The corrugated sky blue walls of the Starfinder building may not merit a second glance to many. For Mack Hardaker, it did.
Later, after visiting the website, he liked what Starfinder stood for. He then looked for volunteer information. Mack remembers thinking, “it was meant to be,” after reading the volunteer description.
In short, the job was to fix and build things. Which was good for Mack, because as a former contractor, he “needed an outlet for these random bizarre skills.”
He said those skills allow him to help the staff by making their jobs easier. That involves generally making the facility better for them and for the kids.
“My role is to help make things a little bit easier, a little more comfortable, a little bit safer.”
Mack not only enjoys volunteering at Starfinder, but in medical-related roles. Which is no surprise, because he has always held an interest in medicine. He’s currently enrolled in Drexel University’s College of Medicine’s Medical Science Master’s Program, and is starting to apply to medical school.
Those other roles include volunteering at St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital with their Child Life program. “I help kids feel like they’re kids,” he says.
He’s also volunteered with Kids First, a mission group that goes to Latin America for eight days every May. They perform surgeries on the kids there free of charge. His first trip with the group was in 2004, to the Dominican Republic.
“I do everything and nothing,” he says of his role with the group. Not yet a doctor, he has made himself useful in other ways. He handles the logistics for the surgeons and nurses. He meets the kids when they arrive at the hospital. He keeps track of all of the data for the kids. He also helps in the operating room.
No matter where he spends his time volunteering, his passion is evident. Although medical school may take him away from Starfinder and his current volunteering roles, any non profit or organization would be lucky to have him.
Thank you Mack for all of your hard work over the past year and a half. You have truly made a difference at Starfinder!