North Lawndale twins Floyd and Lloyd tackle life during the coronavirus pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Floyd and Lloyd Russell, 16-year-old twins from the West Side that ABC 7 Chicago has followed for years, have wrapped up their school year, making their school's honor roll and being recognized for outstanding attendance.

Remote learning is just part of their lives during the pandemic.

They are also volunteering at Harmony Community Church in North Lawndale. The church's food pantry is seeing twice as many families during the pandemic, and the twins are there to help.

"I love coming down here and helping my church and serve my community," Floyd Russell said.

The church's pastor is concerned about the health of older volunteers, so he's asked younger church members, including Floyd and Lloyd, to step forward.

"Sure enough, any time you call them, you can count on Floyd and Lloyd to be present and help us out," said Pastor James L. Brooks, calling it an "honor" to be the young men's pastor.

The teens say they are trying to get more young people involved in the church.

"Me and Floyd we are trying to get more youth in our church to come," Lloyd said.

Along with volunteering at the church, the twins have spent more time with their family during the pandemic. "It's been a joy and it's been fun with our family," Floyd said.

His mother, Lisa Russell, agrees that life can be frenzied, but the pandemic has allowed them to slow down and be together, staying at home.

"I am a family person so we're back to table games, so it's like we got our family back," said Lisa Russell.

ABC 7 Chicago has followed the twins for four years, following their challenges as they grow up in one of Chicago's toughest neighborhoods. Years ago, their mother was worried gangs and street life would influence the twins, but their wide network - family, the church, and private schooling - has helped them stay on track.

"We are doing great - not the best, because we do have our ups and downs, we're doing great. I feel like we still have the right path," Lloyd said.

Their older brother, Timothy Russell Jr., said he's "so proud of them" as they grow in to young men.

And even though school is over for now, they are still staying connected with neighborhood programs and classmates. Both of the twins are celebrating great grades as well. They made the honor roll during the last quarter of school.

"I finished. I passed with all As and one B," Floyd said.

Overall, the twins represent a change in the "narrative," as their pastor calls it. He wants people to know the success stories blossoming in the North Lawndale community.

"What Floyd and Lloyd offer us is the real narrative in the community," said Pastor Brooks. "We have some wonderful young men that live in North Lawndale, that are doing some outstanding things in North Lawndale."

And that includes Floyd and Lloyd Russell as they take another step toward adulthood.
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