That first spark of amazement in a child’s face is what drives Lori Morton’s volunteerism, day after day. “When a kid looks into a microscope for the first time, and sees an ant or a bumblebee at high magnification, and realizes there’s this other world complexity … being a part of that moment is wonderful,” said Lori. By day, the 47-year-old scientist from Chappaqua, New York, is vice president of research at a biotechnology company, but her free time is dedicated to providing STEM discovery for kids. Through many community-based organizations and projects, Lori is providing new opportunities for kids to have fun and engage in STEM activities, in addition to underscoring the importance of science with the leaders of tomorrow.
Daily Point of Light
“It doesn’t matter what your skills are. There are always opportunities for all of us to give back,” says John Gemma, who has volunteered in some capacity for as long as he can remember. The 71-year-old has always given back to his church, but since retiring from his job at the Pentagon, he began looking for new ways to get involved. He is a team leader with Habitat for Humanity and volunteers with Voices for CASA Children, an organization dedicated to being a voice for abused and neglected children.
What do you do when a second grader tells you he doesn’t know his birthday? Or when that same little boy says he doesn’t even know what a birthday is? Julia Warren was only 16-years-old when she had this heartbreaking conversation as a volunteer at a Title I elementary school in Richmond, Virginia. After she explained to the student, a little boy named Charles, what a birthday was, all he could muster for an answer was, “I think I was born when it was cold.”
Dr. Gary Parker first volunteered aboard a Mercy Ships hospital ship thinking it would be a three-month journey. However, three months turned into 31 years, and Gary and his wife Susan, who he met on board, have devoted their lives to help those living without access to safe, timely and affordable surgical care.