Within each of us lies an ability to make a remarkable difference in the lives of others. It is very easy, however, in this busy and often stressful world this idea. Fortunately, Scott and Laurie Schoen have not forgotten, and because of them, amazing things are happening throughout Massachusetts.
The couple’s most recent endeavor, launched publicly in May 2000, brings generosity to a new level. The Schoens are Co-Chairs of the Millennium Fund for Children and Families, an endowment partnership between the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the Boston Foundation. The original goal of this initiative was to raise $15 million in three years to support human service agencies for children and families throughout the Boston area. The Schoens challenged the United Way of Massachusetts Bay to double the goal to $30 million and, in just over one year, $23 million has been raised toward that goal. Not only are the Schoens co-chairing the campaign, but they also contributed $1 million at its start and approached their friends, who responded by giving at the same level.
In addition to being the first contributors to the Millennium Fund, they are also members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, the annual giving fund, and contribute $100,000 to the annual United Way campaign. Scott Schoen is a member of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay Board, also serving on the Executive Committee and, in the past, the Community Ventures Committee.
The generosity and support of the Schoens far exceed monetary gifts. In 1987, Laurie Schoen founded Great Beginnings: Newton Transitional Kindergarten Program, Inc., where she acted as director and teacher until 1990. She later became an active volunteer for The Horizons Initiative, a nonprofit organization providing full-time daycare for homeless children at Horizons frequently, and often bringing her own children along. Both Laurie and Scott sit on the Horizons Board.
In addition, Laurie Schoen is actively involved with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay’s Suburban Women’s Action Team. Through this initiative, Laurie organized a food and toy drive for 54 families who were living in hotels because the local shelters were overcrowded. Laurie also serves as a volunteer in her children’s schools, the Weston Education Enrichment Fund, and the West Community Center, a multi-generational facility.
Meanwhile, Scott is active in other volunteer work, acting as a Director of Affordable Residential Communities, and has also worked with Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Jewish Vocational Services.
Scott and Laurie Schoen are not only benefiting the community through their human service initiatives, but also future generations, as they teach their four children the importance of volunteerism. Laurie Schoen once stated, “we see our charitable works as a family opportunity. We share our concerns and thoughts about the community with out children, as well as our successes in achieving our goals to make the world a better place for others.”