Summer Shout Out: Debbie Stephanides

Do you know someone who goes above and beyond for other people, and never seems to get the recognition they deserve? 

This week at 6 a.m. 7News is highlighting people who do wonderful things for others. 

We asked viewers to tell us about someone they thought deserved a Summer Shout Out, and one of them lives in Salem. 

Katrina Stephanides knows her mother, Debbie, has a generous heart. 

"My mom is amazing," said Katrina. "Aside from being a mom, she goes above and beyond in every other aspect of her life."

Debbie has made her career working one-on-one with young people, as a therapeutic mentor for Children’s Friend and Family Services. 

"She’s just passionate and loves doing things for others," said Katrina. 

But there’s more. Debbie also works with kids in her free time. 

"Each year, each summer, my mom volunteers with the Fresh Air Fund to go out and find local families that would be willing to host a child for the summer," said Katrina. 

Debbie is the North of Boston Chairperson for the Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit organization that takes inner-city children from New York City and brings them to the suburbs. 

"We first hosted a Fresh Air Fund child when he was 6 years old," said Katrina. "His name is Joshua."

That was 14 years ago, and Joshua has come back every summer since. 

"He’s my brother, pretty much," said Katrina. "Anybody that my mom gets to know becomes part of our family."

Katrina actually learned about 7News’ Summer Shout Out from her mom!

"My mom posted on Facebook and wrote ‘I’m sure everyone knows someone that goes above and beyond.’ So I clicked it right there and I was like ‘My mom. There’s no question about that,’" said Katrina. 

Debbie would have never expected to be the one being given a two-night stay at the Hermitage Club in Westover, Vermont. 

"She does it just because she loves it," said Katrina, "but to be rewarded for it, she would be so excited."

Check back in with 7News throughout the week at 6 a.m. to see more Summer Shout Outs.

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