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A New Lease on Life
How your United Way contributions opened a door for one employee.

blank Kevin Schofield
When he's not finessing floors, Kevin Schofield enjoys playing speed chess on the Internet or with friends.

Early on a Monday morning, Kevin Schofield arrives on Marburg 2 to inspect the floors, just as he's done for the past four years. The floor tech—one of only 15 who knows how to operate all the buffing and cleaning equipment—will spend the next couple of hours removing heel marks and restoring the floor's surface till he's satisfied with the shine.

Schofield, 43, wasn't always this diligent about his work, or his life. He credits the Christopher Place Employment Academy for helping to transform him from an unemployed recovering heroin addict to a skilled laborer who takes pride in his work.

Christopher Place, affiliated with Catholic Charities—a core United Way partner—is but one example of how your United Way contributions help people like Schofield.

The Johns Hopkins campaign, which runs from Oct. 15 through 26 (Howard County General Hospital: Oct. 22 through Nov. 17), makes it easy for you to choose from one or more of United Way's larger partners, like the American Cancer Society, or one or more of United Way's smaller impact agencies, like the House of Ruth.

You also may donate to any health or human service nonprofit agency of your choice. Last year, Health System and School of Medicine employees contributed more than $1.4 million to United Way, exceeding their goal by $81,000. With your help, this year's Hopkins Medicine's goal of $1.4 million will be reached.

The key, says VP and General Counsel Joanne Pollak, who's chairing the campaign, is your participation, no matter how much or little you can afford to give. "Your participation reflects your personal commitment to help others. It also reflects, with the participation of other employees, Hopkins collective commitment to its community."

Christopher Place, says Schofield, offered the structure and support he needed to turn his life around. The residential program provides education and training, as well as emotional, spiritual and addiction support to formerly homeless men. The 12-week program includes life skills classes on self-esteem, conflict resolution, money management, addiction recovery support and job readiness.

Once the resident has accepted a full-time job, he works with a retention counselor to achieve at least one year of continuous employment. Early on, Schofield says he knew he was on the path to success, thanks to the counselors, clergy and volunteers at Christopher Place. "There's nothing phony about them—they really care."

Meanwhile, Marburg 2 nurse manager Carol Kersch knows she can count on Schofield when things get busy. "Whenever we need extra help, Kevin will pitch right in with no complaints. He's really easy to work with."

Schofield, who has since purchased a home, notes that, except for TV commercials, he knew little about the organization. But since Schofield started working at Hopkins, every pay period he's taken $6 out of his paycheck for United Way. "I know where they're going and what they're all about," he says. "It's a blessing for people around the world."

—Judy Minkove

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Hopkins helping the United Way raise money and not lots of other charities that are just as important?

Because more than 82 years ago, major nonprofit charities formed the United Way to be the one organization to enter into the workplace and raise money for them and other participating organizations.

Instead of countless charity campaigns at the office each year, there’s one. United Way handled pledges to over 1,000 nonprofit organizations last year alone.

Why not give directly to my favorite charity?

You could. But consider that United Way of Central Maryland handles substantial marketing, fund raising, accounting and customer service expenses for its funded agencies. United Way’s overhead expenses are very low, and using the organization as a collection vehicle saves on overhead for your charity.

How much of every dollar donated to the United Way actually goes to United Way of Central Maryland or designated charities?

Overhead percentages vary from year to year. Over the past decade, about 82 cents of every dollar donated to the United Way of Central Maryland goes to programs and services.

 

 

 

 

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