Every day, David Fyhr dedicates significant time and energy to many worthwhile causes, from working with severely neglected and abused children from St. Vincent's Children's Home to the improvement and success of United Way of Central Maryland to his leadership role with Health Care for the Homeless to the preservation of the Jerusalem Mill in Gun Powder State park and to local community pools, schools and youth recreation facilities as coach, mentor and friend. Most importantly, he has mobilized hundreds of committed volunteers from his family, young people he encounters, businesses, unions and the community.
Every year, more than 30,000 cases of child abuse are reported in Maryland. St. Vincent's Children's Home is a residential treatment facility for children, ages 18 months to 12 years, who have severe emotional and behavioral problems which stem from a history of abuse and neglect. By initiating the Bethlehem Steel's Annual Day of Caring, Fyhr and co-workers have made a difference in some of those children's lives. Annually, 75 management and labor employees come together for a full day of needed chores at the home, which included major landscaping, weeding, mulching and renovations of playgrounds. It is estimated that the donation of labor and materials saved St. Vincent's more than $20,000 every year. As a result, many employees have established year-round activities for the children on their own, including planting flowers for them in the spring and donating presents during the holiday seasons. In addition, Fyhr arranges visits to the steel mill. The children are amazed by the facility and are always made to feel as if they are the most important visitors to come to Sparrows Point.
Fyhr is also active with Health Care for the Homeless, Inc., Maryland's only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to providing medical, mental health, substance abuse, social work and outreach/education services to homeless men, women and children. Fyhr has been actively volunteering his time, knowledge, talent and material support to Health Care for the Homeless since 1997. He first came on to the Financial Development/Communications committee of the Board of Directors in an advisory capacity. His desire to be involved with the development activities was a major factor in the reorganization of the effectiveness of this committee.
In 1998, Fyhr was elected to the Board of Directors of Health Care for the Homeless. Fyhr brought to the Board years of volunteer expertise, but most importantly, he recommended other individuals and organizations to become involved in, especially, the financial development activities of Health Care for the Homeless. He personally made the initial necessary contacts, to then be followed up by the staff person responsible. As an example, he recruited a large, major pharmaceutical corporation, who has consistently contributed both financial and in-kind donations in support of the mission of Health Care for the Homeless.
"David Fyhr has a unique ability to establish relationships with diverse groups," states Larry Walton, President, United Way of Central Maryland. "Because of these relationships, he is able to leverage dozens of individuals with different skills to become involved with him. As a result, he has planted the seed of volunteering in many others' hearts to help their communities."
Many of the agencies for which he volunteers refer to him as a long-time volunteer and an old friend.