Our members are problem-solving, cause-loving, go-getters and often distinguish themselves as leaders.
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.
A Chapter is A geographical area where all members live within about a 20-30 minute drive from one another. All Lion's Heart groups and individual members are part of a chapter. Chapters will most often be named after a city, but if the city is too large (like Los Angeles), then the chapter is named for an area in the city.
Lion’s Heart groups are required to host at least six meetings during the Lion’s Heart year and members are responsible for attending at least 4 of the 6 meetings, they elect officers to serve as the teen leadership team for their group and all the members decide what service events they would like to do together as a group.
Individual Membership is the perfect option for the busy teen who wants to participate in volunteering and leadership development experiences on their own schedule and enjoy the freedom of not having any meeting requirements.
A Lion’s Heart Class Coordinator (CC) is an adult who coordinates and is responsible for one group of Lion’s Heart members. Each group has as few as three members and up to 20 Members of the same gender in the same grade. The Chapter President forms the groups on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Terry Corwin and her son Spencer, then 13 years old, were driving from Arizona to their home in Southern California after visiting her parents in the summer of 2004. Mother and son started talking about avenues available for Spencer and his friends to give back to the community. This mother of two concluded that there was not an organization in the area that provided a broad-based platform for doing so. Thus, Lion’s Heart was born. It all started with a short letter to Spencer’s friends inviting them to a meeting at their home. Originally, Lion’s Heart was just for boys since girls had Girl Scouts, National Charity League and such. Boys had only Boy Scouts. Twenty boys, including Spencer, attended that first meeting!
The first order of business was to elect the four officers. This was accomplished quickly, as the boys did not fully understand what Lion’s Heart was about. But that was ok; none of them did. All they needed to know was that all of the boys (or at least their parents) wanted to start volunteering and they could do it with their friends – or new friends, in some cases. Lion’s Heart first officers were Michael Zarian, Alex Nowlin, Bryn Luce, and the president, Chase Clarke.
The second order of business was to approve one of the t-shirt designs. They were boys after all, so this was also done swiftly and without drama. When girls wanted to be a part of Lion’s Heart, their t-shirts turned pink with a brown logo and text. The tagline went from the original “a young men’s community service organization” to a gender-neutral “teens giving back”. Today, the t-shirts are unisex in color and design. The tagline “teen volunteers and leaders” is updated, too, showing the organization’s growth in developing leadership skills.
The very first group project was collecting new hygiene items that became kits for an orphanage in Mexico. The group split up in smaller groups of 2-3 and organized themselves in front of different grocery stores in the community. They typed up a note asking for donations and politely handed them out to shopper entering the store, and collecting the items as they left the store. At the next meeting, the boys created an assembly line armed with large plastic bags to create hygiene kits. Over 200 kits were made that night so some went to that orphanage in Mexico, but many went to a nearby community children’s shelter.
Those hygiene items have long since been used but the memory of helping others and the inspiration to continue has endured for these original members, and thousands to follow in their footsteps. Thank you Class of 2010, and congratulations to all 12 of the original members who started in 2004, continued all six years of Lion’s Heart, and then graduated from college!