December Mom of the Month – Gabrielle Verkman

Long Island Mamas is proud to introduce our December Mom of the Month, Gabrielle Verkman of Great Neck, for her contributions to the community through her MS Society volunteer work.

Gabrielle is mom to two children, Nathan 4 years old and Sydney 2 1/2 years old. Her husband Steve is very supportive of her volunteering efforts. 

Gabrielle started volunteering from a young age because she always felt a strong desire to help.  Encouraged by her mothers diagnosis of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Gabrielle wanted to get involved by raising awareness and funds to fund a cure.  She also has a friend and uncle with MS which keeps her extra motivated to help.

Gabrielle started as an individual participant in the MS Walk through the New York City chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She had worked in marketing for Time Warner, so she decided to join the company’s MS Walk team. From there she moved to a leadership position as Time Warner’s MS Walk team captain.

After switching to a job located on Long Island, Gabrielle participated in the Long Island MS Walk. The New York Chapter of the MS Society then developed a new fundraising event, Climb to the Top, where participants climb 66 stairs to the top of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Looking for a new challenge, Gabrielle signed up. She’ll be doing this event for the third time next year on on Sunday, March 3, 2013.

In all of the 10+ years of volunteering for the MS Society, Gabrielle has personally raised over $10,000 for this non-profit organization. She believes volunteering is important because “that’s what makes the world go round. If we don’t help, then the world would be a sad place.”

Her children have both participated in a MS Walk. With two young children it was very challenging, so for now her husband watches them while she volunteers. Gabrielle says she is excited for the time when they will be old enough to make volunteering a family event. She wants them to be involved with organizations and learn to give back.

Gabrielle noted, “It makes the world a better place. Also, when you volunteer — you see your life in new ways. Many times you complain about things that you realize are not so important after volunteering. It’s important to focus on others.”

When Long Island Mamas asked Gabrielle how she juggled life with kids, volunteering and working full time as a Senior Associate Account Director at St. John’s University in Queens, she answered that being a mom came first.  When she is with her kids, she gives it her all. Gabrielle revealed that before kids, she had always been organized and had planned things ahead of time (many moms can likely relate to this). She tries to do this now by writing To Do lists, but has learned that as much as you plan, things come up. Flexibility is important.

For all that Gabrielle has done and continues to do to help those affected with MS, we name her as our Mom of the Month.


By Tara Arichabala

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