C&P coordinator marshals help from business

Volunteers/Where good neighbors get together

January 15, 1991|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Evening Sun Staff

PAT KIRK, volunteer president of the Corporate Volunteer Council of Central Maryland, says, ''The council has many goals including promoting volunteerism, which is one of our greatest resources.''

Some of those goals are helping members organize their in-house volunteer efforts, establishing partnerships with non-profits, mentorships from business to business, providing education and training opportunities, acting as a clearinghouse for community needs and planning projects to help non-profit organizations.

''Our project this year is building a playground for the Children's Guild,'' she says.

An originator of the council, which was formed last January, Kirk says that all businesses, from the smallest to the largest, are welcome to join. ''And, we also welcome any individual who is interested,'' she adds.

As volunteer coordinator for the C&P Telephone Co., where she has worked for 25 years, Kirk proudly notes that ''my company is an innovator in corporate volunteerism and has today more than 1,000 workers in 20 teams who volunteer to non-profit organizations throughout the state. They outline needs and follow through with programs through the company, and they also give a tremendous amount of their own time,'' says Kirk, who is also a volunteer board member for the Child Abuse Prevention Center.

Kirk, 53, lives in Howard County with her husband, Donald, who is president of the Windsor Electric Co. Each has children -- there are five in all -- from a previous marriage.

Her desire to organize the Central Maryland Council she credits to her membership in the National Volunteer Center in Arlington, Va., which has 38 councils in the country with some 12 new ones being formed.

Kirk's steering committee included several members of United Way and Angelo Rossi of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. More than 65 corporations and businesses were represented at the kickoff meeting, which was hosted by BG&E. There were universities, insurance companies, banks, television stations, telephone companies, newspapers and many others, plus the Governor's Office on Volunteerism. Representatives of some 45 businesses have remained very active.

Officers of the council are Kirk, its president; vice president Claudia Wilkins from AT&T; treasurer Betsy Bender, of Maryland Casualty Co., and secretary David Minges, Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Their first project at the Children's Guild, 6802 McClean Blvd., will begin in March. Plans for the project began last year with mailings to some 200 agencies that help children. ''We asked them to design a sky's-the-limit project for us to do for them. We chose the Children's Guild and will build a playground to improve its services to the children,'' says Kirk.

The Children's Guild meets the needs of children and young adults who are emotionally disturbed, offering them education, counseling, residential and mental health care in a transitional program that bridges the gap between residential institutions and the community.

On March 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., anyone interested in working or donating materials to build a bicycle shed, install a fence, construct a baseball backstop, landscape several areas and clean up the woods surrounding the playground, which will require pruning and fertilization, are welcome.

Those wishing to join the Corporate Volunteer Council of Central Maryland or to volunteer for its projects should call Pat Kirk, 393-4838.

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