Regis Jesuit High School senior Lauren Winston beamed with joy while volunteering in a classroom of students at Eastridge Community Elementary School.
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Lauren Winston
Lauren Winston is not your ordinary teenager. She is kind, dedicated and personable with a passion to help those in need of a little lift. Lauren has been a part of National Charity League since she was in seventh-grade. She has volunteered at a number of sites, including Food Bank of the Rockies, Ronald McDonald House, Joshua Station, Meals on Wheels and Children’s Hospital.
Lauren is a resident of the Castle Pines community and is currently a senior at Regis Jesuit High School (RJHS), where she is actively involved with the Service Projects program. This program provides students the opportunity to spend two weeks away from school providing service at numerous sites. Lauren chose Eastridge Community Elementary School (Eastridge), where 80 percent of its students are on free- or reduced-lunch programs. Instantly, Lauren felt connected with the kids and her desire to help grew even stronger.
After two weeks working closely with the kids, what Lauren noticed most was that many kids did not have winter coats. Most of the students came to school in just a long-sleeved shirt. The impact that Eastridge Elementary made on Lauren ran deep and she was driven to give back to these kids. After a day of winter cleaning at home, she decided to start a coat drive campaign within the Castle Pines community, and approval was granted to extend the campaign beginning this February at RJHS. With the help of her fellow Service Learning colleagues, Lauren is hoping to collect 50 coats. As of press time, she had collected 15 coats by promoting it on Nextdoor in Castle Pines.
Lauren Winston enjoying her time with the students of Eastridge Elementary, inspiring her to organize a winter coat drive.
Lauren stated “this initiative has really impacted me because it’s made me feel like I can do more to help. It’s also made me think about what I can do in the future. My experiences with Eastridge Elementary School have also inspired me to go into a field where I can work with kids. I definitely see myself involved in future initiatives to help those in need. I’m hoping to continue helping out at Eastridge and my stretch goal is to hopefully raise the funding going toward low-income schools.” Lauren continues to volunteer today and will be completing her senior service project at Children’s Hospital.
If you would like to help Lauren warm the kids of Eastridge, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on donating.