LDPanda Project by Bruce DeRuntz


—–One day last fall Alex, came home from school and rushed to ask Liz if the Giant Panda was threatened to become extinct. She knew this was a very troubling question, so she knelt down to look him in the eyes and gave him the compassionate truth.  She tenderly said “yes, the Giant Panda may become extinct because of the loss of their habitat”. He burst into tears and cried “WHY! Why would we let this happen!” He ran off and buried himself in his closet and began to cry harder.
     Liz went in to console him and told him that there are organizations that are trying to save the panda and need donations. He sprang to his feet, grabbed his piggy bank and said “here mommy, I want to give all my money to save them”. Liz must have had her leadership thinking cap on that day because she quickly said to him “you don’t have to do all this yourself, in fact, it would be even more powerful if you could persuade others to help”.
She went on and explained that maybe he could put together a presentation for the LDP and see if they could all give a little and make a major impact. He went to work and put together a great poster presentation. He practiced his pitch with Diogo and delivered it few weeks later to the whole team. I think everyone gave $5 and we were able to raise $140; enough to sponsor a baby panda and provide it with formula for a year.
     I’m extra proud of both Alex and the LDP for stepping up and showing leadership. Diogo had a major role in helping Alex, but for a different reason. He recognized that often in our early life we are told that either we can’t make a difference, or our dreams are too big to achieve. We must never stop believing in our abilities, after all, to be a leader we must be visionaries and forward looking.