Jake Gyllenhaal Honored By Charity in N.Y.C.

11/20/2012 AT 5:05 PM ET

Jake Gyllenhaal knows a good cause when he sees one.

The End of Watch actor was honored Monday night at FIJI Water’s New Eyes for the Needy 80th Anniversary dinner, held at Colicchio & Sons in New York, for his work with the organization.

“Jake, who brought his mom as his date, talked at length to the small room – and he didn’t even have to give a speech! – he shared some personal stories from childhood,” an onlooker tells PEOPLE.

Gyllenhaal explained to guests that he got involved with the organization as a child because his grandpa, a doctor, made him donate his eyeglasses every time his prescription changed.

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