they ended up giving us 600,” Begg said.
He also connected with dentist offices, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans and Chick-fil-A.
“I believe in spreading kindness, and all my donors and partners for this event share this vision and also believe that no one is too young to make a difference,” he said.
Although Global Youth Service Day has passed, Begg says his mission is far from over. As long as he’s helping those around him, he said he’s one happy third-grader.
“It makes me happy to give to others,” he said. “I also want to show children that no matter your age, you can always make a difference and a positive impact in your community. You just have to find the problem and find one solution.”