12-year-old crochet whiz is using his talent to raise money for kids in his native Ethiopia

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Jonah Larson is a 12-year-old on a mission to change the world in an unexpected way: through crochet. The talented young fiber artist raised enough money through GoFundMe to build a library for kids in the rural village in Ethiopia where he was born. After achieving that lofty goal, he’s now raising money for a science lab to be constructed there.

The Wisconsin tween also teaches crochet online, does speaking engagements and has authored books, including “Hello, Crochet Friends!” Doing what makes you happy is a theme in Larson’s work.

“He gives presentations to kids on ‘do what makes you happy’ even if it’s not what everyone else is doing,” his mother, Jennifer Larson, told People.

Jenn Larson/GoFundMe

All of these endeavors are a result of his passion for crocheting and the beautiful work he’s created, and he’s been hooked from the start.

“It really was a fluke that I discovered crochet,” he told Simply Crochet. “When I was 5 years old, my aunt gave us kids a bag of craft items she no longer wanted, and when I was looking through it I found a pointy thing. I asked Mom what it was and it was a crochet hook. She didn’t know how to crochet, so she helped me find a tutorial on YouTube.”

He finished his first crochet project, a dishcloth, that very day. From that first tutorial, Larson quickly moved on to bigger and bolder projects, like these adorable figures that were inspired by Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jonah’s Hands (@jonahhands)

As his hands got faster and his stitch patterns more colorful and intricate, he began winning awards for his beautiful work. But, he saw something more valuable than a blanket or hat with each completed project. In fact, Larson believes crocheting can bring people together.

Larson transformed his hobby into an opportunity to teach others the craft he loved so much. He started posting tutorials on social media, created a YouTube Channel, where he now has more than 116,000 subscribers, and an online business, both called Jonah’s Hands. His Instagram account has nearly 300,000 followers!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jonah’s Hands (@jonahhands)

At first, Larson sold his own handcrafted projects, but the demand got so high, he and his mother decided he should stop and focus his attention on his love of the craft, devoting his time to teaching others and doing charity work.

One of his favorite causes has been helping improve education in his native Ethiopia. He is currently working with Roots Ethiopia, an organization working to help improve the country’s schools for all its children. The group recently shared photos of the STEM lab he funded as it was coming together.

Jenn Larson/GoFundMe

“Hello Supporters! If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve finished building a library in my home village in Ethiopia where I was born. Now I’m working on building them a science facility. My dream is to return to Ethiopia to see the library and meet the kids who have been impacted,” his mother wrote on his GoFundMe page in March 2020.

Larson’s efforts have raised more than $33,000 so far. We think this young man will not only make his dream come true, but the love in every stitch he creates will help bring together the hopes and dreams of many others!