Heroic students are the Heart & Soul

Heroic students truly are the Heart & Soul of Lionheart

I think it’s an understatement to say that Tuesday was a day many of us will never forget. Sometimes the best laid plans are swiftly altered, and quick-thinking and problem-solving abilities are absolutely essential tools to have.

In fact, this is one of the hallmarks of our teaching philosophy here at Lionheart – how to problem-solve through challenging situations. I think the circumstances that the weather brought us on Tuesday truly put us all to the test.

While I heard about so many acts of heroism throughout the community that day, here at Lionheart we believe that we work with heroes every day: our students. The chaos that the weather ignited this week – well, many of our kids face a world that feels like chaos every day of their lives. Which is why we want Lionheart first and foremost, to be a place where our students not only trust us, but feel safe and loved.

Waking up Tuesday morning, I had no idea how much gratitude I would be filled with by the end of the day. My heart-felt thanks goes out to:

The mother who had picked up three children an hour earlier, but turned around without hesitation to pick up another student whose ride was stuck in town.

To the Zaxby’s employees who, even though the restaurant had closed, reopened the kitchen to make dinner for all of the children and families who would need to spend the night at Lionheart.

To the administrator who trekked in the snow to retrieve the four heavy bags of food.

And to the one who fielded every phone call from scared and stranded parents, assuring them that their child would be fed and cared for until they could get there – whenever that would be.

To the mother who arrived to pick up her son, but then offered to spend the night when she learned her son’s classmate wasn’t able to be picked up.

To the teachers who delayed their departure and those who stayed the night, making sure the students felt safe and had fun.

To the director and speech pathologist who “cuddled” with our youngest student so he never felt alone.

To the teacher and her husband and a father who transported families home on Wednesday.

To the student who ate cookies for breakfast and the one who said spending the night got two thumbs up.

To the one who thought the bacon for breakfast was the best part and the one who said he slept great and sweet LANGLEY, our service dog, who made do with eggs for breakfast.

To the littlest student who, through his tears, taught us how to face time his mommy on his iPad so he could say good night to her.

To those weary parents who did finally arrive at school with a smile, a race to the restroom, a phone recharge and words of gratitude…

I am grateful that our friends from Paws4people arrived safely and that our executive director and her family were willing to host them and the 12 dogs they brought….

And I’m grateful to my husband for his patience and sense of humor. His last call before I went to bed….”sitting at home with a scotch and a roaring fire thinking how my Elizabeth is at Lionheart having a slumber party to celebrate her 39th birthday….”

And to all of you who were waiting for a child, spouse or friend…thank you for thinking about us! Your love, loyalty and words of encouragement meant so much.

To everyone in this room, you and our heroic students truly are the heart and soul of Lionheart!