Community service has been an integral part of life for Lorene Stone, Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Lorene credits her parents and ten years in Girl Scouts with instilling an early awareness of ‘doing for others’ and the importance of being an ‘engaged citizen.’ Her earliest service work included picking up litter along country roads, running errands for elderly neighbors and using her weekly allowance to buy gloves and hats for her hometown’s annual mitten tree.
Service to others has continued through her adult life as she has endeavored to make a real difference in the lives of children and families in Missouri, Texas and in Michigan. In Springfield, Lorene has served on the Board of Directors for both the Victims Center and CASA, serving three years with CASA and as President in 2012.
In this capacity she helped select a new Executive Director, create a new Development Officer position that brought about financial stability, established new area partnerships, transition a main office move and most importantly, expanded services for abused and neglected children.
In addition, Lorene gives her time and expertise to such agencies as The Rare Breed Youth Services-for homeless teens, the Good Community Committee-leaders focused on civic improvement and Help Give Hope (HGH), an organization that provides resources for needy families. Last year, she spent nearly 100 volunteer hours working HGH fundraising events, preparing food baskets for 260 low-income families, and accompanying impoverished mothers on inspiring, yet emotional, shopping trips. If not through the efforts of Help Give Hope, the children of these families would not likely have gifts, clothing or a nice meal during the Christmas season.
Throughout all her endeavors, Lorene has encouraged and inspired her college students as well as others to get involved in their communities and be a part of the solution. While in Texas, her passion for student success led Lorene to organize an after school tutoring program which served 35 low-income elementary students per week, and personally mentored at-risk students within the I Have a Dream program.
Lorene has provided numerous leadership roles to help meet the needs of abused children in and around the Springfield area. She states that while serving on agency boards and committees are an important part of providing solutions, it’s the direct hands-on work that is the most rewarding for her. For Lorene’s dedication and impact on children and families within multiple communities, she is recognized with the Faculty Excellence in Community Service Award.