What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other.”
George Eliot, Author
Lochburn Leos Suga Iopa, left, and Sabrina Dzierzanowski, center, help residents at Manor Care with craft projects. Clockwise from lower left are Betty Pieruccioni, Norma McIntosh, Gertrude Waldron and Thelma Brown.
This phrase captures the feeling and the spirit of the students who participate in the Leos program at Lochburn Middle School, Lakewood, WA. The Lochburn Leos is a club of approximately 60 enthusiastic and motivated students from grades 6-8, who are dedicated to serving their community. These young students are taking charge of their own destiny and have become the forefront of leadership, not only in their school, but also within the entire community.
These students sponsored by the Lakewood First Lions Club began their initial journey during the school year of 2002-2003 with only 30 members. This is now the club’s fifth year serving the community. Dedication in service to others, developing leadership skills, a “WE instead of ME” belief system, and understanding and practicing respect for self are beliefs which are an integral part of the Leos philosophy.
Lochburn student and Leos member Chris Edgecomb discuss finer details of a craft project with Manor Care resident Elisa Morton.
This 2006-2007 school year, the Lochburn Leos completed various projects. Campus clean up day, working with the Incarcerated dad’s program over at McNeil Island, where the Leos raised money and then purchased Christmas gifts for those students whose fathers are in prison, and finally, an ongoing project of supporting our 3 “adopted nursing homes.”
The Leos have been involved with the nursing home project for the last five years. This year, the students made crafts for Halloween and Christmas and visited the residents and presented them with the gifts. On Valentine’s Day, the students worked one on one with the residents on various crafting projects. These caring young people truly made a difference in the lives of these elderly people. The joy among the residents was so evident, and the students made real connections. These students are sharing their time, talents, and spirit with others. They are the spirit of our community!
Story by Sharon West
Photos by Ed Kane
Manor Care resident Elisa Morton gets an assist on a craft project from Lochburn student Wyatt Fisher.