bullying prevention

7 Great Ways to Give Back This Week, or Better Yet, All Year Round!

What better time to talk about serving your community than National Volunteer Week? Teens not only show compassion and empathy for their favorite causes, while they learn to lead and boost their college resumes in the process.

Research shows that teens who volunteer are happier and feel more connected to others in their community. We encourage you to get out there and volunteer!

Here are 7 easy ways you and your teen can volunteer this week:

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  1. Animal Shelters

Local animal shelters almost always need volunteers. You can be a dog walker, do administrative work, or even be a pet soother. Fostering an animal is also a wonderful way to give back. Volunteer Match has a lot of animal based volunteer opportunities and you can also visit the Humane Society for a list of shelters near you.

Aaron Regnier Photography

Aaron Regnier Photography

  1. Food Banks or Soup Kitchens

Food pantries and soup kitchens can always use a hand organizing a local food drive or serving hot meals to those in need. FoodPantries.org and Feeding America is a great way to find a place that needs volunteers!

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  1. Community or National Parks/Beaches

Go outdoors and enjoy the scenery while helping to clean up at the beach or local park. Try Volunteer Clean Up to find activities near you.

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  1. Red Cross

You can give blood, or you can volunteer with the American Red Cross. They have a youth sign-up form on their website.

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  1. Local Libraries

Libraries usually need help organizing the book shelves, helping kids with their homework, and special events like book signings and special programs. Libraries, also, typically have a summer reading program where teens can volunteer to read to the younger kids over their summer break. Check your local library!

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  1. Retirement Homes/Senior Centers

Find your local senior center. You can offer to run errands or be a companion for a senior. Check out Create the Good and Elder Helpers.

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  1. Champion Your Own Cause

Care about the drought?  Children in war-torn areas?  A specific disease that’s affected a friend or family member?  The opportunity to make a difference stretches as far as your imagination. DoSomething.Org has some great examples of do-it-yourself service projects.

Aaron Regnier Photography

So, BE the change you want to see in the world!

To join Lion’s Heart and get handcrafted, local, teen-friendly volunteer opportunities sent right to your inbox, click here. We inspire teens to have a positive impact in their communities through leadership and participation in volunteering, providing needed resources for causes that ignite their passions. To learn more visit us here.

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Written by Steph Hicks, Lion’s Heart Digital Marketing and Creative Director. Steph has two teenagers and two furry mutts and loves to read, paint, and volunteer in her spare time.

 

Lion’s Heart Member Toolkit

Here are some ideas to spread the word about Lion’s Heart:

So you’re ready to change the world. Wouldn’t you love to have other great teens join you? You will need at least 2 more teens of your same gender and grad year to get your Lion’s Heart group started. Here are some great tools to help you get your friends to sign up.

1. Let your friends know about Lion’s Heart on social media. Use these posts to get you started, but feel free to use your own words too. We’ve even included some fun photos that you can use when you post.

  • Facebook – Want to help me change the world? I just joined Lion’s Heart and I would love it if you would join too so we could volunteer together! A great thing about Lion’s Heart is that they help us find places to volunteer and we can choose our favorite causes. Visit Lion’s Heart to sign up. @lionsheartservice #givingback #teenvolunteering
  • Instagram– Want to help me change the world? I am now a Member of Lion’s Heart and I would love it if you come join me when I volunteer in our community. Visit Lion’s Heart and sign up with me! #Teens #givingback #communityservice #teenvolunteers #highschool #teen #friends #giveback #lionsheartservice @lionsheartservice
  • Twitter – Help me change the world. I just joined Lion’s Heart and will be volunteering with other teens. Sign up with me! @lionsheartorg #teenvolunteers #givingback

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and our Blog and you can share our posts so your friends see them.

2. Share this YouTube video with other parents and teens. In less than 7 minutes they will learn all the important things they need to know about Lion’s Heart.

3. Visit our store and order free brochures that you can give to your high school counselors, parents and friends.

Any questions? You can visit our website and use the chat function or call us at 800.894.8877, ext.108.

Lion’s Heart in the News – Follow the Leader in OC Parenting Magazine

Teaching young people to become leaders in society, what could be better than that? Check out this great article in OC Parenting Magazine about teen opportunities in Orange County, California. Lion’s Heart was mentioned not only as a great place to gain leadership skills bit also focused on our recent bullying prevention event. Check it out here.

Top Ten Tips for Bullying Prevention

On January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, seventy-five Orange County high school students joined with Lion’s Heart and Project Hear Us Foundation to become leaders in bullying prevention.  These students, who represented thirty local high schools, spent the day learning how to battle bullying and became certified to teach other students how to do so, as well.

So, what did we learn??? Here are ten powerful tips that students learned, and that you can use to prevent bullying in schools and communities:

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1. Take a pledge. Make the commitment to prevent bullying and not tolerate offensive behavior.

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2. Be compassionate. Exercising compassion towards others is a great way to form friendships and earn the trust of others. These students from instructor Amy Smith’s class embodied this mindset, and became fast friends.  

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3. Volunteer in your community. Join an organization, such as Lion’s Heart, to spread compassion and empathy while enriching the lives of others and discovering a new sense of self-worth.

