16-year-old pilot making sure rural hospitals get the medical supplies they need

Coronavirus

In this March 27, 2020 photo provided by Thomas Kim, TJ Kim, 16, loads medical supplies into a plane in Leesburg, Va., before flying to a hospital in Luray. Kim began delivering donated medical supplies to rural hospitals in need after realizing his flight training could be put to good use during the coronavirus pandemic. (Thomas Kim via AP)

BETHESDA, Md. (WJW) — A 16-year-old pilot from Maryland is making sure rural hospitals get the medical supplies they need during the coronavirus pandemic.

“They kind of conveyed to me that they were really forgotten about,” TJ Kim told FOX News. “Everyone was wanting to send donations to big city hospitals. Every hospital is hurting for supplies, but it’s the rural hospitals that really feel forgotten.”

The high school sophomore learned how to fly after his father gifted him with a flying lesson on his 15th birthday. Now he’s putting his flight training to good use.

His family even came up with a name for the mission: Operation SOS — Supplies Over Skies.

According to FOX News, Kim’s most recent delivery included 3,000 gloves, 1,000 head covers, 500 shoe covers, 50 non-surgical masks, 20 pairs of protective eyewear and 10 bottles of hand sanitizer. He said gathering donations is the hardest part.

Kim hopes to attend the Naval Academy and become a pilot someday.

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