‘No Christmas’ Without Lions Christmas was approaching and single mom Janet Greene didn’t know where to turn. She’d lost her job twice during the year and had two children to care for: daughter, Rayne, 9, and Zeke, 13, who has cerebral palsy. Then James Newsome, president of the Myrtle Beach Socastee Lions Club in South Carolina, learned of the family through his neighbor Lisa Trimby, a paraprofessional assigned to Zeke’s middle school special needs class. Lions adopted the family for Christmas. They went shopping and bought gifts from the family’s “wish list” and also gave them food, clothing, money and gift cards. The family, which includes Greene’s mother, Debbie Benedict, was invited to an early Christmas party complete with a holiday dinner and a pile of presents under a lit and decorated tree. Q&A: Janet Greene LION Magazine: Did you know who the Lions were? Janet Greene: I knew about them when I was young, but was surprised to learn they were still around. I grew up in California and the Lions used to hold meetings at my school in the evenings. I knew they did a lot of good stuff, but didn’t know that someday they’d do something good for me. LM: How did your children like the party? JG: There wouldn’t have been a Christmas for us without the Lions. The kids had so much fun at the party—they loved it. Zeke’s favorite present is a Jeff Gordon NASCAR cap they gave him. He won’t wear it to school because he’s afraid he’ll lose it and he won’t take it off at home. He wears it all night long. [Lion Richard Phenegar says, “Zeke’s face beamed brighter than all the lights on the Christmas tree when he opened the package containing that cap.” Rayne’s favorite was an artist’s kit]. The Lions have been an absolute blessing. They’re wonderful and I thank them so much. This has been such a horrible year for us, but the Lions really helped. I don’t think even they know how much they helped us.
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This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Thank+You/322056/31766/article.html.