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Volunteen of the Month: Addison Graham

When it comes to service, there is no age that is too young to make a difference. The impact one has on a community has no prerequisite other than a desire to make a difference. Addison Graham, a 12-year-old who lives in southeastern Massachusetts, has proven that young teens can be the change in a community.

Even though she is not yet a teenager, Graham has proven an empathy for her community, devoting hours to helping her community. Two years ago, her town was declared a disaster site after torrential rains caused major flooding in the area. Numerous homes and landmarks were destroyed, and the area was plagued by debris. Addison saw this as an opportunity to give back to her community, going out into the aftermath, pulling wreckage from her neighbor's houses and yards. While the community faced daunting tasks, Addison didn’t shy away from the challenge, but faced it head on.

Addison has proven observant of issues in the world around her. She is passionate about the environment, and everything that is a part of it, all the way down to each and every turtle. When she noticed dangerous road crossings for endangered turtles in her area, she applied for a grant herself, and used the money to post road signs that warned of turtles in intersections and along roadways. Since then, she has earned the name, “Turtle Girl,” and there have been no turtle injuries or deaths.

Her efforts didn’t stop there, though. Her passion goes so deep that she is currently working with state law makers to bring awareness to threats that endangered turtles face. Law makers are working with Addison to make the endangered Red Bellied Cooter the state turtle of Massachusetts.

It doesn’t take an adult or a lofty idea to be the change in the community. In our world, devotion and passion are all change needs to get off the ground. Addison has proven that even the young can make a difference. She has proven that no issue is too small. Whether it’s clean-up after disaster, or collecting donations for needy families during the winter, Addison is there to lend whatever hand she can. And at times, a helping hand, no matter how small, is all that someone needs.