I started volunteering with my grandmother when I was eight and it remains an important part of my everyday life.
Dawn Thompson resides in Lowell, Massachusetts where she was born and raised. She and husband Dean, who will be joining her on the trip, have three older children in college and one eleven-year-old son. Dean is a high-end audio visual technician and according to Dawn, "One of the bests dads ever."
Dawn has done many things in life, but the one thing that has persisted every step of the way is her willingness to volunteer. She remembers fondly working as a youngster helping at a local hospital as a candy striper. Over the years, she has worked closely with several emergency volunteer organizations and is currently the team captain of The Boston Cares DART Team. Dawn also works with the American Red Cross and was present at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 staffing a communications van the day the bombs went off. After the bombing, Dawn worked with disaster services providing food, water and support at the family resource center, and out on the common. Dawn is also on call for emergencies throughout the state and is always ready to answer the call when it comes.
While Dawn volunteers regularly with emergency response teams and has become quite an expert in the field, her heart is with the Children's Tumor Foundation (CTFCTF). Dawn and Dean's son Dylan suffers from neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes tumors to grow along the nerves. She has met with and mentored many parents in similar situations trying to cope with these challenges, and she helps in fund raising for the foundation. As part of her work, Dawn makes personalized bracelets for the foundation, which they then sell on online auctions. All profits go to CTF, and some of Dawn's bracelets have sold for hundreds of dollars.
Dawn is currently enrolled in college studying criminal justice and computer forensics. She will be interning shortly with the Department of Emergency Management in Lowell and will soon turn her years of volunteer experience with various fire and emergency management response teams into a full-time career.