Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Women of Distinction

Lion Rena Sims is one exceptional Lion.  With the help of her husband, Lion Lenny, they have helped over 300 children in need (fostering) and adopting nine of them.  She was recognized for her life work at the annual AWARE'S Women of Distinction Celebration on March 4.
Lion Rena moved to Juneau in 1983 from a Christian Community Farm in Detroit, Michigan.  Lion Rena worked with REACH and the State of Alaska Office of Children Services, which she found to be a very difficult and often thankless job.  After her two daughters graduated from high school, Lion Rena opened up her home and her heart to the children of the foster care system.  Lion Rena is also co-owner of the Sims Foster Assisted Living Home.  Since that time, Lion Rena has had over 300 foster children pass through her doors.  

Lion Rena married her husband, Lion Lenny, in 1995.  They have embraced each of their foster children as family and have adopted nine.  Never one to turn a child away, Rena often parents some of the most vulnerable children who require extra special care.  One child, AJ, who was born blind and with other disabilities, required 24/7 care for five years.  Lion Rena was not discouraged.  

Lion Rena doesn't work just for the women and children of Juneau.  She and her husband make yearly missionary trips to countries in Africa and to the Philippines.  Her work in those regions usually involve building schools and hospitals, working with women and children by distributing medicine, and helping with other preventative care.  

Her compassion is boundless and through her works she has made sure that people with many different abilities have been able to enjoy life with trips to Disneyland, San Francisco, and even Hawaii, often using her own personal funds.  

When asked what her personal hobbies are, she included, "building new homes, making new things beautiful," which seems to not just be a hobby, but her entire life's work.  

(Taken from the Women of Distinction Program book.)

Lion Rena is a relatively new Lion, sponsored by Lion Bruce Wing, may he rest in peace.  She, and Lion Lenny, were Lion Bruce's caregivers in the last couple years of his life.  Before he passed away, Lion Bruce adopted Lion Rena as his daughter.

Lions Rena and Lenny, thank you for all you do for the children of Juneau!  We Serve!

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