Lions Heart News

Summer Intern Spotlight: Ariana

This Summer, Lion’s Heart gave 9 Members internships at our office in Irvine, CA.  Each of these interns has a unique story about their community service, passions, and experiences in Lion’s Heart.  Once a week we will be posting a “Summer Intern Spotlight where we share one of the intern’s stories!

Today the spotlight is about the fabulous Ariana!

One of the earliest memories I have of feeling the need to help was when I was in elementary school. My family and I were in our car on the way to see Santa Claus at the mall and were waiting in line at a red light. There was a man walking up and down the sidewalk holding a sign asking for money, food or anything really. I don’t remember what the sign said, but I remember looking at him and seeing my car and all these other cars passing by him, not wanting to make eye contact because if they don’t make eye contact, then they won’t feel guilty about not helping. That man was on my mind all day even as I was sitting on Santa’s lap. That day was the day that I knew I wanted to help that man and all people who were in his position. I already volunteered quite a bit before I joined Lion’s Heart, but becoming a part of a group of girls who thought like me and liked helping others was a very rewarding experience. It also encouraged me to join different community service clubs at my school, such as Team Zissou and Cool 2 Be Kind, because I liked helping alongside other people, not just myself.

Lion’s Heart has opened up so many different volunteer opportunities to me, some that I’m not sure I would’ve been able to do if I’d not been a part of this group. One of my favorite things that my group does almost every year is volunteer at the Aliso Niguel High School dance concert. Our coordinator is a teacher there, so we help them out with whatever they want us to do. One time we took care of some of the little girls who were going to dance on stage, another time we sold tickets, and the next time we delivered the candy grams to the dancers. I love it because it’s fun to spend time with the girls in my group and I like helping our coordinator out. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to help at these dances if it wasn’t for Lion’s Heart, so that’s just another reason I’m glad I joined. I’ve learned to balance volunteering with my personal and school schedule, which is something I’m grateful for, and I hope it will come in handy in college.

Lion’s Heart was a perfect fit for me, and I’ve loved being a part of it for the last three years!

~  Written by our amazing summer intern, Ariana W., who gave her time to help us all summer long! Ariana did everything she was asked to do, including putting up stickers on the wall, attending staff meetings, inputting information on different websites, and helping us with social media. It was great having Ariana around the office!

ariana LH

Summer Intern Spotlight: Brooke

My name is Brooke and I have been a member of Lion’s Heart for 6 years; I am now a senior in high school. Lion’s Heart has helped instill in me not just to help others when it is convenient, but to have a constant desire for service. I have become passionate about always helping my friends and family in any way that I can, as well as helping the less fortunate through service.

In my Lion’s Heart years I have participated in so many different types of service helping various types of people. I have volunteered helping give toys to children with cancer, making care packages for military members, coaching younger volleyball teams, leading retreats for my peers, and endless other opportunities for service that were given to me by Lion’s Heart. My group also helps give each other ideas for our service and that is, in my opinion, the best part about Lion’s Heart. This organization enables teens to help other teens serve their community, creates an environment where everyone is open to sharing their experiences and helping other people have similar experiences. Because of my peers sharing their experiences with me, I have received opportunities to volunteer at places like the Serra Catholic School Harvest Festival and the Jessie Rees Foundation making JoyJars.

Lion’s Heart has not only helped me become the person that I am today, but I know it will also help shape the person that I will become in the future. I now am so much more involved and continue to help others become more involved in my community, school, and group. Without my experiences in Lion’s Heart, I know that I would not be living my life the way that I am today. I now have a much greater concern for what happens around me and I appreciate everything that I am given.

In the future, I see myself continuing my volunteer work that I have started in my middle and high school years. Thanks to Lion’s Heart, I now understand how many volunteer opportunities there are available to me, and I know that no matter where I end up, there will be a volunteer job that is perfect for me.

~  Written by our amazing summer intern, Brooke T., who was truly a great addition to our team!  She was always willing to lend her hand to assist anyone who needed it and excelled at everything asked of her, including editing these blog posts! It was amazing having Brooke around the office this summer!
brooke LH

In the News: Lion’s Heart Teen Volunteers Honored in Franklin, MA.

In the news! Congrats to our Members in Franklin, MA. for winning President’s Volunteer Service Awards and being recognized in Wicked Local, Franklin news. So proud of their dedication to volunteering and giving back to the community. Great article about some equally great young men and women!

Here is a snippet of the great article about some equally great young men…

FRANKLIN — Nine hard-working members of the Lion’s Heart were recently awarded a Presidential Volunteer Service Award signed by the President of the United States.

The awards are based on the number of volunteer hours served, said Franklin Lion’s Heart Chapter President Allison Bernhardt. Read it here!

Lion’s Heart Members went above and beyond this year and earned a whopping total of 1135 President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

10 Fantastically Unique Volunteer Activities by Lion’s Heart Members

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Curing with the Most Kindness 

Lamorinda, California, girls 2020 group made cards for hospitalized children at their meeting.

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Most Constructive Volunteer Opportunity

Larchmont-Mamaroneck, New York, girls 2020 group helped refurbished an abandoned school in Yonkers, NY.

 

park city boys 2022 donate clothes to utah clinic

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Coldest Opportunity with the Warmest Thanks

Park City, Utah, boys 2022 group collected and donated clothes for Utah Health clinic last winter.

