This week we are honoring athletes who are committed to helping others (page 12). Many of our staffers also donate their time to volunteer work. To cite some examples, executive editor Peter Carry is an overnight host at a homeless shelter; senior writer Frank Deford is chairman of the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; and proofreader Benita Korn, letters correspondent Laura Hilgers, promotion writer/producer Jenny Grosvenor, and Joanne Doebler of our Olympic promotion staff help teenagers with reading problems. We're also proud of Gabe Miller and Brenda Bradley.
Miller, a copyreader who speaks Spanish, coordinates a program for Central American refugees at The Riverside Church in upper Manhattan. For the past three years he has particularly aided one Guatemalan family—Ana and Federico Garcia and their sons, Carlos, 3, and Oscar, 1½—in adjusting to their new lives in the U.S. Miller has taught them English and helped them adapt to life in the U.S., a mission that involves spending as much time with them as possible. For almost two years he slept two nights a week at the church with the Garcias.
When Ana was pregnant with Oscar, Miller assisted her in filling out New York State medical aid forms and accompanied her on the subway trips to and from her obstetric appointments. "When I began working with Ana and Federico, I felt as if an incredible void in my life had been filled," Miller says.
Growing up in New York City, Miller, 30, always made time for volunteer work. In his early teens he tutored underprivileged children. Because of his interest in the refugee program, he has traveled to El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Guatemala. "The more you get out in the community—the more volunteer work you do—the more you realize that so many others do so much more," Miller says. "You see people who risk their lives and jobs to help others. And that just propels you to do more."
Bradley, 34, a copy clerk, spends three mornings each week at Project Giant Step, an early-childhood learning center in the New York City borough of Queens. As an unpaid teacher's assistant, she helps a class of 20 four-year-olds, including her daughter, Alexis, with arts and crafts, takes them on field trips and dishes up hot meals.
Even before the birth of her children—she also has a daughter Aja, 9—Bradley volunteered her time to teach art and music in preschool and elementary education programs in Queens. "I don't have to be there with Alexis," says Bradley. "I could just drop her off in the mornings and go do my errands. But I like to help kids learn."
Bradley and Miller offer something special.