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Youth members from the Jasmine Chinese Dance Group give back

From left to right, Jinsong Zhang, Operation Breakthrough staff member, and Cindy Wang.

On Friday, June 14, 2013, led by Cindy Wang, the youth director of Jasmine Chinese Dance Group, and a few Jasmine members dedicated their afternoon to helping Operation Breakthrough after presenting a donation of $1000 to their summer enrichment program. Operation Breakthrough is a KCMO non-profit organization that provides a "safe, loving and educational environment" for children from ages 0-13 living in poverty. 

From left to right, Jinsong Zhang, Elaine Zhu, Cindy Wang, April Ma, and Evelyn Zeng.

"The donation will help unfortunate kids take part in summer activities instead of being home alone while their parents are at work," says Jennifer Heinemann, the Associate Development Director of Operation Breakthrough. "In the morning [during the summer enrichment program], children focus on reading comprehension and vocabulary, and in the afternoon, they participate in extracurricular activities such as swimming, basketball, African dance, gymnastics, and many more." 

April Ma playing basketball with a student at Operation Breakthrough.

Founded in 2008, the Jasmine Chinese Dance Group is a non-profit organization whose mission is to share Chinese culture through dance performances and build friendships through community service. In 2011, Jasmine youth member Cindy Wang, a high school student at Pembroke Hill School, started the Jasmine Giving Heart Youth Program with the purpose of enlightening and enriching others' lives though cultural performances. Since then, Cindy has led Jasmine youth members to perform at the local senior homes regularly. To help more, in 2012, she started fundraiser through dance performances. The $1,000 donation to Operation Breakthrough was their first.

"After I saw so many happy faces at Operation Breakthrough, I know I couldn't stop and wanted to raise more money to help these kids. It also makes us feel so good that we can give back to our community by using our unique talents," Cindy said after volunteering on June 14th.
Elaine Zhu pushing a student at Operation Breakthrough on a scooter.

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