Photograph of Dave Holmes and a child at Baltimore School for the Arts

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Donor Spotlight: Dave Holmes + Labor of Love

BSA volunteer Dave Holmes has been getting his hands dirty at Labor of Love for almost 20 years.

Holmes first moved to Baltimore in 1992, and met BSA Board Member Samuel Polakoff a few years later while in graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University. When Holmes started looking for ways to get involved in the local community, he reached out to Polakoff, who told him about Labor of Love.

Labor of Love, BSA’s annual school clean-up day, originally focused on cleaning and painting. However, Holmes, a real estate developer and investor, saw other pressing needs, such as drippy faucets and electrical issues.

“Can I jump on this Sam?” he asked. “Take the ball and run with it,” Polakoff replied.

They began by asking faculty and staff what were the school’s most critical needs, and soon volunteers for Labor of Love tackled plastering, plumbing, electrical, and carpentry challenges as well.

“Baltimore School for the Arts produces amazing, talented young individuals and the building should be equal to them,” said Holmes.

Holmes, who moved from volunteer to head organizer of the event four years ago, keeps an eye out every time he visits the campus for projects to add to next year’s list. And he’s always looking for new volunteers to join him.

“We see people come in at 9 am, and when they leave at 1 pm, you can tell they had a great time because they know they made a difference,” said Holmes.

“But the best part is when the students come in on Monday morning and notice the difference.”

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