LaKeicee Turner-Sazy says that the mission started on her son Jaxson’s tenth birthday in February. Jaxson is her second child. LaKeicee, who was born and raised in Plano, was trying to plan a party, but Jaxson hadn’t made up his mind on how he wanted to celebrate.
Theirs is a small, tight-knit family. When LaKeicee was at work, Jaxson’s grandparents watched him, and he spent so much of his childhood at the Living God Church in Douglass that every Sunday, during the sermon, he would sit on stage with the church elders.
“Tell me what you want to do for your birthday,” LaKeicee said as his birthday approached.
She remembers her son looking at her for a moment before saying, “Let’s feed the homeless.” She thought he meant that he wanted to donate cans, or spend a day volunteering at a soup kitchen or food pantry. But Jaxson had something bigger in mind.
“They need a full Easter meal like we do,” he said.
LaKeicee asked him how many people he wanted to feed.
“As many as possible,” Jaxson replied.
“That’s how it all began,” LaKeicee recalls now, three years later. “He’s been going ever since.”
Jaxson Turner, 13, is the founder of his own charity, N2Y2C (Never Too Young to Care), a nonprofit he has been running with his mother’s help for three years. He has four main projects: feeding the homeless, domestic violence awareness, back to school supplies for classmates in need, and a Christmas project in partnership with Samaritan Inn.
Now, their family no longer has a big Easter feast in their own home; they spend the day at a shelter, cooking, doing dishes, and spending time with people in need of a meal.
Jaxson’s inspiration came from seeing people on corners begging for food. He saw it throughout the metroplex and says he realized that people in need are everywhere. He also grew up cooking with his mother, who makes a big Sunday dinner every week, and he wanted to give that experience to other people.
That first year, LaKeicee called various shelters in the area to find out what their numbers were like and found out that every single one had at least 250 people who would need to eat. So Jaxson turned to the community. His GoFundMe page raised about $12,500, and they fed more than 350 people and provided sanitary items, socks, toiletries, and anything else that they felt was a necessity.
From the beginning, the decisions were all Jaxson’s.
“He puts a lot of thought into everything he does.” LaKeicee says. “He assigned me to the kitchen to wash dishes. He sat with two young ladies, who told him they were at the shelter because of domestic violence. They’d left with nothing but clothes on their backs and their children, and had become homeless.” That’s why domestic violence awareness became Jaxson’s second project in May.
He’s even been invited to do some public speaking. Jaxson was given the opportunity to speak at a gala for Women Call Moses, a shelter for domestic abuse families, and LaKeicee says watching him was an incredible experience for her as a mother.
“I was crying because I couldn’t control myself,” she says. “He was walking through the tables explaining that if you love God, how can you not help your sister or brother in Christ going through domestic violence? Watching people stand up and clap for your little kid was unbelievable for me.”
The entire family has gotten involved and LaKeicee jokes that when it comes to N2Y2C, Jaxson is the boss.
“He was selling lemonade last year, and he told me, ‘Mommy, you need to get it right,’” LaKeicee laughs.
His older sister, who is 18, helps whenever she is in town. She worked with N2Y2C for her college’s required hours of community service and LaKeicee says it was novel—and hilarious—to see her adult daughter yelling up the stairs that her kid brother needs to write her a letter of reference.
LaKeicee says she learns from him all the time. Once Jaxson got a call where someone gently suggested “Maybe you shouldn’t help these people because how do you know they need the help?”
Jaxson told her that it didn’t matter to him. “They’re going to get help. Who are we to decide who gets help?”
Jaxson raises money through grassroots efforts like lemonade stands and GoFundMe pages. Some of it used it to buy school supplies for over 100 kids a year, and some is used for a Christmas party he throws for the kids staying at Samaritan Inn, a homeless shelter in McKinney. Last year, Famous Footware partnered with him to provide children with new shoes, and he and his mother went to the store, picking out new coats, hats, gloves, socks, and toys. “A mom came up to him. She was there with four kids. Her children never had new shoes,” LaKeicee recalls.
It’s an unexpected joy, she says, to be a part of her son’s mission. Jaxson jokes that she’s his chef, his chauffeur, assistant, and more.
Last year, while shopping for Christmas, a woman came up to him and asked him what he was doing. When he told her about his charity, she asked him why he didn’t just go to Salvation Army or a thrift store for his gifts. “He told her, ‘Just because you’re homeless doesn’t mean that you can’t wear nice things.’ He holds his own in a conversation,” LaKeicee says and chuckles.
When there was a mass shooting in El Paso, Jaxson organized a blood drive. “Mommy, we don’t always need money to give,” he told her. It amazes LaKeicee how quickly it all comes together.
This summer, when Cheryl “Action” Jackson hosted a Black Lives Matter gathering and march with community leaders and hundreds of participants, Jaxson’s charity donated 5,000 water bottles to the protest. He arranged the donation in just four days.
“He can’t vote, but being there still gave him a voice; he could do something to be a part of the protests. That was his part,” LaKeicee says. It was a trying time for both of them. “I know what I feel as an adult woman to see what’s going on, but I don’t know what it feels like from a 13-year-old boy’s point of view.
Jaxson has lots of support from the Plano police officers who often help with his Christmas project. But still he and LaKeicee have had to have a conversation about what to do if ever he is in a situation where he has been stopped by a member of law enforcement.
“He understands that he is not exempt, it doesn’t matter how much he works, what all he gives, what all he hopes,” LaKeicee says. “He has to make sure he is being respectful, and gets to come home to his family.”
She tells him to always be be respectful, because it’s unlikely that he would be Googled in that moment.
“He wears the world so lightly but takes it so seriously,” LaKeicee says. “He inspires me.”
N2Y2C doesn’t have a website, but it’s coming. Most of the word is spread over social media, but Jaxson has big plans for the future. As LaKeicee says, there’s always someone out there who needs help, and she is honored to help her son do it.
“I believe Jaxson has a calling,” she says. “For him, this is what God has put on his heart. This is why he’s here.”