Jonas Corona, the 9-year-old founder of the Long Beach nonprofit Love in the Mirror, got quite a “nutty” surprise last week when he was featured on a segment of the new program The Ricki Lake Show. During the taping, Lake informed Corona, who makes sandwiches to feed the hungry in Long Beach, that Skippy had agreed to donate enough peanut butter to make 6,000 of them.
Corona and his mother, Renee Corona, received the donation Tuesday. She said that now they’re just waiting to get enough bread and jelly to go with the peanut butter, then they will set up a sandwich-making event. Renee said the nonprofit Food Finders will assist Love in the Mirror in getting the handmade sandwiches out the same day.
Corona had been invited to The Ricki Lake Show by 12-year-old Mary Margaret, co-founder of Kids are Heroes, an organization in Maryland that highlights amazing kids from around the world. The episode included a video of Corona going to Skid Row to feed homeless people. When asked how he felt about that undertaking, Corona said, “It makes me feel like I’m doing a great thing.”
Corona founded Love in the Mirror at the age of 6. Through his nonprofit, he strives to inspire young people to make a difference through their volunteer commitment of providing disadvantaged youth basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning materials.
Corona recently collected 200 backpacks filled with school supplies, which were distributed to students in Los Angeles and Long Beach. In October, they will launch a youth empowerment workshop to give kids between 5 and 15 years old who want to do more in their community a chance to learn how. The nonprofit will also launch its 4th annual sock drive in November.
“If you had asked me three years ago what I thought my kids would be doing, I would have told you, playing sports and video games and not wanting to clean their room,” Renee said. “To think the reality is that my son, along with his little brother Maximus and all of his family and friends have helped over 8,000 people in need with clothes and food and shampoo, it is just unbelievable. And that is on a small scale with local donations and help. Now with the opportunities such as Secret Millionaire and The Ricki Lake Show, we are getting donations from big corporations like Skippy and community grants from giants like Walmart and Disney, that 8,000 will quickly turn into 80,000. It is just simply amazing.”