Volunteer opportunities abound at the summer LightHouse sessions.
We have sessions at all three community sites and two of our school-based sites, and they could use anyone from teenagers willing to read with children a couple times a week to people willing to lead a craft or sponsor a one-time outing.
Here are a few of the suggestions from our team. If you are interested, please contact Carolyn Hammond at Carolyn.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Travis St. location:
- Reading Partners
- Basic Sewing Lesson
- Drama Lessons
- Yoga or Zumba Lessons
- Soccer, baseball or tennis basic skills clinic
- Ice Cream social (preferably on July 3)
- Etiquette Workshop for Girls and Boys
- Arts and Crafts
- Game Day (come play your favorite game with our youth)
- Sponsor a movie or skating trip
For the school-based sites (Westwood Elementary and Booker T Washington Middle School):
- A water day – sponsor one of the inflatable water slides or host a sno cone/ice cream party.
- Sponsor lunch for middle school students at BTW (they make their own lunch for the last two weeks of the program), or you could teach the kids how to cook
LightHouse students from Westwood Elementary picked from hundreds of books collected by the Loyola College Prep Student Council.
They were eager to look through the selection and find some new favorites of their own. And after picking them out some of the high school students took a minute to read the stories.
The LightHouse seniors of 2013 boasted of big dreams.
In the fall, the dozen students will scatter across the state from LSUS to ULM to Southern University to pursue degrees in everything from biology to music.
Gathered for the annual graduation celebration, they shared their plans with the LightHouse scholarship committee and reflected on what they have learned. James has only been part of the program for a couple years, but it has made a lasting impact.
“It helped me recognize my strengths and choose a college,” he said.
Next year, he will be heading to Grambling to join the band and pursue a degree in music education.
Evandrielle, who has grown up in the LightHouse, will be moving to Ruston for a degree in journalism. Because of the preparation at the LightHouse as a child, she said she has been successful at Loyola College Prep.
She also worked at the LightHouse, helping younger students.
“Working in the program taught me leadership and responsibility,” she said.
Committee members also offered some advice for the new graduates: Persevere, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Work hard, but remember to play. Surround yourself with positive people.
“There are going to be naysayers,” committee member Gwen Dawkins said. “Don’t let them get to you. They will destroy your dreams. … You don’t fail until you refuse to get back up.”
James summed it all up in the lessons he will take with him from the LightHouse.
“You have to keep your focus.”
Volunteers of America of North Louisiana is proud to partner with the American Cancer Society in a study that has the potential to change the face of cancer for future generations. The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) will give scientists a better understanding of cancer causes and prevention. The Society is looking for local men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 from various racial/ethnic backgrounds with no personal history of cancer to help reach full enrollment of at least 300,000 people.
The opportunity for local residents to enroll in CPS-3 will take place July 23-27 at YMCA of Northwest Louisiana (Broadmoor and Downtown Branches), Stonewall Missionary Baptist Church Bossier City, and CHRISTUS Health Shreveport-Bossier. Participants can schedule an appointment now by going to www.cps3northla.org. Local promotional partners are also helping spread the word. They are: Lifeshare Blood Centers, LSU Health Shreveport, Volunteers of America, and Willis Knighton Health System.
“By joining this study, people can literally help us save lives, giving future generations more time with families and friends, more memories, more celebrations, and more birthdays,” said Sheena Robertson, local coordinator of CPS-3. “As the official sponsor of birthdays, celebrating our own 100th birthday in 2013, we can think of no more valuable contribution to the cancer fight.”
Signing up requires a one-time in-person visit to read and sign a consent form, complete a survey, have your waist measured, and give a small non-fasting blood sample like what you’d do during a routine doctor visit. Participants will also complete a more detailed survey at home and will continue to receive periodic follow-up surveys in the future that researchers will use to look for more clues to cancer’s causes.
“Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., principal investigator of CPS-3. “CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer.”
CPS-3 is the latest addition to the Society’s ground-breaking cancer prevention studies, which have been instrumental in helping identify major factors that can affect cancer risk. Researchers say CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks. But its success depends on members of the community becoming involved. Researchers will use data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from those earlier cancer prevention studies, which began in the 1950s and involved hundreds of thousands of volunteer participants.
Among other findings, these cancer prevention studies have confirmed the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, demonstrated the link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer and other causes, and showed the considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions. Changes in lifestyle over the past several decades as well as a better understanding of cancer make this latest chapter in this lifesaving series of studies a critical part of continuing the progress we’re seeing against the disease.
