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Teen prodigy has extraordinary crocheting skills and uses it to raise money to help his village

15-year-old Jonah Larson is raising money from crocheting to provide financial assistance to his village in Ethiopia.

Cover Image Source: Instagram / Jonah's Hands
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John Larson was only five years old when he picked up his first set of hooks and learned how to crochet from an easy tutorial. And by age of six, he was competing against the grandmas in the county fairs. Today, his crochet business is blooming so well that he has stopped taking orders due to the high demand he receives with each passing day. His mom, Jennifer, spoke to Good Morning America, saying, "He's gotten about 2,500 orders in the last two weeks." His Instagram account, which is more like his business page, has reached over 390K followers and the numbers just keep going up! His mom told GMA that his fame comes from the online crocheting boards and that the community is very kind and encouraging. 

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Larson started his journey by crocheting a dish towel and then moved to hats and scarves. As he was getting better with his skills, he bought a pair of ribbons from the county fair and challenged himself to make more intricate designs. "He's pretty popular on there," his mom said. "I guess because he's a little boy doing crochet." His collections of crochet range from baby booties, dog coats, mermaid tail blankets, and afghans. His toughest project is probably the 800 flowers stitched together in a puff style. "Crocheting calms him," his mom said. "His mind is normally very busy, but he's crocheting." Other than crocheting, Jonah is also a savant in other areas.

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Also, a math prodigy, an avid basketball player with his brother, and sometimes, "a very occasional video gamer." Jonah added, "Everyone needs a little quiet time." He is now 15 and "full of confidence." Besides, Jonah is too deep in his passion that he does not care what the other kids at school might think of him. Jonah was asked about his favorite piece, but he said that it is hard to pick. "That's like asking a parent which child is their favorite. But I've narrowed it down to either my sunset afghan or my mosaic placements." Moreover, Jonah hopes that people who crocheted before but stopped somehow should take up this lovely hobby once again. "I hope they will pull their hooks out and keep this art going into the next generation."

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Jonah is a mini philanthropist as well. Born in the small village of Durame in southeastern Ethiopia until he was adopted at six months old and taken to the United States. According to the UN, Jonah is generous enough to give back to his Ethiopian community. His adoptive parents instilled the values of giving back to society as much as they could. Now, Jonah lives by it. On his website, Jonah offers books, DVDs, and YouTube tutorials that teach crocheting to millions. On his GoFundMe page, he sells some of his items, such as dishcloths, blankets, scarves, and hats, to raise money for Jonah's village and the people who live there. 



 

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So far, he has raised over $25,000, which enabled him to open a library and a science lab at Teza Gerba School in Durame with the necessary equipment, like goggles and microscopes. Also, with more future projects, Jonah has been the talk of the town, where people are appreciating and recognizing his monumental contributions. Jonah's next big project for the school students is the provision of suitable restrooms. He said that he is raising an additional $5,000 in donations to complete this project and work towards more future financial services such as these. Jonah hasn't been able to travel back to his village in Ethiopia but is eager about the prospect of it happening in the future to see firsthand results of his philanthropical efforts.

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