Faces in the Crowd: Lisa Leonard
Something as simple as making lunch for someone can make all the difference in their day. Lisa Leonard is a nurse in Deadwood and sees the importance of paying it forward to essential workers like herself.
DEADWOOD, S.D. — Lisa Leonard’s roots run deep in Deadwood and the Northern Black Hills.
She was born in the hospital that she works in – Monument Health, Deadwood – and has been serving the community for 25 years.
Before the pandemic began, lunch dates with her daughter, an employee at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Spearfish, was a common occurrence.
That soon turned into lunch for the whole staff.
Lisa Leonard, R.N. and Supervisor O.R., Deadwood Monument Hospital, says, “I went home and thought about it and I was like, I can make lunch for everybody here and I would be happy to and it just makes their day and it truly makes my day as well.”
Once the pandemic hit, she noticed how hard the employees at the Salvation Army were working, and much like healthcare workers, they were deemed essential.
Leonard says, “They never did close, and I asked once why they never did, and they told me that they couldn’t. They just said like simply they couldn’t, because they help too many people.”
The Salvation Army had kicked into high gear with emergency assistance, food distribution, utility assistance, and household vouchers – with no more staff, just many more hours.
Leonard adds, “And then I just appreciated them even more, for staying open, for being essential workers – they are just huge in the community and I just always thought that that was great.”
The lunch deliveries are a mutual appreciation for both Lisa and the workers.
Rae Jean Bosley, the Manager of the Salvation Army Thrift Store Salvation in Spearfish says, “The fact that somebody thought of us and this is something that we do all the time, you know, it’s just our nature. We are extremely grateful for her that she took the time to think of us and give back to us.”
Feeding handfuls of people a few times a month is a way Lisa likes to pay it forward.
“You know it’s just a simple thing that could bring joy to a lot of people,” says Leonard.
Lisa has been delivering lunches twice a month for over a year and says there is no end in sight for the deliveries.