LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Making care packages for the homeless is not what most teens do on a Friday night.
But it’s what Jonas Corona, 13, has been doing since he was six years old.
“There’s people out on the streets that don’t have clothes and a place to stay,” the Long Beach teen said.
He made helping people his mission when he went to Los Angeles’ Skid Row to help out seven years ago.
“I decided to do something about it and collect items and see if I can hand them out,” Corona said.
With the help of his family, he started the nonprofit Love in the Mirror and began collecting donations from the community and businesses – everything from socks to dog food.
Each care package contains toiletries and letters with words of encouragement.
He says he’s able to spend hours organizing with Love in the Mirror because he attends an online school called California Virtual Academy.
This week, his efforts received statewide attention, with a special recognition from lawmakers in Sacramento.
“We have helped over 45,000 people so far,” Corona added.
His mom, Renee, said she couldn’t be more proud. “We’re inspired everyday by seeing what he does,” she said.
Corona hopes to eventually have Love in the Mirror go international to share his message around the world.
“We want people to look in the mirror and love what they see,” the teen said.