After seeing a large homeless population around his neighborhood, 8-year-old Jonah Jacobson decided to do something about it.
The Glendale resident combined his love of break-dancing with his desire to help his community by holding a fundraiser, a June 26 dance recital that will deliver proceeds to a local homeless organization.
"I see homeless everywhere and wanted to help them, especially the kids in the shelter," Jonah said.
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The fundraiser raised $800 for Ascensia, a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of support services for the homeless in Glendale, Highland Park, and Burbank.
Jonah said dancing began as something he would watch on TV and would practice during recess. He began taking lessons a year and a half ago, and said it's a great workout and he loves "showing off" for his friends.
The recital took place atop a makeshift stage in the Jacobsons' garage and offered "famous baked goods" by Jonah's twin sister, Lila, for sale.
Ascencia's executive director, Natalie Komuro, said as kids are out and about, they are going to see homelessness. However, she added they are less likely to see homeless children and families, which make up a huge portion of the homeless that come through Ascencia's doors.
That's just who Jonah wants to help.
"Ascencia is a safe place for little boys just like me. I want to do this because it will help the world and I love dancing," he said.
Jennifer Berry, Jonah's mother, said growing up, she never saw a single homeless person. Now, just a couple of decades later, it is hard to go anywhere in the community without seeing one. She said Jonah really felt inspired to help homeless kids, giving to what she says is an amazing organization.
"They treat the homeless with so much dignity," Berry said with emotion, "Jonah had this passion and wanted to turn it into helping kids like him."
Jonah plans to keep dancing for a good cause in the future. Next time, he said he wants to raise money for endangered animals.
"You are never too small to change the world," he said.