Jonathan’s Impact was formed in 2009 after the death of Steve and Cassy DiLeo’s 17 year old son, Jonathan DiLeo. In August of 2008, just a week before the start of his junior year of high school in Mandeville, LA, the previously healthy Jonathan was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in the center of his brain. Tragically, Jonathan succumbed to the illness only four months later.
Shortly after his diagnosis, Jonathan was given the opportunity to have a wish granted by the Make a Wish Foundation of Louisiana. Jonathan’s wish was to provide a much needed irrigation system for the Mbuya Nehanda Children’s Home, an orphanage in Melfort, Zimbabwe.
Jonathan had visited this orphanage on a mission trip in 2005 and was struck by the impoverished living conditions of the orphanage. Especially moving was the lack of water to irrigate crops; without water, the orphanage was severely lacking in food supply. Jonathan’s Wish to provide irrigation to the fields met the needs of the orphanage for food and water.
About a year after Jonathan’s death, his wish was granted and the irrigation system was installed. The system greatly improved the crop production at the orphanage. Since the installation of the irrigation system, Jonathan’s Impact was created to provide for the ongoing needs of the orphans at the Mbuya Nehanda Children’s Home and throughout Zimbabwe.