“Becoming involved in the community is so much more than just volunteering and giving time and resources,” says Mallory Elizabeth Lightfoot; “it’s about bettering the lives of everyone in the community. Involvement in the community is the only way to make change.”
Lightfoot’s most rewarding experience was with the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, where cancer patients from all over the country come to receive care while undergoing treatment. In 2015, Relay for Life members cooked dinner for all of the Hope Lodge residents, and sat and ate with them.
“It was very rewarding to be in these patients’ company,” she says. “They were all so upbeat, positive and strong-minded, despite the hardships they were currently enduring.”
Through giving back to her community, Lightfoot has learned to be grateful. Through her position as the head committee member for the Relay for Life New Orleans Youth Event, she helped her team of 15 raise money against other local teams made up of high school students.
“I used to believe that a high school girl like me couldn’t have an impact on my community. My activism has taught me that anyone can make a change,” says Lightfoot. “All it takes is the motivation and the determination to decide you want to get involved and make a change.”
Tracey Lightfoot, Mallory Lightfoot’s mother, inspired her to become an activist at a young age. She says that her mother taught her that it’s better to give than to receive, and that it’s important to give because one day she may need the help of another. Growing up in this type of family environment helped her learn how to lend a hand to those in need.
Lightfoot recently graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart and is attending Louisiana State University in the fall. She plans on majoring in business and in the future hopes to open a nonprofit to help sick children and their families.