Julia Harrison – LRHS News
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Last Friday, Dec. 17, Lakewood Leaders encompassed the true meaning of the holiday season by giving back to the community through Project Daughtrey.
Lakewood Leaders spent two hours at Daughtrey Elementary interacting with the students; 96% of Daughtrey’s students are on free and reduced lunch, and many are homeless.
Lakewood Leaders adviser Michelle Todoroff, said, “Our goal was to fulfill a need in the community.”
The LRHS club createed four stations for the elementary students to participate in alongside high school students: kickball, relay races, cookie decorating and story telling. All elementary students were also given gift bags with books, socks, gloves, a stuffed bear, toys and candy.
Lakewood Leaders also held a clothing and shoe drive prior to the event to give to the community and parents. Tables were set up and parents were free to take the clothes and shoes.
Todoroff said, “We believe the project was a success. Many parents had tears in their eyes and said how thankful they were that we were providing for them.”
A total of 65 Lakewood Leaders and 150 elementary students participated.
Lakewood Leader junior Hannah Watts said, “I think we were able to make the kids’ holiday season better. All of the kids and parents were so happy.”
Todoroff said, “We feel our goal was accomplished because of the great turnout from the community to receive the clothing and shoes that we provided.”
Todoroff would like to make this project an annual event and extend it to schools with similar needs.