We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris C.J. Matthews and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris C.J., what principle do you value most?
Kindness is the principal that matters most to me at this point of my life. Kindness is important to me because it is satisfying, and makes me happy. I think most people are at their best when they are happy. My parents helped me to start my charity, Blankies 4 My Buddies to help me cope with the loss of my little sister. Before that I was always sad. Helping others helped me to find happiness inside myself that I believe has allowed me to thrive in other areas of my life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a youth change agent. When I was 5 my mom experienced a pregnancy loss. As I mentioned before, I took it very hard. To help me to cope, my parents helped me to start a charity called Blankies 4 My Buddies. Through Blankies 4 My Buddies, I provide comfort to people, especially kids who are experiencing difficult times due to illness, homelessness, loneliness, or any other traumatic situations. My work has given me a platform to encourage other young people to help others and use their voices to make change. I am very proud that because of the work I do, I was given the opportunity to work with the Giving Tuesday, the global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. As a Giving Tuesday Spark leader, I take my role in impacting youth around the world very seriously. If we all do something, we can make a huge difference in the world and create a brighter future for all. Being kind is easy. Like Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.” I’m only 13 and I serve others all the time. Any act of kindness is important. It doesn’t matter how big or small, and anyone can serve. This is a lesson that I’ve come to learn and see over and over being a part of this movement. I want people to know that my brand was created based on kindness, and as it grows, it will continue to be centered around serving others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite attractions are World of Coca Cola, and Georgia Aquarium. I enjoy many of the museums and historical landmarks like the Martin Luther King Historical site, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Woodruff Art Center, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. We’d have to see one of the many productions. Alliance Theatre offers an interesting lineup of shows for young adults. I’d want to take them to Six Flags Over Georgia, and White Water, if the weather is hot. Then maybe we’d take a ride out to LaGrange to Great Wolf Lodge for one night. Atlanta ha some great food. Too many to name. LOL Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shout out goes to my family for supporting me and pushing me to be the best I can be.
Kristen Wright Matthews