Graduation of a different kind

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 22:23

Youth are graduating all over Alaska, but some receive a different kind of recognition for their efforts. Volunteers of America are the sponsors of ARCH Home, which is located in Eagle River and is an alcohol and substance abuse program to rehabilitate youth from all over Alaska and teach them a better way of life.

At the end of their stay a private graduation celebration is held for each youth that successfully completes the course and is ready to return to their home and be a contributing member of their community. As with other high school graduation ceremonies in our community, the LIONS are there for the graduating youth of ARCH. The Sleeping Lady Mtn. Lions put together backpacks valued at $100.00 each, which include personal items as well as fun items. ARCH Home presents the gifts to each youth at the graduation celebration.

Some may think this is not very impressive but the youth of ARCH Home look forward to this little token of recognition given by someone they do not even know. Assisting ARCH throughout the year is a project that the Sleeping Lady Mtn. Lions are passionate about. In addition to the backpacks they supply Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner and gift for each resident, and a rewards closet.

The rewards closet is operated by ARCH Home and the residents earn credits thru their daily schoolwork and rehabilitation program. As their points accumulate, they can use them to purchase items in the closet just like money works in a store. A few of the items in the store are personal hygiene products for boys and girls; note cards for them to write home to their family; clothing items such as socks, belts, slippers; along with calendars, books, colored pencils, color books, games, etc.

The Bear Mountain Leo Club also participates in supporting ARCH Home through a variety of youth oriented projects and providing Easter baskets annually. This interaction is a positive way for youth in our community to help others their same age and be educated on alcohol and substance abuse.The Lions are able to provide these recognition items and programs because of the support of Eagle River/Chugiak residents who support us in our ongoing fundraising endeavors and we would like to THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU very much.


For more information about Lions, contact Amy at 301-9179.

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