Friday, December 2, 2011

Inner Beauty Spotlight #9: Phebe Albert

           Phebe Albert has been volunteering at a MDA camp for the past 4 summers. It is a one-week over-night camp with children under the age of 18 who have muscular dystrophy. It is a progressive physical disorder in which your muscles deteriorate over a long period of time. At a young age, you can function normally, but as you grow older your muscles atrophy. There is, however, a huge range of different versions of this disorder.
            Phebe got involved for service hours in High School, but got inspired enough to come back every year. She also participates in runs or walks in the Tampa Bay area for the cause and will continue to do so in the future.
            It’s the kids that keep her coming back. You form real relationships with the children. During Christmas time they all friend request her on Facebook asking the next time they get to see her.
            Especially now since the children know her, they all have their inside jokes just like at any other summer camp. One particular kid, Cody, has always had a secret crush on Phebe and asks her to dance at the camp’s end of the week dance. He has been coming to the camp for two years, the last year he did not know whether he would be able to come back. But when he did, the first thing he told Phebe was that she was the only reason he did come back. This touching statement came from a boy who has a speech impairment when in stressful situations, a very inspiring experience for Phebe.
            For those afraid or nervous of working with children with disability, she recommends not to be intimidated by people’s differences, but to embrace them and often times you find yourself a lot more comfortable than you thought you’d be. “Just because they’re in a wheelchair doesn’t make them any less significant as a friend than anyone else.”
            She encourages people to be more active causes such as MDA. “When you work directly with a certain population you get really inspired,” says Phebe. She recommends you consider working for fundraisers or programs for any camp for a good cause, “it really brings out the best in a lot of people.”
            Phebe will receieve a $20 gift certificate for her generosity at LAE Beauty Inc.

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