Lamoille Restorative Center volunteer, Daniel Merges, has been part of LRC since summer of 2012. For several years he was on a court diversion panel. Daniel has recently joined the Stowe reparative panel. Lamoille County has been Daniel’s home since 2000.
We asked Daniel to tell us more about himself. Here’s what he told us:
What motivates you to be part of the work of LRC? What’s the most satisfying part of the work you do at LRC?
Alternatives to criminal justice are important to me. I believe in people working together to nurture, heal and restore their communities. Family culture is a part of my motivation too. My parents volunteered in prisons and offender re-entry programs when I was young. I come from serious do-gooder stock. We have a family tradition of at least four generations of teaching our children explicitly about service and generosity. The two most satisfying parts of the work at LRC are: the opportunities to work with the staff and volunteers, who are all deeply good people, and witnessing participants engaging in the process and becoming more connected to their community.
What do you do for your work and play?
I am a Clinical Case Manager at Laraway Youth and Family Services. I do a mix of service coordination, training, supervision and clinical work. I spend a lot of time in the outdoors: walking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, sitting beside streams and contemplating the mysteries of the universe. I enjoy reading spiritual poetry and listening to a wide range of music.
What is a “little known fact” about Daniel Merges you’d like to share?
My favorite stuffed animal as a child was a dog given to me by a family friend who had been wrongfully convicted of murder after participating in an armed robbery at age 19. He spent 9 years on death row in New York State. After his conviction was overturned, he was released, became a social worker and dedicated the rest of his life to working with at-risk youth.
Many thanks Daniel for all your years of service and support!