Elizabeth LeNard Turns Everything Off to Capture Each Moment of Helping Others

By Jennifer Geiringer*

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Elizabeth Lenard

For Elizabeth LeNard (L), volunteering and giving her time to help victims of hurricane Katrina came easy; it’s just what she felt she was meant to do for her spring break.

Ever since Elizabeth was young, she wanted to change the world. As she became older, Elizabeth realized that was a pretty lofty dream,  so she decided to devote time volunteering with many organizations to become more focused in her pursuit. She volunteered at a local library, helped with underprivileged youths in her community, and worked on several community fundraising events. Elizabeth said she was drawn to the Alternative Spring Break program, because like the EndDD.org campaign of the Casey Feldman Foundation, she had a dream to change something that was wrong in our society.

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Some of Elizabeth’s classmates who she worked with on the home of the Katrina victim

As one of the 2015  recipients of an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) scholarship provided by the Casey Feldman Foundation, Elizabeth had the opportunity to spend her spring break from college helping build a home for a Katrina victim who had also become the victim of a fraud contractor. “I began my ‘Alternative Spring Break’ trip to New Orleans by turning everything off: social media, my phone, and the responsibilities of my “old” life,” said Elizabeth. “By doing this, I was able to understand and experience this new place and these stories with utter attention.”

Elizabeth saw first-hand how someone can lose everything, changing their life forever in just the blink of an eye. She also learned how some people will take advantage of others, even after they have just experienced a disaster. This was probably the most surprising realization since Elizabeth has always been so giving of herself, especially to those less fortunate.

During her week stay, Elizabeth not only gave of herself but grew as a young adult. She learned how to use her hands to build/re-build, but how to be more patient and understanding of others. She also learned that no matter what may happen in life,  she too can persevere, just as the Katrina victim did whose house she was helping to rebuild. “Going in, I didn’t know much about Katrina, I just knew what the media told me,” said Elizabeth. “Going in, I just had the idea to help without the prior knowledge of how important my help would actually be on the city. Going in and coming out were two completely different stories.”

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Elizabeth and her group from CU taking time out from their work in New Orleans to pose for a photo

Elizabeth is now a sophomore at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder , where, in addition to her studies, she is interning with New Era Colorado Foundation , an organization that seeks to empower young people in democracy. Elizabeth is working on getting out the vote, stating that “It is the young people who will change the world!” In addition, L is a member of the the Academic Excellence Program  and INVST at CU Boulder.

Of her ASB experience, Elizabeth said it was truly life-changing and she has vowed that money will never stop her from making a difference in the world.

All of our Alternate Spring Break scholarships are based upon fininacial need. Please donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that other deserving students may experience an Alternative Spring Break.

Related Links:

“Alternative Spring Break Scholarships Fostering a Generation Who Wants to Give Back“,   Nov. 2014  (Casey Feldman Foundation) 

About the Alternative Spring Break Program (CU Volunteer Resource Center)

Casey Feldman Foundation Alternative Spring Break Blog News (scroll down through for all articles)

Elizabeth Lenard (3rd from L) with Casey Feldman's parents, Dianne  Anderson and Joel Feldman in Boulder in July with Foundation scholarship recipients Vi-Thuy Vo (L), Charly Mendoza and Ramya Palaniappan

Boulde, CO in July: Elizabeth Lenard (3rd from L) with Casey Feldman’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman and Foundation scholarship recipients Vi-Thuy Vo (L), Charly Mendoza and Ramya Palaniappan

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*Jennifer Bello-GeiringerJennifer Geiringer serves as Marketing Director of Lawsuit Financial, a pro-justice litigation funding company owned by veteran attorney Mark Bello. She and Mark are friends of Casey’s parents and long time supporters of the Casey Feldman Foundation.

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