Founded in 2010, SeaStar Kids is a Nashville-based nonprofit, initially created to serve disadvantaged youth in Ukraine through Summer Bible Camps, youth activities, and college scholarships. That scope has expanded in response to the Russian invasion. Read on to meet the founder, the board, and our scholars.
Dr. Gary Jerkins is the Founder and President of SeaStar Kids. As an M.D., he also heads up Advancing Vision Research, LLC in Nashville, Tennessee.
Since 1996 his recurring trips to Ukraine have allowed him to share his faith through medical and humanitarian efforts. On numerous occasions, he has performed life-changing surgery for Ukrainians in need, and mentored native practitioners in the latest surgical techniques. Those long-time associations with the medical community in Western Ukraine have brought credibility to the Lord’s church, and continue to support outreach and humanitarian efforts in that part of the country today.
In 2010 Dr. Jerkins founded SeaStarKids, a 501(c)(3) Nashville-based non-profit organization that offers Ukrainian children the opportunity to attend a Christian summer camp and participate in monthly youth activities. Gary works tirelessly each year to provide the very best experiences for Ukrainian children, as well as identifying and mentoring skilled StarKeepers. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Healing Hands International and the Ukrainian Education Center.
"Dr. J.", as his friends call him, completed his undergraduate work at David Lipscomb University followed by medical school at the University of Tennessee at Memphis. After an internship at Methodist Hospital, Dr. Jerkins completed his residency at the University of Tennessee Department of Ophthalmology in Memphis. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Karen. They are the proud parents of three grown children: an eye surgeon, an actor and a corporate event planner.
Dr. Jerkins considers the practice of medicine not only a wonderful profession but also an art, combining scientific knowledge, clinical skills and Christian compassion. Above all, he is grateful that God has used that profession to lead him to a lifetime of service among the people of Ukraine.
Gary Jerkins, MD—President
Kelly Adams, CPA PC –Treasurer
Marcille Durham —-Secretary
Emilie Fowler, CPA
Ron Swang, DDS
· Special thanks to:
Jon Hutcheson, FaceBook Editor
Brittney Jerkins, Communications Director
· 1.NASTIA LAHMAN, Kiev Medical College, Department of Pharmaceutics. Graduation Date: 2019
· 2. NADIA YERMOLENKO, Kiev College of Light Industry, Department of Design. Graduation Date: 2020
· 3.OLEG YAKIMENKO, Odessa Christian University, Department of Economics. Graduation Date: 2020
· 4. KATIA CHESNEKOVA, Odessa Christian University, Psychology Department. Graduation Date: 2020
· 5. VOVA PHILIPPOWSKI, Odessa Computer Science and Information University, Computer Programming Department. Graduation Date: 2021
Serving disadvantaged Ukrainian youth through summer Bible camps and college scholarships has been the mission of SeaStar Kids for more than a decade.
The group is currently focused on providing humanitarian aid to displaced Ukrainian families.
Founded in 2010 by Dr. Gary Jerkins, SeaStar Kids was an outgrowth of years of medical and church mission work begun in 1996.
You can support the work of SeaStar Kids throughout the year:
Visit the website for activity updates, reports of SSK care of displaced Ukrainian families, and announcements of new ways to help,
Use the Donate Button to support SSK's humanitarian efforts in war-torn Ukraine.
Visit the Subscribe Box below to be a Friend of SeaStar Kids.
We will keep you updated on important developments including the upcoming 2022 Christmas Village where Ukrainian artisans will, once again, feature hand-crafted Santas and other items.
Sea Star Kids
Email: contact@Seastarkids.org MAIL: P.O. Box 150511, Nashville, TN 37215
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