Local Opportunities

Dashing Doggie Fashion Show benefitting the OCSPCA

Lion’s Heart interns went to the Dashing Doggie Fashion Show,  in Laguna Hills, CA. on July 23rd, to interview our Members and the event chair, while taking pictures, and helping out with the event. Here is what they found out!


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Rochelle Chacon, a Real Estate broker associate, had seen the real estate housing market undergo several distressed sales. Some owners were having to give up their dogs because they were not able to afford or house them. This sparked Ms. Chacon’s passion for helping animals in need. She has taken in many rescued dogs herself, hoping to find them a home. She also took the initiative to host The Dashing Doggy Fashion Show in order to raise awareness for the organization Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OCSPCA). She wanted to make a difference in the lives of all animals (especially dogs) living in Orange County. Dogs were awarded for best costume, hair, trick and owner look-alike. Putting this free event showcased the talents of several dogs and inspired donations to the OCSPCA. Ms. Chacon and her team hope to inspire others to better the lives of animals in the community.

Since Ms. Chacon’s daughter is a member of Lion’s Heart, she requested volunteers for the event on the Lion’s Heart’s website. She was hoping to get a little extra help and was overwhelmed with a response of more than 150 members. Although she was heart-broken to turn away so many who wanted to help, she was grateful for the huge response and is looking forward to connecting again with the Lion’s Heart in the future.

Volunteer Interviews


Q: What was your favorite part of this opportunity?

A: I liked watching the dogs and presenting the prizes.

Q:What kind of jobs did you have?

A: We passed out the prizes to everyone.

Q: Would you volunteer for this kind of activity again?

A: Yes

Q: Do you guys have pets of your own?

A: Yes, I have two dogs, Trixy and Rosie.

A: Yes, I have a dog, Bentley, and a lizard, Max.


Daisy B, North Irvine Girls 2022

Q: What was your favorite part of the event?

A: The awards and seeing all of the dogs.

Q: Who was your favorite dog?

A: I had two. Cloudy (because she is mine) and the aloha Princess one dressed up as a shark that won best in show.

Q:What kind of jobs did you do at this event?

A: I helped at the front table asking people how they found out about this event, with scoring, and taking pictures, and stuff like that.

Q:Would you do this event again?

A: Yes, definitely.

Lion’s Heart is thrilled that our members participated in this event. If anyone is interested in teen volunteering and getting involved with Lion’s Heart, you can visit our website here.

Written by two amazing and talented Summer interns as well as Lion’s Heart Members, Cameron and Brynne. They are both high school seniors looking forward to their bright futures!

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.

Ways to Volunteer Over Summer Break

With homework and extracurricular school activities finished for the year, what better time to get a variety volunteer activities and experiences under your belt?

Volunteering can lead to a hidden passion that you may want to pursue in college, it can give you a sense of community and belonging, and it can look great to those college admissions officers and employers!

With school out, summer is a prime time to earn some volunteer hours.

Here are some ideas to help in your community this summer:

  • Volunteer at the library. Most libraries provide reading programs for small children, they are always looking for volunteers.

  • Help at Relay for Life or another walk/run for charity.

  • Volunteer at a hospital or senior center, make some time to visit and entertain them. There is no doubt that they will appreciate it.

  • Volunteer at your local soup kitchen or food pantry to get supplies packed up and to serve food to the homeless.

  • Volunteer at an animal shelter. Walk the dogs, be a companion for the animals.

  • Donate some old toys, blankets, shoes and clothing to a homeless shelter.

  • Make homemade cards with your friends to send to soldiers overseas or to deliver to your local hospital’s children’s ward to cheer them up.

  • Help with a beach or park clean up.

  • Volunteer at a local summer camp

  • Volunteer to help get teachers classrooms ready for the new school year.

Summer just started and what better way to earn hours and enjoy your summer than to volunteer some of that down time to others in need.

Giving back to your community can not only help others but can make you feel REALLY good!

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Can Volunteering Make You Have More Time?

From our friends at Forcefield.me, a great article about volunteers feel like they actually have more time! Strange, yes, we know.

Call it a completely counterintuitive phenomenon, but it turns out that volunteering may actually make you feel like you have more time. Yes, it makes little sense. For those of us already stretched thin with commitments, how could volunteering our precious hours make our time feel more plentiful?

Yet research suggests, that’s exactly the case.

