Debbie St. Onge, Heart of the Hudson Girl Scout Leader

This month’s Hudson Valley Hero donates her time and talents to local groups



St. Onge (right) volunteers at the Lunch Box alongside her daughter, Kristen

Debbie St. Onge “isn’t very good at watching TV.” Although the IBM engineer and mother of four enjoys unwinding with the Discovery Channel and episodes of The Big Bang Theory, she is more likely to spend her free time sorting through food drive donations at Dutchess Outreach or teaching Hyde Park elementary school students to play chess.

“Volunteerism has always been a part of my upbringing,” reflects the Illinois native and former Army brat. “The way I was brought up is that if you are blessed, you should share your blessings with others. We’re all in the same boat.”

Since graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology — where she met her husband, a fellow engineer — in 1988, St. Onge has called Poughkeepsie home. Here, she shares her benevolent ethos most prominently as a Girl Scout leader with the Heart of the Hudson council. “Young girls often get caught up in their own lives, and I try to open their eyes to other people’s experiences,” she explains.

Just before Valentine’s Day, for instance, St. Onge brought her troop to Castle Court at Concord Village in Poughkeepsie. The scouts helped the senior citizens residents make more than 300 heart-shaped pillows to give to patients at Saint Francis Hospital and Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

St. Onge is also a regular at Poughkeepsie’s Lunch Box, an initiative of Dutchess Outreach Center that supplies hot meals to local residents in need. She helps out at the kitchen every other Wednesday; on a recent visit, St. Onge and the large scout group she recruited managed to make everything from pasta to snickerdoodles to dog biscuits.

As a mentor for Girl Scout Gold and Silver Award projects, St. Onge guides her girls as they tackle tasks like weeding and trimming bushes; she says seeing them handle screwdrivers and power tools is empowering. “You’re helping kids realize their significant potential in an outdoor classroom,” she says.


 

nominate a hudson valley hero

Each month, we spotlight a Valley resident who goes the extra mile to help those in need. Our heroes are your friends and neighbors who volunteer their time and talents to assist others; their sole reward is knowing that they’ve contributed to making our region an even better place to live.

Do you know a Hudson Valley Hero? Share their story and a photo (optional) below, and they could be featured in print and on hvmag.com!

Your full name:

Your town/city:

Your email (if we need to contact you):

Your Hudson Valley Hero (full name):

Hero’s town/city:

Hero’s email (so we may contact them):

Hero’s phone (so we may call them):

Hero’s accomplishments or good deed (reason why they should be named a Hudson Valley Hero):

Note: Though we’d love to showcase all of the Valley’s good samaritans, please understand that nominations are for consideration only, to be reviewed by Hudson Valley Magazine’s editors. We only feature one Hero per month, so if you don’t see yours in print, don’t worry! We may be waiting to spotlight him or her in a future issue.

Sign up for our e-newsletters:

 The Hot Ticket: Be the first to find out what’s happening in the Valley, from rock concerts to food fests, in our Thursday events newsletter.

 The Corner Table: Our Friday dining newsletter dishes on restaurant reviews, recipes, and tips from the Accidental Foodie.

 HVM VIP Invitations & Special Offers: Special offers on local events, products, and services. (Note: emails may be comprised of promotional copy from advertisers. Emails are sent by Hudson Valley Magazine; we do not give our email lists to advertisers.)

Click here to subscribe to Hudson Valley Magazine (opens in new window)


This page requires javascript. It seems that your browser does not have Javascript enabled. Please enable Javascript and press the Reload/Refresh button on your browser.

You may upload an attachment with your submission. We accept the following file types:
jpg,jpeg,gif,zip,tiff


File:


 

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR

Finkelstein & Partners is committed to promoting the good works of people throu​ghout the Hudson Valley. View the video below to learn more about this program.


Giving kudos to our local do-gooders

About This Column

Each month, we spotlight a Valley resident who goes the extra mile to help those in need. Our heroes are your friends and neighbors who volunteer their time and talents to assist others; their sole reward is knowing that they’ve contributed to making our region an even better place to live.

Nominate a Hudson Valley Hero

Newsletters

Email:
Type: HTML Text
The Hot Ticket (events e-newsletter)
Be the first to find out what’s happening in the Valley, from rock concerts to food fests.
The Corner Table (dining e-newsletter)
We dish on the best restaurants, recipes, and tips from our Accidental Foodie.
HVM VIP Invitations & Special Offers
Get special offers on local events, products, and services.