Young Jonas Helps Homeless Children & Inspires All Through ‘Love in the Mirror’
2011-03-28 · By Editor
EverythingLongBeach.com recently spoke with Renee Corona, volunteer (Jonas’s Mom) of Love in the Mirror, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.
How long has Love in the Mirror been around? Did it start in Long Beach?
The organization was founded on Thanksgiving 2009 in Long Beach.
Describe Love in the Mirror. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.
Jonas is the 7 year old founder of Love in the Mirror, a charitable organization, which strives to inspire young people to make a difference through their volunteer commitment of providing needy and homeless youth basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning materials. Founded in 2009, after Jonas was denied the ability to volunteer at shelters due to his young age, Jonas began to organize drives to help those in need by collecting items he felt no child should live without. He strives to meet the needs of homeless children, and with the help of dedicated adults, the young volunteers can grow into great community leaders and feel good about themselves, while offering those in need a chance to be happy by giving hope and teaching love. Jonas believes that every child should look in the mirror and love themselves.
How is Love in the Mirror different from similar nonprofits?
Love in the Mirror was founded by a 6 year old to help other children who might not have the basics they need to survive. It was started because Jonas was told he could not volunteer until he was 10 years old and he did not want to wait that long but more so, he did not want the children in need to wait.
How is Love in the Mirror involved with the community?
Love in the Mirror works very closely with the schools, libraries and other organizations within Long Beach to ensure the children get basic things like food, clothes and personal hygiene products. He donates food, clothing, toiletries, backpacks and toys to various places and on the streets and is very involved with organizations that benefit homeless children in the area like the Long Beach Rescue Mission’s Lydia House, Children Today, Precious Lamb Preschool and Centro Shalom.
What are some of the biggest successes Love in the Mirror has had?
Love in the Mirror recently helped Long Beach Rescue Mission with their annual backpack drive and for the holidays, we raised over 1500 pairs of new socks for homeless kids.
What is the most rewarding part of running Love in the Mirror?
The happiness that kids get when they receive a new pair of socks or a toothbrush and a backpack they would otherwise do without.
What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?
Currently, Jonas’s young age is a challenge.
What are the future plans for Love in the Mirror?
Jonas is looking forward to working with the community for a long time and growing as an individual and an organization.
Do you have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?
Love in the Mirror has partnered with the Long Beach Public Libraries once again to raise awareness of child homelessness and gather personal hygiene donations for those children who need it most. During the entire month of April, you can drop off items listed below at ANY of the 12 Long Beach Public Libraries. The donated items will be distributed amongst local organizations that help homeless and needy kids, as well as, those on the streets in the greater Los Angeles Area. For a list of locations and hours please visit www.lbpl.org.
Items Needed Most:
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Female products
- Shaving products
- Hair care products
- Basic first aid (band-aids, ointment)
The kick off event will be held on April 2, 2011 at 2pm at the Dana Neighborhood Library, 3680 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807.
Please join us for the kick off event for our Personal Hygiene Drive benefiting homeless and needy children. You will be able to meet 7 year old founder of Love in the Mirror, Jonas Corona and hear him speak about what Love in the Mirror is all about and how he helps local homeless and needy children through his organization with the help of the community.
How can people get involved with Love in the Mirror? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?
The public can always visit our website and Facebook pages to see what we are planning and we can always use donations. The wish list is on our homepage. Of course, everyone is invited to the kick off event for the next drive in April.