• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

L.I.F.T. collecting bottled drinking water for Flint

BAILEE DAMRON and Dwayne Depp, who are actively involved with the L.I.F.T. tutoring program, have joined Kristen Wilson, a guidance counselor at Woodford County High School, to support a local effort to collect bottled drinking water donations from people in the community to help residents of Flint, Mich. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Students involved with the Leaders Inspired for Tomorrow (L.I.F.T) tutoring program are learning the value of helping others by contributing to a larger effort to collect bottled water for residents of Flint, Mich. "It's not only a tutoring program," said Kristen Wilson, a guidance counselor at Woodford County High School, "it's a mentoring program. It's showing (our students) how to care for others. "So I feel like we are lifting this Flint, Michigan, community by helping them." She said it's important for students giving or receiving help in L.I.F.T. to be there for someone else when a need arises - no matter if it's here or many miles away. "It could happen anywhere," said Wilson. "What if it happened here? We would want someone to do the same for us." Flint's drinking water was contaminated by lead for an unknown number of families living in one of the poorest cities in the United States. "It makes me feel happy in my heart (knowing we're helping those Michigan families)," said WCHS junior Bailee Damron, 16. "Just like it does volunteering as a tutor, it makes me happy" to help others. "It's the right thing to do," added WCHS junior Dwayne Depp, 17. "If I was struggling I would want somebody to help me too. ".You want to treat others how you want to be treated." Anyone who would like to donate bottled water to this local effort to help residents of Flint may make arrangements with First Baptist Church (873-3951) to drop off a donation, preferably on Thursday night, at 233 South Main Street, or contact Wilson at kristen.wilson@woodford.kyschools.us for additional information about making a donation. Bottled water donations are being accepted through the end of February, and those donations and others from Central Kentucky will then be transported to Flint on March 1. The L.I.F.T. tutoring program for kindergarten through 12th grade students happens every Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church. Fifty-three students participated in the L.I.F.T. program on a recent Thursday. "We work on homework. We do projects. A lot of (our high school students) come to volunteer with the younger ones," said Wilson. Teachers from WCHS as well as volunteers from the church and community also help students in the L.I.F.T. program, now in its third year. "I'm a mentor to the (younger kids) and they're a mentor to me," said Bailee.

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