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Next Gen

They're young, ambitious and using their talents to do BIG things. Our next generation is making a difference in our community.

Birthday Girl Gives Back!

Payton wanted to do something different on her birthday. Instead of the typical birthday party where she would have received presents, she asked her guests to bring diapers, personal and household items that would be donated to Lighthouse.


The items were just what the families who come to us for help are in need of. Thank you Payton, for recognizing the need in our community and taking action to help others.


danielle2aStudent Donates 15,000 items! 

Danielle Ziaja is no stranger to Lighthouse. The County Day student has been collecting food, personals, toiletries and school supplies for Lighthouse since June 2012. She continued her giving spirit in 2013 by donating 15,000 items on February 2. Just when our pantry needed it most, Danielle came through! 

We couldn't be more thankful for all she has done for Lighthouse and our clients. So many people will benefit from her efforts.

Danielle is also a member of the Lighthouse PATH Junior Council, a group of local students helping kids realize the importance of giving back to their communities. Read below to see Danielle's other contributions to Lighthouse.



ElanaMcEwenLocal Student Brings Holiday Cheer to Families in Need

Elana McEwen’s nickname is, “the girl who is always smiling.” But what gives her the most joy is making others smile, and helping those in need. The Conant Elementary School fourth grader recently helped organize a November pajama drive that collected 204 pairs of sleepwear for needy families. “I wanted to help the needy, and the kids who don’t have pajamas for the winter. I thought it would be nice,” Elana said.

Elana recruited her friends to help her create and color posters to hang on the walls of her school, as well as fliers to pass out to each classroom. She personally spoke to each class about the drive and also gave a presentation to the Conant Parent Teacher Organization. The pajamas were delivered to Lighthouse of Oakland the week before Christmas and were given to families in the adopt-a-family program and people in need throughout our community. For information on Elana's Scholastic Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive click here.

Eagle Scouts Renovate Lighthouse PATH Library

Life Scout Vincent Perkins selected the Lighthouse PATH library as his Eagle Scout project. He and other members of Boy Scout Troop 1032 did an incredible job renovating the library. Walls were patched and spruced up with a fresh new coat of paint, new desks and chairs were installed, and books were organized and labeled by catergories making it easier for residents to locate materials. The transformation is remarkable and the mothers and children residing at PATH are overjoyed with their new library.




Local Students Form PATH Junior Council
Local high school and college students joined the recently formed PATH Junior Council. Their mission is to provide volunteering opportunities for high school and college students that are exciting, flexible and satisfying for students, and to provide experiences for these students that will help them gain insight into poverty and educate them on the programs that Lighthouse of Oakland provides.

The Council members are working on cultivating new students to join them as they create awareness about how Lighthouse is helping area residents in need reach their goal of self-sufficiency.

Local Girl Scouts Donate Items and Time to Lighthouse
Girl Scout Troop 20230 stopped by Lighthouse with a large donation of clothing, toys, household items, personal care items and hand-made blankets. They didn't stop there! The girls volunteered at the PATH childcare center assisting staff with caring for the infants and toddlers. Their next stop was over to the Lighthouse Emergency Services Food Pantry where the girls helped sort food, stock the pantry shelves and pack food for the clients. Thanks for all your help girls, we enjoyed having you here at Lighthouse!


The girls have all been with Troop 20230 since Kindergarten. They're heading off to High School in the fall.


Local Student Collects Thousands of Personal Care Items
Detroit Country Day class of 2013 student, Danielle founded The Clean Start Service Project as part of a community service project for school. She emphasized that organizations are in need year round and not just during the holidays. She collected 6,619 personal care items for Lighthouse and delivered them to Lighthouse in June 2012. The Oakland Press was on site to interview Danielle on her incredible job. The items Danielle collected from area dentists, physicians, optometrists, Brookfield Academy in Rochester, the Detroit Tigers and family and friends will be distributed to individuals and families who come to Lighthouse for assistance. Lighthouse is grateful for Danielle’s dedication in helping people who are struggling to make ends meet and we applaud her effort. She returned in August 2012 and delivered an additional 9,643 food and personal care items! She didn't stop there .... again she stopped by in December 2012 and brought 11,507 more food and personal items. Danielle, we can't thank you enough for all you've done for Lighthouse. We appreciated everything and so do our clients.

calen2Little Girl with a Big Heart
Calen is a little girl making big strides in helping others. was founded on her compassion for wanting to help needy children and families. She also aims to create awareness within other children in hopes that they will also realize their good fortune and become inspired to lend a helping hand. Students and faculty at Hamiliton Elementary where Calen attends school held a food drive with the donations helping to refill the Lighthouse pantry shelves.

"My parents have taught me that I am so lucky to have many nice things like toys, books, dvd's, and new clothes. So, now I want to help other children have something to smile about too." Lighthouse thanks Calen and Hamilton Elementary for the food donation and for raising awareness of hunger in our community.

noahbskYoung Boy Spreads Joy at Lighthouse PATH
At a recent fundraising auction, Ron Wernette and his wife bought a "Kid's Puzzles and Games" basket with a dozen or so new kid's games and puzzles. Their son Noah (age 7) wanted to donate the basket to a place where children who do not have a lot of games can use them.

The basket was donated to Lighthouse PATH where the children living in the transitional housing facility were over-joyed at the sight of it. Once they opened the basket they enjoyed playing the games and building the puzzles together. The staff at PATH thank Noah for caring about children in need and for donating the items to the kids living in the facility.

lilly polito2Local Girl Celebrates her Birthday to Help Other Kids
Lilly wanted to do something special for her 8th birthday. She wanted to give back to other kids who were less fortunate than her. Lilly (middle, back) and her friends delivered several "Party in a Box" donations to Lighthouse PATH. Lilly collected cake mixes, frosting and small gifts at her recent 8th Birthday Party so kids living at PATH can have an extra special birthday too. HUGE thanks to Lilly and her mom, Kate, for celebrating their Party with a Purpose with Lighthouse! 

Lighthouse PATH is an empowerment program which offers transitional housing fpr homeless women and their children. At PATH, formerly homeless families live in a safe, nurturing environment for two years where they are provided with quaity empowerment programs and life skills training essential for them to begin to rebuild and transform their lives from poverty to self-sufficiency.

Lighthouse offers several opportunities for kids to become involved from holding a food and/or personal drive, alternative birthday, bar and bat mitzvah parties and voluteer projects just to name a few. For informaton on getting kids involved at Lighthouse contact Marnese Jackson at or 248-972-1480.


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