Giving A Voice To The Voiceless: David Leonard
Background: David, a native, has dedicated his entire career working in the non-profit sector serving children & families at the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, supporting Iraq/Afghanistan War Veterans and their families at The Salvation Army, and now caring for those who have experienced the death of a loved one as Executive Director of the local charity organization, New Hope Grief Support Community (3505 Long Beach Blvd. Suite 2C).
How are you making an impact in Long Beach?
Through my work at New Hope, I have the honor and privilege of leading a community of people, many of whom have experienced grief. In Long Beach we have been able to train and equip volunteers to lead support groups for hundreds of grieving students within the LBUSD. Through New Hope’s support groups, family camps, grief-workshops, and community groups we have provided thousands of grieving children and families in our city with support.
How has Long Beach shaped your world view?
Living here has taught me the importance of inclusion and understanding the importance of respecting others who are different than me. It is those differences that have served as opportunities for me to grow and learn from others.
What is your vision for the future of Long Beach?
As it pertains to my work, my hope for Long Beach would be to ensure that no grieving child or family would have to grieve alone. Having dealt with my own grief at a young age, I know the importance of grief support. Other large metropolitan cities have done it- my vision would be for Long Beach to have its own Grief Support Center that supports those living with grief in our community.