Jonah Castro, 8, and his brother Julian, 7, were inspired to raise funds and food for the Agua Fria Food Bank after seeing the homeless peddle for donations.

Jonah Castro, 8, and his 7-year-old brother, Julian, see the world differently than most children.

Their parents, Simon and Erin, describe their children as empathetic and caring. Encouraged by Jonah, the family held a food drive for the Agua Fria Food Bank to help the less fortunate in their hometown of Avondale.

Jonah, who attends Corte Sierra Elementary School with his brother, said he was so upset about seeing homeless people on the street that he couldn’t sleep. The thought of people not having a home or food shocked him.

“He was so troubled by the thought of people suffering from hunger that he begged me one night to sell everything we own to help others,” Erin recalled.

“He said he wanted to help them so badly, but didn’t know how. He felt helpless. I told him he was experiencing a calling, and together we would make a plan.”

The family regularly donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank before searching online and finding Agua Fria Food Bank. Jonah then taped a poster to his scooter that said, ‘Fundraiser… help the poor… any amount useful.”

“He informed me he was going around the neighborhood to collect money for the food bank,” Erin said. “Along with Julian, he went to the neighbors on the street who we all know well, and they donated to Jonah’s fundraiser.”

That led to a neighborhood food drive that yielded 129 pounds of food.

“As they’re growing, their concern for others is very heartwarming to see,” she said.

Erin encourages her sons to help the less fortunate. She and her family routinely stop and give leftovers to homeless folks on the side of the street. But when Jonah approached her, it was different.

“When your child wants desperately to do something that’s so giving, I think that’s when you make it a priority,” she said. “I told him, ‘You inspire me.’”