A 2012 study, by researchers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Yale’s School of Management, and Harvard Business School, found that people who spend time on others are more likely to feel they have more time themselves.

Researchers performed a series of experiments in which they asked two groups to complete different assignments — spending 10 minutes on themselves versus 30 minutes on others, or helping someone with a task versus leaving a meeting early. They found that those who helped other people perceived that they themselves had more time — a feeling the researchers call “time affluence.”

Read the entire article here.

For more information on Lion’s Heart see our website lionsheartservice.org.

Lion’s Heart Senior Spotlight – Trisha A.

“Like everyone else prior to high school, I believed in helping others and giving back to the community, but I unfortunately never really acted on that belief. As I entered high school I didn’t want to just “think” about helping others, I wanted to “do” something. So, at the end of my freshman year of high school, my mom introduced me to Lion’s Heart. Entirely student run and well established, Lion’s Heart was a great fit for me. Starting with only four members definitely posed its own challenges, but these challenges made me the leader and person that I am today.

One of the many gifts that Lion’s Heart has given me is my humanity. Whether it was serving food at our local soup kitchen, setting up for school carnivals, or even cleaning up trash on the beach, every day that I volunteered taught me lessons about compassion and building relationships with other people. And looking back on my Lion’s Heart journey, I am definitely not the same person I was four years ago. This organization has given me the opportunity to be a strong leader and also be a patient team player. And all my experiences have not only shaped who I am today, but also who I will be tomorrow.

This fall I will be attending UCLA where I hope to take the lessons that I have learned from Lion’s Heart and contribute to the Los Angeles community. I take great pride and happiness every time I wear my Lion’s Heart shirt because it is a reminder that today I made a difference in someone’s life. And I hope to continue this feeling in the future as I aspire to be physician and embrace my humanity.”

Thank you, Trisha, for sharing. We are so proud to have had you as a Member of Lion’s Heart. We wish you the best as you continue your journey!

Wonderfully written by Trisha A.  Tricia is a graduating Lion’s Heart member in the Tustin, California chapter 2016 girls blue group and will be attending UCLA this fall. For more information on Lion’s Heart see our website lionsheartservice.org.

Lion’s Heart Senior Spotlight – Erin F.

“Volunteering has always been an important part of my life, and it truly has shaped who I am as a person. Having an autistic brother, I have always been aware of those who are less fortunate than me, as well as the importance of giving back. Lion’s Heart has further developed my passion for helping people and given me a wide range of opportunities to give back, get inspired by fellow volunteers, and realize how lucky I am to be in a position to help people rather than need help.

Whenever people have asked me what I would like to do with my life, I have always replied by saying my passion is helping people, and I would like to do something involving that passion. I am confident that volunteering and all that Lion’s Heart has given me will continue to be major parts of my life. I will be attending Northwestern University in the fall, and plan to continue giving back in as many ways as I can, and pursue a career that will also allow me to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Thank you, Erin, for sharing with us. We are so proud to have had you as a Member of Lion’s Heart for the past 6 years. We wish you the best as you continue your journey!

Beautifully written by Erin F.  Erin is a graduating Lion’s Heart member in the Trabuco Canyon/Coto, California chapter 2016 girls blue group and will be attending Northwestern University in Illinois this fall.

For more information on Lion’s Heart see our website lionsheartservice.org.


It Was a Three Hour Drive, My First Experience With Community Service

Written by Lion’s Heart Member, Chandler C., as her Senior Speech given at the Lion’s Heart awards ceremony on Sunday, June 5, 2016. Chandler was asked to write an essay and talk about her experiences, the group, her volunteer work, how it got her ready for college. To talk to the newer Members of Lion’s Heart and be inspirational. Here is her wonderful speech. Chandler will be attending UCLA in the fall. Fantastic job, Chandler!

It was a three hour drive, my first experience with community service.

My dad drove my family across the border into Mexico.  We navigated dirt roads until we reached an orphanage.  Toothless smiles and bright eyes greeted us at our car; laughter filled the entire courtyard as we played tag and board games.  I pulled a soccer ball from the trunk–this was a game-changer.  I learned how my love of sports could be used to form relationships and bridge any disparity of language and culture.

From this point on, I told myself I would dedicate a large portion of my life to serving others, and Lion’s Heart has been an integral part in accomplishing this.