“Cancer Prevention Study-3 is exciting because it allows people from all walks of life to take an active role in the fight against cancer,” said Robertson. “I encourage everyone in the Shreveport-Bossier area to join with the hundreds of thousands of people across the nation taking part in CPS-3 and fighting against this disease.”
The voluntary, long-term commitment by participants is what will produce benefits for decades to come. “Taking an hour or so every few years to fill out a survey – and potentially save someone from being diagnosed with cancer in the future – is a commitment that thousands of volunteer participants have already made. We’re looking for more like-minded individuals in North Louisiana to join this effort that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations,” said Dr. Patel.
For more information or to learn how to become involved with CPS-3, visit cancer.org/cps3 and www.cps3northla.org, email cps3@cancer org, or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.
By Derrick Jones/The Times
Cliff Malone’s new Stoner Hill home is almost complete, but it’s just one piece of a much larger puzzle. Through the Fuller Center in Shreveport, Veterans Build 2013 is a project aimed at establishing communities of disabled veterans through affordable housing.
“Sometimes I come by and just look and say, ‘Is this really mine? Where did this come from?’” Malone said, standing inside one of his three unfinished bedrooms. “When you’re defending your country, you never would think that somebody’s going to help you.”
Malone, a pre-9/11 Iraq veteran, has been looking forward to his home for some time now but was recently made aware that a Grammy-winning artist would be stopping by to help paint his future home — John Mayer.
Read more about Volunteers of America’s connection at The Times…
Students crowded around six guitars Wednesday, anxious to start lessons made possible by legendary guitarist James Burton
Burton presented the guitars to The LightHouse as part of his foundation’s mission to spread music education to children who might not have an opportunity to learn otherwise.
“It’s so wonderful to help kids keep music alive,” he said. “It’s such a great honor for me and my family.”
Volunteers from Church for the Highlands will lead the music lessons to be incorporated into the program. Coordinator Dewanna Lovelace incorporates as much arts and culture into the LightHouse as possible, and she is thrilled for this opportunity.
Students gather around as Bill Allen demonstrates on one of the donated guitars.
“Learning is exploratory and it’s about learning different things,” she said.
Since the foundation’s beginning, Burton has donated hundreds of guitars to schools, hospitals and community organizations.
“The kids learn to play and they tell me what an honor it is to go to school now,” he said.
He pledged to return and play with the kids after they have had a few months of lessons.
Kiara, a 10-year-old in the program, couldn’t wait to get started.
“I love it,” she said. “It’s calming.”
Burton is from Shreveport and began his career at the age of 14, recording the rock classic “Suzie Q” with Dale Hawkins at the KWKH studio in 1957. He has since been featured on hundreds of recordings, most noticeably with Elvis Presley.
Title: June 5 – Bossier LightHouse tour
Location: Bossier LightHouse, 2101 Scott St.
Link out: Click here
Description: Did you know nearly 30,000 children in Shreveport-Bossier live in poverty? See how are students are breaking that cycle at our LightHouse program.
Start Time: 11:00
End Time: 12:00
Title: Veterans Facility Tour
Location: Veterans Facility, 453 Jordan St.
Link out: Click here
Description: Nearly 10,000 Louisiana veterans are homeless. In celebration of Independence Day, come see the place that is serving those who served us! Meet a veteran who is succeeding and learn how you can get involved.
Start Time: 11:00
End Time: 12:00
Title: Aug. 7 – Adult Day Health Care Center Tour
Location: 1700 Buckner Square
Link out: Click here
Description: Few options exist for seniors and people with disabilities who want to live at home. The Adult Day Health Care Center provides an alternative to institutional care. See it in action and meet the people who make this program work.
Start Time: 11:00
End Time: 12:00
For a week cans of food stacked up in Chad Patterson’s class at Cope Middle School.
They provided critical learning opportunities for his class of middle schoolers with autism and will provide many meals for residents of Volunteers of America’s clients.
Patterson said many of his students still need to work on basic skills such as counting and sorting, so they sponsored a school-wide canned food drive with the winning homeroom earning a pizza party.
Then the class delivered about 300 cans to the HOPE Basket, our pantry which supplies food to our group homes and Adult Day Health Center. Each day Volunteers of America serves about 300 meals throughout our programs.
“When we got there and this kids put them in the correct spot — that’s something my kids will do career wise,” he said. “They will always have assisted employment.”
While the students don’t all understand the importance of the project, they enjoy collecting the cans each day.
“They love it, and it really does push them further than I would in the classroom,” Patterson said.