My name is Allie Wood and I got involved in Lion’s Heart in 7th grade after a friend told me about the organization. I immediately wanted to start volunteering in the community. One of my favorite traditions with my group was baking cookies for Serra’s Pantry’s holiday party. It was a great bonding experience as we would spend hours in the kitchen baking different kinds of cookies, so families could have a normal holiday season. One year I was able to deliver the cookies and volunteer at the holiday party. This was an eye opening experience because I saw people in my own community who were so grateful to pick out one toy and a few cookies. It was something that was easy to do, but it had a large impact on the people it was benefitting. Through countless hours in the community I learned to appreciate everything I had and find new ways to help others.
One of my favorite ways to give back is by working with children because they are full of energy. Their smiles never fail to brighten my day and they remind me that I can overcome any difficulties I am facing because there is always something positive to look forward to. I was able to volunteer with children as swim coach for my team over the summer. It was rewarding to see them finally complete a lap on their own after many hours of practice. I also volunteered in Wagon Wheel Elementary Kindergarten classrooms during their summer camps. These future Kindergarteners were ecstatic to start school in the fall so they were ready to learn the alphabet and basic math.
After I graduated Tesoro High School, I wanted to continue to serve my new community in college. Fortunately, when I joined a sorority, I discovered they had a national philanthropy so I could continue to give back with my friends. My sophomore year of college, I became the Fundraising Coordinator. I wanted to take on this position because it would allow me to continue to give back, a value I learned in 7th grade. This position allowed me to plan and implement two new philanthropy events to benefit our philanthropy, Ronald McDonald House Charities. This has been one of my most rewarding experiences in college because I was able to contribute to the greater Fort Worth area by helping families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. It also taught me that I can continue to volunteer throughout my life because there are always places that need volunteers. Lion’s Heart taught me the importance of giving back something I will continue to do for the rest of my life.
Volunteering does not have to stop when you finish your time in Lion’s Heart. No matter where you go after you graduate, there will always be ways to give back to the local community.
Written by Lion’s Heart alumnae Allie Wood. 2015 Girls Blue