Connie Lanter is a school nurse who has a holistic approach to serving her community. She is one of the inaugural class of “Game Changers,” a new feature by The Community Press and Recorder profiling local residents who’ve had a positive impact this year on the community as a whole.
While her job is predominantly caring for the physical health of students at St. James School in White Oak, her reach goes far beyond health services for students.
“Connie is a community game changer for her work as the volunteer coordinator of our parish Giving Tree program,” St. James School Principal Jeffrey Fulmer said. “She coordinates the donated gifts and personal items for many who (are) in need in our community, working with several organizations.”
An example is an envelope tucked in a student’s backpack. The family has had extensive medical expenses this year. A $700 gift card for groceries will ease the burden during the holidays.
“It’s all done quietly, and often anonymously,” Fulmer said. “Connie has reminded me that she only coordinates the giving tree program and that the real generosity comes from our parishioners.”
Fulmer said this year’s Giving Tree has about 1,200 tags and the program helps school and parish families, Healthy Moms and Babes, the H.O.M.E. program, St. Francis de Sales School, Oyler School, Our Lady of the Woods nursing home, Scarves for the Homeless, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Pregnancy Center West, First Step Home, and Glen Mary Mission.
“She’s a great listener, and she notes where there might be a need all year,” Fulmer said. Lanter makes hundreds of tags that parishioners can pick up, and she coordinates all of the gifts brought by church members to be delivered to community residents who need them.
“She makes sure not one person is missed,” Fulmer said. “She personally delivers and mails anonymous gifts to some, often in the form of gift cards, to make Christmas easier for a needy family. And she has done this for years. She is a gift.”
► GAME CHANGERS
Sycamore parents promote recycling through introduction of waste sorting stations
NKY heroin treatment advocate: Some won’t go. ‘We’ll keep trying.’
Walton woman brings new meaning to ‘rock group’
Northbrook group changing the face of its Colerain Twp. neighborhood
Forest Hills parent works to have safety signals installed on Eight Mile Road
Only fabric scraps? Florence resident sees something more