A visionary has sight for a cause, Allison Bradford Gorrie can relate. She may be visually impaired, but Allison sees the impact of charity pristinely. Born with a birth defect that causes low vision, Allison, 16,has adapted to blindness and is a lifetime patient of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Ophthalmology. Not wanting her impairment to deter her from teenaged independence, she is learning to use bioptic driving glasses and other visual aids with the help of the UAB Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation.
When dealing with the well being of the community, Adner Marcelin has no boundaries. A friend once told him that he could not invest his personal finances in his community. He simply said, “If it will help one person improve their situation, then it improves the community that I am a part of. That’s money well spent.” Adner, 22, strives to make a positive influence in his community. He has mentored young people with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend and the NAACP Youth Council to make a difference with others.
Todd Schmidt knows sacrifice. As a U.S. Army Soldier of 13 years, he dedicates every day of his life to serving his country, and his unwavering desire to serve transcends patriotism. Surveying local schools during his deployment in Afghanistan,he noticed the students desperately needed basic classroom and school supplies.
One of the greatest gifts a volunteer can give is not just a dollar, a lesson, or a bit of their time, but a new feeling or confidence in the person they are helping. Gloria Owczarski’s Day of Beauty does this by beauty treatments to kids with special needs. Using her own experience with the special needs population as inspiration, she has inspired others to do the same. Growing up with a sister with Down Syndrome, Gloria has always had an interest in the welfare of the special needs population. Already a swim couch for the Special Olympics, Gloria decided she could do more.