Youth members from the Jasmine Chinese Dance Group give back

On Friday, June 14, 2013, five Jasmine members, led by Cindy Wang, the youth director of Jasmine Chinese Dance Group, 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. "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."

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 rising junior at Pembroke Hill School, started the Jasmine Giving Heart Youth Program, whose purpose is to enlighten and enrich others' lives though cultural performances. Since then, Cindy has led Jasmine youth members to regularly perform at local senior homes. In 2012, she started fundraising through dance performances in order to make an even bigger impact in the community. The $1,000 donation to Operation Breakthrough was their first donation collected in the past few months. After volunteering on June `4th, Cindy explains, "The moment I saw so many happy faces at Operation Breakthrough, I knew immediately that I did not want to stop there. I would like to raise more money to help those kids living in poverty. It's so wonderful to know that we can give back to our community by using our special talents."

As of 2013, Jasmine Chinese Dance Group has performed at and supported over 60 various cultural events in the Kansas City Metro area. For more information, please visit www.jasminedance.org.

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