By Samantha Riley, Executive Assistant & Leader of Vor Bio’s Outreach Committee
It’s a wrap for the Vor Bio 2022 Week of Service!
From September 19-23, 2022, Vor Bio employees (Voracians) came together to support a variety of community outreach activities focused on service to others. We wanted to ground our volunteer opportunities in our core values of passion, fellowship, and humility with collaborative teams working to support worthwhile causes that benefited people and the community we live and work in.
The Week of Service initiative created an opportunity for us to give back and make a positive difference. It was a chance to focus on serving causes greater than ourselves while truly embodying each of our three core values.
The week started with Voracians gathered in our company breakroom to assemble and create 250 chemistry and crystal-themed kits to benefit the local chapter of the Science Club for Girls. The kits will support that organization’s learning curriculum for their after-school program this fall. The Science Club for Girls works to “foster excitement, confidence, and literacy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for girls and gender-expansive youth from underrepresented communities.” All of this is done free of charge to science club participants.
“It was a privilege to support the work of the Science Club for Girls, as it is important to me to help inspire and encourage the next generation of budding scientists to explore their interests in STEM,” explained Michael Pettiglio, a scientist in Vor Bio’s discovery and molecular engineering department.
The following day a team of Voracians rolled up their sleeves, literally, to help save lives through blood donation. Being a part of a company committed to finding better treatment for deadly diseases, these Voracians fully understand that every unit of blood and platelets donated improves a patient’s chance of survival. We provided educational materials and fun giveaway items to both inform the blood donors and show appreciation for their lifesaving efforts.
Samhitha Srinivasula, a senior quality assurance specialist at Vor Bio, had this to say about the blood drive event: “Do what you can, when you can; health is not something that you can take for granted and human blood has no substitution. Choose to give and your cup will be filled. My heartfelt thanks to Vor Bio and Mass General Hospital for making my first blood donation so memorable!”
The Week of Service concluded on nearby Thompson Island, which, among other things, is home to a non-profit education organization offering programs in leadership, environmental education, and youth empowerment called Thompson Island Outward Bound. This was a cleanup effort involving numerous projects to help beautify the area. Tasks included trail maintenance, beach cleanup, event support, or leaf raking and landscaping – all outdoor activities. This was a rain or shine event – a stipulation that did not dissuade volunteers from stepping up to lend a hand.
Abu Bello, a current Vor Bio Co-Op employee, was a part of the Thompson Island crew and shared some thoughts on what the experience meant. “The Biotech industry is foundationally based on helping people. A Week of Service is just an extension of that core principle. The only difference here is that we are taking it out of the lab and into spaces we where would not regularly find ourselves. The activities undertaken managed to not only serve their intended purposes, but also made for a great team building exercise that brought me into contact with Voracians I would not otherwise find myself teamed with.”
I want to thank everyone at Vor Bio for getting involved in our first ever Week of Service, especially Vor Bio’s Outreach Committee, who worked very hard to organize an outstanding line-up of events for employees to participate in. Leaders at Vor Bio supported us not only by giving their own time, but also encouraging their teams to take time out to volunteer.
Voracians have devoted their lives to fighting a deadly killer (cancer) each day but recognize there are many other battles taking place all around us. The Week of Service is a further example of our team’s commitment to meet big challenges head on and give our best efforts to make a difference in all of the communities we serve.