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Maplewood’s HEART Foundation: Caring for Those Who Care for Others

Our mission at Maplewood is to take care of not just our residents but the entire Maplewood family. Our associates who care for residents in our communities sometimes need extra financial help, especially in unexpected and extenuating circumstances.

What is the Maplewood HEART Foundation?

It is common for companies to have foundations or fundraising platforms to raise money for a local or national charity that meshes appropriately with the company brand. At Maplewood Senior Living, we have created a foundation specifically to benefit our associates.

In 2013, one of our associates, Kristin Hocker, had a life-changing, life-threatening event and sadly lost her leg. Without hesitation, President & CEO Gregory Smith and a team of colleagues put into motion the effort to provide financial assistance to Kristin and her four young children.

This marked the birth of Maplewood’s HEART Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity organization founded by Maplewood CEO and President Gregory Smith and led by Kristin Hocker, the foundation director, and first grant recipient. The foundation’s mission is to give support and financial help to Maplewood associates and their families. They may find themselves facing challenging times of unexpected, life-altering circumstances — including serious illness, a tragic accident, sudden death in the family, significant house-related damage, or the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Each month, our foundation director, Kristin, visits communities to educate associates about the HEART Foundation. She explains how the foundation works, how it can help them, the application process, etc. Kristin works closely with both the executive director and business office manager at each community, as they are often the initial points of contact with an associate who needs assistance. They guide the associate through the application process, and then Kristin works with the board for approvals and distribution of funds.

This February, we will be having our Sixth Annual Fundraising Campaign for the HEART Foundation. Throughout the month, each of our communities strives to bring in as much money as possible through creative fundraising ideas. While fundraising is not limited to February, it is an important month for kicking off fundraising for the year.

In addition to donations from our communities, Kristin works closely with VIP and corporate donors. We have Premier Sponsors, Signature Sponsors, and Partners in Caring, along with many other contributors who we rely on to additionally fund our needs each year. 

The impact of what we do comes down to what our associates say. To witness firsthand the story of how the foundation’s assistance helped an associate change their lives, put food on the table, or put a down payment on a new apartment — those are the stories that impact those who give. For example, Mateo Cox is a concierge at Maplewood in Weston. He had become disabled and felt like his life was over, but he told us, “Starting my work at Maplewood gave me a sense of community, purpose, and support. Through my recent challenge, the HEART Foundation quickly helped me get a safer collapsible wheelchair, giving me the ability to drive to work and be independently successful. I cannot express my gratitude enough for this life-changing act of kindness. I am proud to be part of the Maplewood team!”

Mateo’s story is just one of the many we’ve heard after associates receive help. To read more of their testimonials, visit our HEART Foundation page on our website. Each month, communities receive a newsletter with a testimonial or an account of how one community chose to raise funds for the foundation. You can donate directly to the foundation on our Network for Good page.

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1 Gorham Island Rd

Westport, CT 06880

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