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4. Listen to the experts. Anti-bullying leaders, such as Leigh Steinberg, Making Caring Common, and Project Hear Us Foundation, can offer valuable advice on how to approach bullying prevention and stomp out harmful behavior.

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5. Be informed. Knowledge is power.

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6. Look at both sides of the situation. Understanding the perspective of bullies is a challenging, yet vital part of preventing bullying. If you can put yourself in their shoes, you may see someone who is dealing with personal pain. Bullies need someone to understand their issues, and you can be the one to help them through their struggles in a way that doesn’t involve bullying others. 

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7. Pursue your dream. Fearlessly follow your passions and stand up for what you believe in. Being passionate about something gives you a sense of self and elevates your confidence and strength regardless of what is going on around you. Sharing your passion with others may give them the connection they need and the inspiration to pursue their own dreams.

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8. Believe in yourself. YOU can make a difference! Bullying can be prevented by taking away the power the bully has to affect us. Each and every one of us can change the world.

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9. Act without reacting. We learned that reacting online to cyberbullies makes them even more bold.  It gives them an audience.  But, you’re not powerless.  You can take action by printing the offensive screen (before it disappears), reporting them to instagram/snapchat/facebook/etc., blocking the person, or telling a parent or teacher.   

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10. Never ever give up. There are always kids out there who need your help. Who knows, you could make a friend and save a life!

Giving teens a sense of community and belonging, while teaching them empathy and compassion, is a very important step in the fight against bullying. This program has empowered seventy-five high school students to teach bullying prevention in the middle schools- a great first step in eradicating bullying in the United States, one city at a time. Stay tuned!

Photos by Aaron Regnier Photography

Post written by our super amazing interns:

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Carly Eubanks –

Lion’s Heart Team Blogger and Bullying Prevention Event Intern

Carly is a former Member of Lion’s Heart and currently a Lion’s Heart intern working on our National Bullying Prevention Campaign. She is a senior at Cornell University studying Human Biology, Health & Society, with a minor in Health Policy. Interested in biological/microbiological sciences and healthcare systems, with a passion for research and humanitarianism.

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Kaelyn Lustig –

Lion’s Heart Team Blogger and Marketing and Graphic Design Intern

Kaelyn is a student at Chapman University in Orange, California with an interest in Advertising, Marketing, Graphic Design and Psychology. She has apprenticed for a freelance graphic designer at LynnRae Design doing projects such as logos, brochures, flyers, playbills and business cards. Kaelyn has an extensive background in the arts, including acting in theater, television, and film along with strong skills in mixed media, drawing, and painting.

 

Bullying Doesn’t Stop When High School Ends

Freshman year of college: I am eagerly sporting a gray hoodie and my favorite pair of ragged sweat pants- the official uniform of college students. I am sitting at a small circular table, surrounded by my three roommates. The smell of greasy pizza is complemented by roaring voices finding their foothold in this new environment of autonomy. I hear muffled giggles from the table next to us, and see a throng of girls hovering over a phone. The laughter seemed to reverberate across the entire cafeteria, as I see a wave of people pulling out their phones. Immediately, I know there has been another post on a popular mobile app that enables students to write anonymous comments about other people. Lately, the mobile site had been full of posts targeting a handful of specific students, whose names I came to know from the chatter revolving around this app.

I was shocked that at a university priding itself on a dogma of “any person, any study”, students were being targeting based on their differences. But, I also thought about how easy it would be to pull up the app on my phone, share a few laughs with my roommates, and go about my day. There were no parents around to scold me, and no teachers threatening to confiscate my phone. But, at the same time, if there are no adults to cast disapproval upon the bullies, who is there to protect the bullied? From a young age, we are taught to involve adults when we witness an act of bullying. But, what happens when we become the adults? And, what happens when adults are targeting other adults? By asking these questions, I began to realize the social responsibility that befell myself, my friends, and my peers.

As a college student, I believe that myself and most my peers are aware of what bullying looks like, and have been given resources to turn to if we find ourselves a victim of harmful behavior. However, in an age where increases in bullying are accompanied by rising numbers of mental illness among children and teenagers, we must act to stop bullying before it occurs. The power of prevention lies within our responsibility to be an active bystander- to take steps to prevent destructive situations, even when we are not the victims.

Three years later, as I enter my last semester of college, I am still baffled by the amount of damaging behavior being targeted towards other students. However, I am confident that by learning to become an active bystander from a young age, we can combat these recent trends in bullying and cultivate an environment where children and teenagers can grow up with confidence, and enter adulthood without fear of discrimination.

To change this reality, we are encouraging all high school students in Orange County, CA to join us for a student-led bullying prevention training taking place next Monday, January 16th, 2017. For more information and to sign-up, please visit: http://whoozin.com/7VH-DR4-T7AE.

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Written by Carly Eubanks, Lion’s Heart Team Blogger 

Carly is a former Member of Lion’s Heart and currently a Lion’s Heart intern working on our National Bullying Prevention Campaign. She is a senior at Cornell University studying Human Biology, Health & Society, with a minor in Health Policy. Interested in biological/microbiological sciences and healthcare systems, with a passion for research and humanitarianism.