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“If we save the children, then we save the world”—Charlene D. Long

Born in Maine, Charlene and her family moved frequently during her childhood, finally settling in Florida, where she attended high school. Throughout her childhood, she remembers hearing and seeing her father’s concern for the needy and his examples of charitable deeds that have throughout her life served to influence her desire to help others.

Her father’s concern for others was based largely on his own Dickinsonian childhood: his mother had died at his birth, and he was shuttled between orphanages and foster homes, frequently being ill treated. Hearing these stories, as time passed she became sensitive in particular to those she describes as the “lost children of the world.”

As an undergraduate, Charlene went to Florida State University and then moved to the northeast where she got a master’s in Marine Biology. She taught at a community college and briefly at Harvard University. She engaged in and published on various research activities, notably with Massachusetts General Hospital’s Anesthesia Department, and with the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, where she served on the board for many years, receiving a life time achievement award for service in 2007.

After moving to Salem in 1979, Charlene became familiar with Plummer Youth Promise through friends at her church. As that familiarity grew through visits to Plummer and its events, she began to realize that Plummer was helping solve what she had recognized many years ago as the problem of lost children. As a result, and in her father’s memory, she has been a loyal and consistent donor as well as an advocate for Plummer ever since.

When asked why she supports Plummer she says that she feels that “if we save children, then we save the world”.