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Lakota Announces Launch of Neighborhood Bridges' 'Gateway for Kindness' Program

Lakota Announces Launch of Neighborhood Bridges' 'Gateway for Kindness' Program

Lakota Local Schools is proud to announce the launch of neighborhood bridges’ “Gateway for Kindness” program - a resource to facilitate community support of students and families in need within the Lakota school system.

As a tool for teachers, counselors and social workers, neighborhood bridges Lakota will involve the surrounding community to aid in meeting the essential needs of at-risk and underprivileged students as a way of removing barriers to learning.

“Partnerships with critical emergency relief organizations like Reach Out Lakota and evolving programs like our school-based food pantries continue to be of critical importance to our families,” said Leah Aguilar, a member of Lakota’s Outreach, Diversity and Inclusion (LODI) department and one of the area directors for neighborhood bridges Lakota.

“This new partnership does not replace or compete with those services, rather it complements them,” Aguilar continued. “Our goal is to give community members yet another avenue through which they can direct their giving to the very specific needs of our most vulnerable students and their families.”


As a charitable organization, neighborhood bridges drives direct support and care by inviting local schools, mental health agencies, clergy and other service organizations to advocate for those in need. Advocates, including Lakota’s Success community liaisons, post specific needs via a secure portal that maintains recipient anonymity. Neighborhood bridges then shares those needs through daily emails and social media posts—engaging the community to come together to fulfill them.

Typical needs include clothing, shoes, coats, school supplies, school fees, furniture, household items and monetary donations for medical or household expenses. One hundred percent of all donations get directed to Lakota students and their families.

“I am so proud of how our community steps up to support one another,” said Lakota Board of Education President Kelley Casper, who serves alongside Aguilar as the district’s area director for neighborhood bridges. “This program makes it so easy to connect our students’ needs with resources right here in our community and is just another tool to help us make learning equally accessible to every student.” 


“The school system and community leaders of Lakota Local Schools have come together in an enthusiastic and inspiring way to support our mission and champion our Gateway for Kindness,” said Rick Bannister, CEO, neighborhood bridges. “We are excited and grateful for their partnership in directing impact to local students and families in need.”

Families, community members and businesses can follow needs in the community by subscribing to email updates on the neighborhood bridges Lakota webpage and following on social media channels that include: Facebook (@neighborhood bridges - Lakota), Twitter (@BridgesLakota) and Instagram (@lakotanb).                                                      

Any needs reported by local advocates will be detailed via immediate social media posts and a daily email update. Follow #WEareBuildingBridges on social media to view all recent posts.

Donation drop-off locations include: 


  • West Chester Fire Department Station 72

          7715 John Cox Rd

          West Chester, Oh 45069


  • West Chester Fire Department Station 74

          8551 Beckett Rd
          West Chester, OH 45069


  • Liberty Township Fire Department 112

          7655 Princeton RD

          Liberty Twp., OH 45044


  • Lakota Local Schools Central Office

          5572 Princeton Rd

          Liberty Twp., OH 45011

For more information about neighborhood bridges Lakota, residents can email