Teens Join Together to Create Summer Camp for Homeless Kids

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While summer is usually a time for kids to shed the responsibility of school and bask in the great outdoors, the teens of the San Diego United Leo Club instead volunteered their time to make sure that the area’s less fortunate kids could take part in the summer festivities.

Members of the San Diego United Leo Club, part of the San Diego United Lions Club, came together this summer to provide a weeklong camp for children who normally spend their time in various shelters provided by the Interfaith Community Services.

For this free summer camp, volunteers from the Leo Club organized activities and taught classes to kids whose families could not afford a traditional camp experience, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. These activities included soccer, drawing, dancing, gymnastics, and taekwondo.

The San Diego United Leo Club has been a chartered group under the International Lions Club since 2015, and the volunteers range in ages from 13-18. Since the club formed, it has raised more than $17,000 for various charities. Founding president Cady Mariano helped establish the Leo Cub, and under her guidance, the club has donated time and money to organizations that benefit everything from veterans’ groups to animal shelters.

“I’m so lucky to have what I have, it [gives] me satisfaction to help other people who aren’t as fortunate,” Mariano, just 14 at the time, told the Union-Tribune. “I don't ever want to take what I have for granted.”

The Leo Club’s members may be young, but they’re industrious when it comes to helping give back to their community. The club also helped area children in early August with a Back to School Supply Drive and assisted with a fundraiser throughout September to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.