LOS ANGELES, CA – Jeanette Reese is dancing her heart out to help people she doesn’t even know. 

  • Woman enters dance contest to help homeless people
  • She won the dance championship
  • Raised the most money with $30,000

“The homeless is a big issue for me so I just have to do something,” said Reese, a retired educator. 

Reese loves to dance so naturally she signed up to be a contestant for an annual dance competition put on by an organization called Pathways of Hope based in Fullerton. The organization works to help end hunger and homelessness in North Orange County. 

Not only is Reese competing against eight other people on the dance floor, the contestants are also in a race to see who can raise the most money to help Pathways of Hope help others.

Reese’s drive to be compassionate and to help homeless people all started when she saw her grandfather share his Thanksgiving meal with a homeless man on a beach in Santa Barbara.

“I watched that and you know it could be any one of us at any time that could have something go wrong in our lives and we could be homeless,” said Reese. 

Rudy Hernandez is Reese’s dance instructor and partner. He says has seen more than just her dance moves, he’s seen her heart. 

“My dedication to her is we’re going to keep going forward and make sure this is a successful event for her and making sure what she’s trying to accomplish is accomplished,” said Hernandez.

After this dance practice, Reese headed home, but stopped when she saw tents under an overpass on a rainy day. Reese says she does this often. She has bags filled with blankets, towels, and snacks stocked in her trunk at all times in case she runs into a homeless person. 

Reese’s passion for helping others radiated as she took center stage Thursday night. She brought home two awards; one award was for being the competition’s dance champion. 

“Everything we did tonight was for the homeless. And every dance here did a fabulous job and I’m so proud to be a part of this team,” said Reese.

The other award Reese brought home was for raising the most money. She and her fundraising team raised $30,000 to help end hunger and homelessness.

For more information about Pathways of Hope, visit their website here.