 

 

 

Most Environmentally Friendly Activity

Larchmont-Mamaroneck, New York, girls 2021 group put no polluting stickers on drains around their community.

 

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Cutest Volunteer Opportunity

Fort Worth North, Texas, girls 2022 group volunteered at Dallas Animal Services Adoption Center making chew toys, handing out treats, and reading to dogs.

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The Artsiest Volunteer Project

Virginia Beach, Virginia, boys 2021 group made tissue paper flowers for seniors in their senior center.

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Best Pose with Produce

Trabuco, California, boys 2021 group gleaned the gardens at the Incredible Edible Farm.

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Warmest Donation

Laguna Niguel, California, girls 2022 group made and donated blankets and towels for an animal shelter.

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Sweetest Surprise

Westlake Village, California, girls 2018 group delivered ice cream to fire stations in their community.

 

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Smartest Way to Volunteer

Franklin, Massachusetts, girls 2023 group helped a teacher at Keller Elementary school move classrooms at the end of the year.

Photo Contest WINNER, Mackenzie E.!

Announcing the Lion’s Heart spring photo contest winner for submitting this great photo of her Trabuco Canyon/Coto, CA 2022 girls group picking beans for the Second Harvest Food Bank. What a great photo of Lion’s Heart Members volunteering and making a difference in their community! Congratulations Mackenzie!

Here is the winning photo: 

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By winning the Lion’s Heart spring photo contest, Mackenzie won a pair of Beats Solo2 headphones that were delivered to her door yesterday. She was so surprised and thrilled she sent us a picture of her with them on!

Thank you so much, Mackenzie, for your fantastic entry and keep on giving back!

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*Special thanks to all the Lion’s Heart Members who submitted photos to the contest, they were all wonderful. We are looking forward to sharing all your photos in the future on our social media channels with shout outs to the members/groups who took them. 

The Challenge Engaging Students in Community Service – It’s Not What You Expect

We were curious. Teens and parents often stumble upon Lion’s Heart  in their quest to find volunteer opportunities. They soon realize we have a full-fledged teen volunteer program where teens volunteer throughout the year, year after year. Students join Lion’s Heart because of a strong desire to give back to their community. But now more than ever, many students also have a class, graduation, National Honor Society, or another form of community service requirement.  

That got us thinking. How far reaching are student volunteer requirements?  Is this a private school tradition or has it hit mainstream public schools? How do students find volunteer opportunities? Do they track their hours? If yes, how? And looking to the future, how does their contribution reflect upon them as prospective college students and employees?  

alumni-survey-handsSo we asked. Lion’s Heart surveyed over 100 students, parents, and educators to understand how students are expected to navigate their community service requirements. Based on the manic cycles of our phones, chat lines, and email inquiries, we had a sense that students weren’t getting the support they needed. But frankly, the results which represent public, private, charter, magnet and homeschools, surprised us.

How encouraging, we thought. Schools of every kind are embracing service learning as an essential part of a students’ overall education.  We couldn’t agree more. But how are schools finding teen-friendly volunteer opportunities for their students?  The short answer – students and their parents are giving their favorite search engines a workout to find community service projects.  

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An opportunity for more opportunities.  It’s not always easy to fit another activity into an overcrowded schedule of academics, athletics, music, friends and, and, and….  Students, along with their parents and educators want variety and frequency. Of those who chimed in, 52%, think weekly community service opportunities are the right cadence, while 38% feel they can get by on monthly volunteer notifications. In the minority were the remaining 10% surveyed who felt seasonal – fall, winter, spring, summer – volunteer projects were the right speed.  

Paper.  Yes, papalumni-survey-girler in 2017.  How community service is memorialized is no less curious. A shocking 57% of students use a paper tracking system, and 12% rely on a makeshift system like Google Sheets.  Only 8% of students have an app or online solution to record volunteer project details. 

We learned a lot.  But we’re more curious than ever about the barriers students encounter when they try to give back to their communities.  And because we’re all about inspiring a new generation of teen volunteering, count on the Lion’s Heart team to address some of these gaps.  Our survey is ongoing.  If you are a student, parent or educator and want to share your experience, click here.

Written by

Amy von Kaenel –Lion’s Heart Chief Strategy and Development Officer

Photo Contest

Wanted:

Great action shots of our Members volunteering in their T-shirts.

Prize:

Beats by Dre Solo headphones, you get to pick the color! They come in black, luxe red, luxe silver, and white see screenshot below.

Deadline:

March 30, 2017

Submit:

Please email your good quality photos to socialmedia@lionsheartservice.org by March 30, 2017. Be sure to include your name, chapter and group and put PHOTO CONTEST in the subject line of the email.

Submit as many photos as you like.

Good luck!!!

*The winning shot will be an action shot of a Member or Members in their Lion’s Heart tee shirt while volunteering. We are not looking for posed photos. We want action shots of our Members clearly helping others.The winning photograph will be used in Lion’s Heart marketing materials and the website, although we reserve the right to use submitted photographs, as well. We will announce the winning photo on March 31, 2017 on Facebook, Instagram, our Blog and Twitter.

Lion’s Heart Member Toolkit

So you’re ready to change the world. Wouldn’t you love to have other great teens join you?

Here are some great tools to help you spread the word about Lion’s Heart so others can join you in volunteering together!

1. Let your friends know about Lion’s Heart on social media. Use these posts to get you started. Feel free to edit and 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

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

3. 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.

4. 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.