When 6-year old Jonas Corona went to his first homeless shelter, he was surprised by the number of hungry kids, barren of clothes, school supplies and toys. He wanted to do more to help, but because of his tender young age, was denied the ability to do much more than pass out drinks.
Determined to make a real differnce to those in need, Jonas began to organize drives to collect items he felt no child should live without. He also wanted to prove that a person’s age has nothing to do with how much he or she can give-back. Together with the help of his mom, Renee, Jonas opened the charitable organization, Love In The Mirror.
To date, Jonas has partnered with his school to organize a clothing, book and toy drive with four truckloads of donations benefitting the Long Beach Rescue Mission; a sock drive for homeless children for Valentine’s Day; and on his own made an Easter basket for youth at Precious Lamb Preschool, a school for homeless children.
“Homeless people and (homeless) kids are just like us and need to have the same things we have every day. You could donate lots of things — anything helps,” said Jonas Corona, now 7 years old.
The mission of his organization is to inspire young people to make a difference through their volunteer commitment of providing needs and homeless youth basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning materials. Jonas, who designed his organization’s logo — a hand-drawn heart — said the name “Love in the Mirror” comes from his belief that children should be able to look in the mirror and love themselves.
On August 27th Jonas will be speaking at the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club to educate and inspire more kids to take action around youth homelessness. During this community event, participants will be given the tools to learn how to have an impact on homelessness and gain a higher understanding of the impact homelessness has on youth, especially in school. To RSVP, click here.
KooDooZ has also authored a Youth Homelessness challenge which kids can take on to earn community service hours. Kids outside Southern California can participate by decding to “do” their own Sleep Out and/or do a collection drive to provide such basic products as:
- toothpast / floss
- hand sanitizer
- hair care products
- nail clippers
- basic first aid (bandaides, ointment)
- socks, clothing, shoes
- backpacks for school
- box of pencils
- loose leaf paper
- spiral notebooks / binders
For more information, please see http://www.loveinthemirror.org/