May 8, 2016
“Mom, they don’t even know me and they come here to make me smile. That is just like what you do, and I want to help too.” Jaiden Henry, eight years old and the son of Chicago’s 1st Platoon Leader Kim McGraw, had fallen ill and was temporarily hospitalized. To his amazement however, volunteers kept coming by to keep his spirits up.
He has since worked hard alongside his mother to inspire others to do the same.
Jaiden has taken on leadership roles at many of the platoon’s projects. He learned hand CPR and helped teach the technique to over 900 middle schooler’s as part of a Veterans Day event last fall. He made 150 chocolate chip cookies for volunteers. He even donated a book he wrote to children of military service members over the holiday season. The book, called “One Person Can Make a Difference and Everyone Should Try!,” is based on his experience volunteering with his mom and the service platoon.
“The best feeling in the world,” Kim, a United States Navy veteran, said, “is knowing you have planted a great seed in your boys about volunteering with a smile while motivating others and being the active difference our community needs. Serving with The Mission Continues has brought me closer to my boys and has made a positive change in our family.”
For Mother’s Day, we wanted to ask Jaiden about his impressive resume of volunteer experience and what it’s like to serve alongside his mom:
What makes you most proud of your Mom?
“My mom is super strong, and she does work for other people, and inspires them to do even more. She works a lot of jobs to provide for me and my brother, and never complains. She earned her nickname Kim Possible because many people say it can’t happen, and my mom proves them wrong every time.”
What are some important things you have learned from your mom?
“Having a big heart and helping others, being kind, never giving up, always challenge yourself to learn even outside of school — and when you learn something, share that new knowledge with others. Always turn a negative situation into a positive one.”
How can you tell when your mom is proud of you?
“My mom always has the biggest smile on her face and says I knew you could do it! She gives me lots of hugs and kisses and says I can be anything I want to be. She tells me all the time she is the luckiest mom in the world but I feel like the luckiest kid in the world. She also tells me I make her heart full and does knuckle bumps.
“I am one kid and I choose to make a difference. Together we can make an even bigger difference. I challenge you to do something to make someone else smile and watch how many fun memories you will create for yourself and others!”
Interested in joining a service platoon near you? Visit our website to learn more!