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Lorain High Leo Club volunteers at Second Harvest Food Bank
By Carol Harper, The Morning Journal
Thursday, December 1, 2016
One good deed leads to another.
After volunteering to serve as “buddies” for Special Olympics athletes last year, Lorain High School students asked for more ways to apply their hearts and muscle.
So they formed a Leo Club and partnered with a Lorain Lions Club on community service projects.
On Nov. 29, about 15 students volunteered to sort, check, and wipe cans and boxes of food at Second Harvest Food Bank, 5510 Baumhart Road, Lorain.
“This is our second time of coming,” said Kevin Goodwin, co-advisor for Leo Club. “They come once a month. There are more than 30 kids in Leo Club with the Lions Club.
“We worked with the Lions Club for their pancake breakfast (Nov. 6) and they made about $8,000,” Goodwin said. “They had kids who started with the 7:30 a.m. shift right until 1 p.m., serving food and helping with cleanup.
“A good portion of the basketball team are members, too, but they’re out at a scrimmage tonight, so they do other things with us,” Goodwin said.
“They’re planning on doing a Saturday Fun Day for the kids in Special Olympics, like relay races, more and more getting families involved in the school system. And about 25 kids signed up to be bell ringers for Salvation Army. And some of them are getting involved with Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-a-Child.”
Stephanie Ryan of Grafton, a Second Harvest employee and volunteer assistant for more than a year, said volunteers make the organization effective.
The repack room received a shipment of about 40 pallets with 24 banana boxes per pallet of canned and boxed food from a retail store salvage warehouse, she said.
The volunteers wiped and checked each item for expiration dates and damage, then sorted, labeled and reboxed the food.
“I enjoy it,” Ryan said. “It makes me feel good at the end of the day. I enjoy helping people. The more volunteers we have the more food we get out to feed the hungry. And I think it’s important for the kids to come in and get that experience and know they have helped people. I love to see kids groups come in. The more food we can get out the better. It’s one step further toward no hunger.”
Students Dede Silva, 16, a sophomore, and Sundus Deif, 14, a freshman from Egypt, wiped cans and boxes with Bruce Bevan of Amherst, a Lions Club past president and a 1969 graduate of Lorain High School.
“I’m celebrating my 50th anniversary of my 10th grade year,” Bevan said.
“I’m trying to do things for a good cause,” Dede said. “I always like to help. I like getting into things and I thought this would be a good reason.”
“I like helping people,” Sundus said.
Lorain seniors Sly Worthy and Quentin Pardon, both 17, sorted some heavier items and broke down boxes.
“Just to give back,” Sly said. “I think it’s good to give back to the community. I want to be a teacher, and then I want to be the mayor of Lorain.”
Quentin was looking for opportunities.
“When I joined the Leo Club, they talked about all the events you could join to help out the community,” Quentin said, adding he hopes to become an analyst or broadcaster someday.
Sly said, “I didn’t expect there to be this much food. It’s crazy how much food is here.”
Brianna Nethers, 16, a junior, has visited Second Harvest about 10 times with Leo and Key clubs.
“In the beginning I was told it would be something with Special Olympics,” Nethers said, “and to go out and help the community. If you have the time, why not?”
Kobe Goodwin-Pyers, 16, a junior, said volunteering is enjoyable.
“We made this club after the Special Olympics,” Kobe said. “Everyone realized how fun it was to help out. None of these kids had opportunities to give back to our community.”