Meet February’s Volunteer of the Month
“I think volunteering is in my DNA.” It’s a bold claim, but Ken Johnson, our February Volunteer of the Month, has a track record that backs it up. He is a Philadelphia native who has worked at GlaxoSmithKline for over two decades, and he regularly volunteers at numerous organizations in the city. At VIP, his work exemplifies the role non-attorney volunteers play in empowering our community through pro bono.
Ken takes a “holistic” approach to service. “We can all find ways to help our community,” he says, and he means it: he and his family volunteer to deliver food, support homeless outreach, and repair homes, to name a few. As a VIP volunteer, Ken puts his legal skills to work addressing tangled titles. “Housing is one of the pillars of my volunteer work. When you help someone become a homeowner, that person can stay in their home, make repairs, and leave something behind for their family,” he says.
While Ken’s family, work, and other commitments keep him busy, he emphasizes the support he receives from VIP on his pro bono cases. “I can tell the staff at VIP care about what they do. They’re patient, understanding, and always willing to help,” he says. “VIP has a consistent mission, and I’ve seen that mission get results.”
Ken indeed gets results for his VIP clients. In 2018, he volunteered at a VIP tangled title intake clinic in West Oak Lane. He met with community members to gather facts about their homeownership issues, and although he had no obligation to do so, he and a GlaxoSmithKline attorney agreed to represent one of the clients after the clinic.
“Our strategy sessions were nothing short of amazing,” Ken says of his work on the case. “It took time, but we never gave up. Now we’re at the finish line, and we’re about to record the deed. We’re putting a piece of generational wealth in our client’s hands. I can’t wait.”