Be the Change: Inspirational Volunteer, Leslie Johnson

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Mount Shasta’s Leslie Johnson is a professional volunteer, throwing her energy and organizational talents into a variety of causes that help children in her community.

For the past seven years, Leslie has served on the South Siskiyou Little League and Softball board as Player Agent. She organizes and often runs the snack shack during the Little League season and at local All-Star tournaments. She is the president of the Mount Shasta High School Booster Club, and last year helped organize fundraisers for Cubco, a parent group that provides funding for Sisson School’s eighth grade trip.

For the past year, Leslie has served on the board of directors for a fledgling nonprofit, KICKcancER, which is dedicated to helping families affected by childhood cancer. The organization empowers families through nutrition education, with an emphasis on healthy foods.

“Leslie Johnson is one of the most giving people I know,” says Kale Riccomini, principal of Sisson School, who sits alongside Leslie on the South Siskiyou Little League and Softball board.

“She unconditionally gives of herself wherever there is a need. She continually gives without ever expecting anything in return, and, if she has her way, always wants to remain anonymous. Leslie defines what a giving person is and so deserves to be recognized and thanked for her amazingly giving and loving heart.”

“Leslie cares about people,” says Jacob Barr, who also sits on the Little League board. “She cares about details. Whenever she is involved in something, to the extent of her ability it’s going to be done right. It would be a good thing if more people had her great work ethic and caring heart.”

art-915-btc2If you ask Leslie why she does what she does, she answers, “I just volunteer because I like to help people!” However, with some persuasion, she was convinced to answer a few questions about herself and what makes her tick:

What motivates you to give your time and energy to these causes?

I want the youth in our community to have the opportunity to play youth sports. I think that team sports give kids so many life lessons. It is so much more than the game. Being on a team teaches teamwork, selflessness, leadership, trust, and how to adjust to different circumstances and personalities.

How did you become involved with KICKcancER?

I have been involved with other cancer-related charities, such as Relay for Life, because I lost my grandfather, who was basically my dad, to colon cancer 10 years ago. When my close friend Season Johnson’s son, Kicker, was diagnosed with leukemia, everything changed and I knew our lifestyles had to change. Season founded KICKcancER and she asked me to help. I was all in!

What advice would you give to a person who is considering volunteering their time?

Do it! Our communities need your help. Any amount of time or effort can help in so many ways. Each of us has something special to offer and we never know how the smallest effort can affect someone else.

Who/what inspires you?

My kids. Tyler is a junior at Oregon State University, and Nolan is a freshman at Mount Shasta High School. They teach me daily about the simple things in life.

What is your favorite quote or life philosophy?

“Be brave.” These simple words are so true.

What do you think is the most important wisdom to share with youth today?

The world is as large or as small as you want to make it. Believe in yourself, take on challenges, try your best, and never give up!

Skye Kinkade
About Skye Kinkade

Skye Kinkade is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and mother of four lively children. She enjoys being part of a close-knit community that is so generous and kind in difficult times.

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