Dance Moms alum and hair bow entrepreneur JoJo Siwa is pushing her 2.4 million YouTube subscribers and 4.6 million Instagram followers to do something to help the homeless population. The actor/dancer/singer launched SOK or “Siwanatorz of Kindness” on February 4. She says the goal is to “show kindness one act at a time.” Siwa already energized her fans (known as Siwanatorz) to stand up to bullying. The video for her anti-bullying song “Boomerang” has more than 177 million views at last count and garnered the young star a Kid’s Choice Award nom for Favorite Viral Music Artist.
Her expansion of that empowering message includes a charge to show kindness to those in need. “I’ve done so many things with bullying,” Siwa explains in a new video. “I’m very proud of what I did with bullying. Don’t take this as I’m giving up with (anti-)bullying. I’m actually just ready to add something.”
Who is JoJo Siwa?
A Nebraska native, Siwa joined the Lifetime reality series Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition in season two. She and her mother were the breakout stars of the show despite the fact she was eliminated from the competition in the top five. From there she joined the series Dance Moms where her effervescent personality and fearlessness in the face of instructor Abby Lee Miller’s frequent tirades made the 13-year-old a fan favorite. Her signature hair bows, via an exclusive retail deal with Claire’s stores in the UK and elsewhere, launched a sometimes-disruptive trend in schools worldwide.
Siwa and her mother left Dance Moms under a cloud. A non-disclosure agreement with the production prevents them from talking about the specific reasons surrounding the abrupt exit, but they’ve made no secret of their disdain for Miller and Lifetime. Siwa has since signed a merchandising and overall development deal with Nickelodeon and appears in several of the network’s shows.
Helping the Homeless
Fans of her YouTube channel, Its JoJo Siwa, got a bit of a surprise in the star’s latest offering. “Usually my videos are happy and perky and crazy and exciting,” she explains. “Today is going to be something a little bit different.” She goes on to describe how an interaction with a homeless man in her Los Angeles neighborhood inspired her to take action.
“Yesterday I was riding in my car; there’s this homeless guy who lives right by the interstate near where I live. Yesterday, someone gave him a bag full of goodies; it had socks, water, and some good things. I was like, ‘Wow, that is a really good idea.’ It made his day. He was so happy.”
Siwa went immediately to Wal-Mart and began buying stuff to make her own bags of essentials for the homeless. She posted a video a few hours later detailing the experience and showing how she packs each one.
“There are two big issues in this world, in my opinion, one is bullying, and one is homelessness,” Siwa explains in her new video. “I think these are both serious issues and I want to end them both.” Details on how you can help her on this crusade are mentioned at the end of the video. You can see Siwa on the Kids Choice Awards broadcast on March 11 on Nickelodeon. You can also cast your vote for those awards now at vote.nick.com.