“If you’re ever feeling helpless, help someone.”
Although completely voluntary in nature, the Life on Life Initiative has become a regular operation for many teams within the Life community. The constant flow of stories is evidence that Life is truly making a difference in the world. Check out these Life on Life events that took place in three different cities:
Life Members Build Meditative Labyrinth for Directions Recovery Campus
Life Members from the Texas area came together to help install a meditative labyrinth at Directions Recovery Campus in Dallas, Texas. The Directions® Campus is a non-profit residential recovery center based on a practical and spiritual solution to the problem of alcoholism and chemical dependency. Their model fulfills a critical need for a higher success rate in recovery at an affordable cost.
Volunteers from Team Explosion worked from 8am to noon in the dirt by helping install a meditative labyrinth for the people who benefit from the services at Directions. Several different tasks were completed such as marking lines where the bricks needed to be laid, brick breaking to fit the lines, carrying bricks, digging in the ground and placing the bricks in the ground. It was all labor intensive work but this small army came together and made it happen.
Volunteers Honor Fallen Veterans –written by Amanda L. Gutshall
It’s a majestic and humbling sight to see hundreds of flags honor our fallen soldiers. On Saturday, May 7, 2016, more than 25 volunteers turned out for the Raising of the Flags tribute to deceased veterans at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in East Hanover Township. The flag raising is an annual tradition at the cemetery, which is run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Life on Life volunteers helped to raise 525 flags on 20-foot aluminum poles along the Avenue of the Flags, the road that runs throughout the cemetery. The flags will remain raised until Veterans Day in November.
More than 47,000 veterans are buried at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, which takes donations of burial flags given to the next of kin to pay tribute to those that sacrificed their lives for our country. Members of all branches of the armed forces who met the minimum active-duty guidelines can be interred at the cemetery, as well as reservists who passed away on active duty or while in training. Spouses and children can also be buried at the cemetery under certain eligibility requirements.
Life Members Help to Empower Girls on the Run – written by Amanda L. Gutshall
It was a sea of hot pink on Saturday, May 1, 2016, as more than 30 Life Members from Pennsylvania gathered to volunteer at the Lancaster Girls on the Run annual 5K race. Girls on the Run in a non-profit group that seeks to empower young girls in grades 3 through 8, by building character and leadership development in various ways, including physical fitness.
Girls on the Run was created in Charlotte, N.C., 20 years ago. Since its founding, the organization has spread to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and features a 24-lesson curriculum to help young girls.
The Lancaster 5K run followed a 3-mile course in and around the streets circling the Franklin & Marshall College campus and boasted 2,500 runners. Volunteers from the Rhino team were scattered throughout the course as course marshals and at the college at the registration booth and merchandise table. Course marshals joined members of the community to encourage the runners with cheers, high-fives and smiling faces.
In the week leading up to the event, Life Members donated more than 212 Edge audios that were distributed to the young girls – offering further leadership and character building encouragement.
One Girls on the Run participant, from Washington Elementary, offered kudos to the group for their tireless work, and to the volunteers in a letter to Carrie Johnson, the executive director, saying,
“The community really steps up to cheer on the girls and it is so inspiring to see the joy on the girls’ faces. This year, I specifically noted the number of yellow-vested guards who were wildly cheering and giving high-fives. The girls were so encouraged by these warm and supportive gestures. Thank you to the amazing GOTR of Lancaster staff and volunteers for all of your admirable dedication!”
Another volunteer said, “Thanks again for all of the help from Life volunteers. Everyone was singing your praises! They are already asking if you will help again sometime!”
Life Members Sponsor Bingo Event for Veterans – written by Amanda L. Gutshall
On June 25th, 2016, 19 volunteers from Life came together to organize and sponsor a Bingo event for veterans at the Lebanon County VA Hospital. Participants provided chips, cupcakes and soda, and offered their support throughout multiple rounds of games. The two-hour event boasted 30 veterans in attendance.
“It was a worthwhile night. It is definitely something we want to do again. The participants were overjoyed. Life on Life created an amazing atmosphere and everyone was easy to get to know and love.” – Amos and Liz Glick (event co-hosts)
Lebanon County VA Hospital, which resides on South Lincoln Avenue in Lebanon, provides same-day and extended patient health care to veterans. It is one of 10 medical centers in VISN 4 and also includes 41 community-based outpatient locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Ohio. “It is an amazing building,” Liz added about the Lebanon County facility. “It is touching, filled with sadness, but also kindness and hope.”
Thank you to all of the Life Members who participated in these Life on Life events in Texas and Pennsylvania from Team Rhino, under the leadership of Greg and Lin Johnson and Team Explosion under the leadership of Dean and Teresa Frey. Your service and contribution made a difference for so many people!