Posted Monday, January 8, 2018 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
NBC's "The Today Show" Wednesday is set to profile 17-year-old Marietta resident Aidan Anderson and his charity Aidan Cares, where he encourages other children to serve and give to the community.
The piece, which was taped several weeks ago, is scheduled to air around 8:15 a.m. as part of Savannah Guthrie's series on "Boys Changing the World." She created a similar series a few months ago called "Girls Changing the World." (fyi... the segment could get postponed or moved to another time if there is breaking news.)
NBC hired a crew in Georgia to tape Aidan working various charitable jobs including block captain on an Adopt a Block. In New York City, Aidan and Guthrie spent six hours, where Aidan attended the reopening of a Ronald McDonald House.
"We're in the middle of a movement," said Toren Anderson, Aidan's mom and sister of Brett Butler, former star of "Grace Under Fire." "We're trying to change the DEFCON 1 status of our kids. They're not giving. They're suicidal. They're selfish. They have no clue how their well being is tied to helping others."
Aidan said he had a calling from a young age to be of service, going back to age four, when he told his mom that he couldn't wait to be an adult to do so, that he wanted to help as soon as possible. That's how Aidan Cares came to be when he was seven.
Over the years, he has become a philanthropic inspirational speaker, spreading the gospel of giving around the world. He did a Tedx Talk at age 14. He was the keynote speaker for a Tony Robbins youth summit. He works with dozens of charities such as the Boys and Girls Club and Ronald McDonald House. He's also a heartfelt musician who has received in-person tips from Ed Sheeran.
He said he doesn't let the attention get to his head. "I'm proud of the little moments," he said, "when I'm able to speak at a school or serve at a place. I hope to inspire kids to start their own initiatives. I know I can't tackle all the major problems in the world. I hope to just be a ripple."
He said it's so easy in this world to get totally enraptured by your smartphone and forget to live life. He was guilty of that one time at a Dollar Store and his mom castigated him. When he reached the store clerk, he read the woman's name tag and said, "Hope you have a blessed holiday, Ms. Robin." She started crying, he said, because that was the first time that day she was acknowledged as a human being.
"I feel sick to my stomach that we miss so many moments like that," he said. "We're so distracted. My goal is to be part of the solution to fix that."
Then for a moment, Aidan sounded like a teenager when thinking about the "Today" piece: "The main thing is I hope is I don't look like an idiot on camera!"
Here is one of Guthrie's pieces about "Girls Who Changed the World."