• Teen's garden raises money for Children's Hospital


    EBENSBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania teenager isn't letting anything get in his way of helping others.

    Two years ago, Jakob Zernick, 13, started growing vegetables to help kids in the hospital, founding a nonprofit organization called Seedz 4 Needz.

    He grows vegetables and gives back to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh where he has been receiving care for Crohn's disease for five years. 


    "It's grown a whole bunch, the community has been really helping out a lot," Jakob told WJAC. "At first, it was just a little tiny thing and it's been growing, it's been getting bigger and bigger every year."

    As Zernick's garden grows and expands, he has been able to reach out and help more families.

    "It was originally just a 20 by 20, and now it's over 600 square feet, and he's taken a lot of mom's flower beds," his father, Jody Zernick, said. "So we've added a lot more vegetables being able to sell different things."

    The eighth-grader sells the veggies at a stand along the road. He uses the money to purchase toys, games, books and blankets and then delivers them to kids at the hospital every eight weeks, when he goes to receive infusion treatments. 

    His mom, dad and sister help to make sure the organization keeps blooming.

    "This year, we're projected to get $10,000," said Jakob. 

    Community members have also been generous, sharing gardening tips and donating money.

    "It's just amazing. Never would we have thought it would become what it is today, with the T-shirts everywhere," said Jody.

    Jakob now wants to buy a greenhouse so he can grow plants year-round.


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