Giving Tuesday – Dana’s Story

November 29th, 2016

Giving Tuesday – Dana’s Story


Teen Leaders’ Club – Dana’s Story
Written by Dana

My friend Sydni told me about Leaders’ Club last July, and although I didn’t want to join, my mom forced me to. At the first meeting, I met everyone and they welcomed me with open arms, though I was still pretty shy.

My first volunteer experience was at the Ronald McDonald House. We baked cookies for the kids staying there. On my way there I wasn’t sure I was going to like it because I had never done anything like that before but, it was truly a blessing. While we were there, the parents of a child that was staying there came down the stairs and personally thanked us for what we were doing. It shocked me, I mean how could this little act mean so much? And at that moment I realized how important it is to serve the community. That moment truly humbled me. Because of Leaders’ Club I see things differently. I am less selfish and do more for the others. My parents even told me they saw a difference in me within the first month of being in the club.

Two years prior to joining Leaders’ Club, my mom found out that she had a hernia in her stomach. During her surgery, the doctors made a mistake. As a result, she was hospitalized for 2 weeks. My dad and I went to see her every day and each day I could see the life just draining out of not only her face but, her entire body. I barely recognized her. She didn’t look like my mom. I do not normally pray, but when my mom was in the hospital I prayed every night for God to spare her. I would say things like “God please, she is my world, I need her, I’m not ready to be in a world she is not in. ” I missed her so much during those weeks, I missed her banging on my door in the mornings trying to wake me up for school or even getting on my case because my room is always junky.

The next week the doctors did another surgery and corrected their mistake. She was released a couple of days after. I had never really opened up with anyone about that moment, I just kept brushing it off like it never happened. I stopped praying the week after she got out of the hospital too. Not talking about it haunted me and I would have dreams about her dying almost every night.

I got the chance to open up to the other Leaders about her and that gave me the closure I needed. Thanks to them, I don’t have those dreams anymore, I enjoy life more, and ever since then I have prayed every night. For me, Leaders’ Club isn’t just a group of 20 people, or a couple of fun meetings a month, Leaders’ Club is my family and I have never ever been closer to any other group of people. In order to better serve my club, I ran for an Executive Officer position and was elected as our club historian for the 2016-2017 school year.


Dana baking cookies for the children at the Ronald McDonald House