Lesley is a light to our community. Lesley has touched many with her volunteer work with a variety of causes and organizations, including Virginia Family Network, National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI), Break The Silence, Orange Socks Special Needs Network, Roanoke County Special Education Advisory Committee, Tap Domestic Violence Services, Betrayal Trauma Recovery, Sisters Quorum and Rational Faiths.
Lesley is also a published photographer who volunteers her skill photographically documenting community events and important causes, such as The Clothesline Project, The WOMENS March, Pipeline Activism, Keep Families Together Rally, Homestead Creamery Farm Days, Special Goodz and many others. She is also a Capturing Hopes Affiliate Photographer, meaning she volunteers her talents to provide families with premature newborns with photographs of their journey. Lesley has served the Danville community and it’s residents by offering charitable photo sessions to those have been affected by domestic violence, some of whom have received services and support from organizations like HAVEN of the Dan River Region among others. She also has photographed several local families with children with disabilities and special needs, knowing the challenges they may face of finding a special-needs friendly photographer.
Lesley’s voluntary activism comes from her own life experiences. She has suffered a number of miscarriages, each loss devastating. She raises 4 amazing children as a single mom, including one child with autism, sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder and ADHD. Lesley has been through unimaginable trauma in her life which gives her insightful perspective and unmatched empathy that makes her such a blessing to those she works with.
Lesley has appeared on a number of guest panels to speak about these experiences and has also spoken to state legislatures and lawmakers regarding many of the issues important to the community. She has written a number of articles, essays, op-ed’s, as well as taking time to sit down and speak with those who may be experiencing life struggles. She offers validation of everyone’s situation and encouragement for the betterment that can be possible. No one is ever lost or hopeless in her eyes. She uses her activism to speak up and raise awareness for those who may be oppressed and marginalized, specifically addressing the issues of: implementating of trauma informed care within our community, the need for strong survivor support for abuse and sexual assault victims, advocacy for children with special needs, and the importance of inclusion for diversity.
Lesley is revered for her empathy, strength, and willingness to sit with those who experience difficult and often painful emotions and situations. She is a true admirable ally for so many who benefit from her work. Her work has saved and touched the lives of so many, which is invaluable to our community.