But you don’t need to drive three hours to Mexico to serve others, although big service trips to different cities, states, or even countries may seem like the biggest way to make a difference.  It’s a step onto campus; that is how you start to serve others.

Whether you are stepping onto a middle school, high school, or college campus next year, each one of us has abundant opportunities to serve and truly make a difference in our communities.  For me, joining IMPACT here at Tesoro filled my time, where I served not only my high school peers, but I learned how to be a leader, something that I will use for the rest of my life.

Lion’s Heart did the same–there are positions within each group that prepare you for earning larger leadership roles, and each service trip presents an opportunity for a member to take charge and plan, or collaborate with others to ensure the plans come to fruition.  My group was the perfect representation of this: every person in the group was an officer at some point, and we had numerous group service trips where working together was essential.  Since seventh grade, we have done beach clean-ups, made blankets for hospitalized kids, traveled to Isaiah’s House in Santa Ana (a homeless women’s shelter), decorated floats for the Rose Parade, volunteered at Special Camp for Special Kids, sorted toys at the Toys for Tots warehouse, worked at the Ronald McDonald house, and many of the members have even traveled to different countries, such as Argentina and Costa Rica.

To all of the older and graduating members: don’t forget everything Lion’s Heart has shown us, the power of a simple gesture of serving.  Don’t forget to bring this servant heart with you as you continue your journey, wherever you may go.

To the newer and younger members: embrace everything Lion’s Heart offers.  Go to every serving event. Lead your group in one of the four officer positions.  Create and plan new ways to serve.  Search for serving opportunities, even in the smallest ways.  Know that Lion’s heart will help you prepare for your future–it helped me get into my dream school.  I wrote my college essay on my various community service experiences, starting from my high school campus and finishing with my service trip to Argentina last summer. Lion’s Heart has helped me develop a perpetual habit of community service, a skill I cannot wait to embrace in my new community.

Being in this organization truly has changed my life, and I know that the 6,637 hours of service my group has put in has changed the lives of countless others as well.  Remember to always embrace your own lion’s heart, utilizing your extreme courage and fortitude, and serve others to develop empathy and strengthen the community around you.

We, at Lion’s Heart, are truly humbled and inspired by your words. Thank you for writing such a wonderful speech and for letting us share it with our friends. Best of luck to you in all your upcoming adventures and keep volunteering! 

For more information on Lion’s Heart see our website lionsheartservice.org.



5 Lessons Teens Learn When They Volunteer

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to guest blog on VolunteerSpot.

Community service is becoming a pillar in the edifice of American teenagedom. While school, sports, and even camp can be tightly scheduled and scripted experiences for students, community service offers an authentic, unscripted experience in contrast. Whether it’s serving hours towards a volunteer goal with a school group, going on Mission Trips with their faith community, or simply helping others with friends or family, volunteering is a life-changing, life-prepping activity young people should experience.

These key lessons and takeaways are the strongholds of why:  Read more here.

For more information on Lion’s Heart see our website lionsheartservice.org.


We, at Lion’s Heart, are proud to announce that our Members have performed more than 500,000 hours of community service since the organization was founded in 2004. Lion’s Heart requires teens to volunteer at least 30 hours per year but our awesome Members average 53!

Our 500,000th hour was officially reached on April 26th by Ladera Ranch Member, Amber Smolders. Congratulations Amber!

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Amber is a high school senior who is going to attend FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) this fall.  She logged in the 500,000th hour while volunteering backstage at her school’s production of Cinderella. She was working on costumes. How appropriate she was volunteering doing what she hopes to do for a career!

Throughout the year, we afford teens more than enough opportunities to not only surpass the minimum hours, but to earn more than enough volunteer hours to shine for high school graduation and college entrance requirements. Lion’s Heart allows students to share their accomplishments with prospective schools during the application process. With colleges and universities using more online tools, students can reflect more accurately what they have accomplished through Lion’s Heart by sharing their volunteer portfolio through our website.

Lion’s Heart, headquartered in Southern California, has grown to more than 49 chapters across 11 states, and is actively expanding its reach by adding new chapters across the country. For more information, to open a chapter near you, or to join Lion’s Heart, visit our website or contact our membership coordinator Ashley von Gremp at Ashley@LionsHeartsService.org.

For more information on Lion’s Heart see our website lionsheartservice.org.