Each month we do a volunteer spotlight featuring one of our amazing volunteers. With more than 6000 volunteers around the globe here at Carry the Future, it is always inspiring to get a peek into the story of any person who is using their time and talents to serve refugees. Congratulations to the newest Carry the Future Volunteer of the Month, Kate Lavelle Semp!
Kate lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and five children, ranging in age from 10 to 16. Kate spent time in the Peace Corps and working in Midwifery education and infant and maternal health before deciding to stay home with her children. She is on the Board of Directors for her daughter’s gymnastics studio and helps at the food bank at her children’s high school, in addition to her volunteering for Carry the Future.
Kate first became involved with Carry the Future during a carrier drive in December 2015, which was one of our biggest carrier events, collecting and immediately shipping over 500 carriers! This inspired her to go on a distribution trip to Greece, which she went on in the fall of 2016. Kate also helped pack the Glendale office, took a staff position on the Engagement Team for a time, and went on another distribution trip in the spring of 2018, and to Jordan in the summer of 2018. Since the spring of 2018, she has worked on the Response Team focusing on shipment, distribution and organization of inventory, a very critical role. Kate believes that her strengths are the ability to respond quickly and effectively in a crisis, and she loves creating the perfect spreadsheet!
Kate says that Carry the Future allowed her a very easy way to get involved in the refugee crisis. At the time of the carrier drive in 2015, she was working at a pediatric practice and it was an easy connection to become a drop-off location for baby carriers. Her years spent overseas had introduced her to friends who were displaced from their homelands, and her work with Carry the Future gave her a platform to educate others about refugees.
As for the future of our organization, Kate said “Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to exist? But while we do, I hope we keep our intimate touch…finding a way to keep that personal element, mom to mom, family to family.” She noted that Carry the Future stands apart because of its outstanding support of partners on the ground, and being able to be flexible, reactive, and thoughtful. “We are always thinking long term, sustainable change,” she says.
Thank you, Kate, for your willingness to jump in where needed, use your unique skills honed from years of traveling and living abroad, and your love of spreadsheets to do the tedious and imperative work of tracking inventory!
Written by Gillian Jenkins