Hilary Garland of Rye, New York is a former marketing executive that brings her expertise to the Open Door Family Medical Centers, Inc. as a devoted volunteer. Open Door is a not-for-profit community health center providing quality primary health care and human services at affordable prices to New York’s Westchester and Putnam counties, particularly low-income, under-served residents and those lacking access to health care.
Open Door operates on a limited budget. Therefore, the organization would find it difficult to compensate a marketing executive what they would make in the corporate world. Nevertheless, Garland provides her marketing expertise to Open Door free of charge, and has been doing so now for the past three years. She assists with building capacity for the program and works on projects in which she can help promote the good work that Open Door is doing in the community.
Additionally, Garland is an essential contributor to the five school-based health centers Open Door operates in Port Chester, New York. She works with the health centers at the school to execute health education events as well as write proposals and presentations to secure potential funding.
This past spring, Garland’s efforts were instrumental in planning and executing Open Door’s first ever Wellness Day at Port Chester High School, an event for high school students with workshops and speakers, including former New York Giants punter Sean Landeta, to emphasize the importance of staying in shape and living a healthy lifestyle. For the event, Garland booked and coordinated 45 workshop leaders to come present three series of workshops to 1,400 high school students. The workshops included physical activities like soccer and boxing, substance abuse workshops, cooking classes and more. The event was such a success that the high school has approved and set the date to have it again next year.
The team at Open Door feels Garland has truly become an indispensable team member. She is reliable, goes out of her way to make herself available to team members, and empowers people within the organization about the good work that they are doing. She bolsters the team’s confidence by providing support and pushing them to get the word out about how wonderful, the program is. Over the years, they have offered Garland a paid position several times, and every time she has declined the offer letting them know she would never take more than $1.00 a day because she truly believes that she can best help the organization by being a volunteer, not an employee.