During summer our children take a break from school. However, too often than not, while our children are home, some, unfortunately, are also taking a break from breakfast. For some children, school is where they have access to breakfast. Fortunate for the families of Homefirst, their children were able to get some relief. Meet Jonathan. After 53 hours of community service and 180 boxes of cereal, and at only 16 years of age, Jonathan hosted a cereal drive and activated his community to tackle this issue. Jonathan shares with Homefirst the backstory of is philanthropy.
What motivated you to organize your breakfast drive?
I wanted to help my community. Last year I did my first “Cereal” for kids/students during Summer Campaign and the Celebrating Dr. Seuss New books Campaign. I collected 96 boxes of brand name cereal and 48 cans of Carnation Milk. I donated the cereal to Family Resource Center of NJ (FARC) and was told it benefited a lot of students. Last year’s Dr. Seuss Book Campaign I collected 18 new books in 13 days. I donated to Amity Park Transitional LLC, Orange, NJ.
I wanted to do both campaigns again to help out more. I am planning on continuing the cereal and last year’s Dr. Seuss book campaign every summer.
What about this cause specifically inspired you to get into action? How did you organize this breakfast drive?
During the school year breakfast for some students is their only meal. It’s important for kids/students to get the cereal in the summer so I wanted to help. I believe everyone should have a Healthy Start to their day. Reading at an early age is fun, so Dr. Seuss has the most colorful pages and stories. It also teaches rhyming and vocabulary when you read.
Who supported you in your mission?
I told my family, friends, and church members, about the cereal and book drives. I created flyers for each with the details and passed out in church.
How did you get the word out about your drive?
I sent a group message text about the cereal and book drive on my mom’s phone from her contact list. My family, friends and church family always supports my drives and happy to donate.
Did you have a goal for the breakfast drive (i.e., box amount, participant amount, etc.)? If so what was it?
I didn’t have a goal as far as the amount. My goal was to collect the cereal and milk before the school year ended in June and new Dr. Seuss books for his birthday. I thought if I collected at least (1) box or (1) book then that was (1) box and (1) book I could give to someone.
What does it mean to you to be a part of such a cause?
To be part of a cause means that I’m doing my part to help others with my projects and make an impact in my community. I build partnerships with the organizations I donate to and we work together to help people and families.
How did you decide to partner with Homefirst?
I researched the internet for an organization near my home. I checked the website and saw that Homefirst helped families and advocates valiantly for families and individuals. I wanted specifically an organization that would get my donations to my targeted group kids, students, families. I also searched for an organization that specifically assisted families with domestic violence. Mom says families on the run have to leave stuff behind, I thought getting a new book would help.
To keep abreast of Jonathan’s community service, follow him on Instagram and Twitter.