Resilient Nonprofits During Challenging Times
We are pleased to present the work of our resilient nonprofits over the last few months despite the impact of COVID-19 on their clients and operations. Check out new project and programming announcements, successes and achievements as they faced COVID-19, and unique ways the community can get involved to give back.
New Projects & Programming
YMCA Arts Center on Church Street
We would like to welcome The Y Arts Center to their new home at 115 E. Church Street. This building underwent significant renovations and will now be a perfect space for the YMCA Arts & Humanities Department which includes dance, creative arts, theater, and music.
Some of the first programming included Summer Camps for Head Start as well as Arts & Humanities. Future plans for The Y Arts Center include a Maker’s Space for local artists to teach, Drop-in Arts Programming, and Community Meeting Spaces. For more information, please contact Arts and Humanities Director Anthony Brock at email@example.com.
Teens in the Academy had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through the production of this video. A professional offered his expertise in filming, editing, production, and more!
Check out these highlights and more information about the Academy Programming.
Thanks to the hard work and generosity of the community, Maryland’s only recovery high school is set to open doors to students on August 31 at 117 E. Church St. Applications will be accepted soon! The last phase before opening will be to furnish the building. Please consider joining the Ausherman Family Foundation and 250 other sponsors in supporting this project by purchasing an item to help make recovery & education possible for everyone.
COVID-19 Response Successes
The Religious Coalition, Frederick County, and the City of Frederick, are partnering to provide rental assistance to those directly impacted by COVID-19.
For those who have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are behind on rent, The Religious Coalition may be able to help with rental assistance. Until further notice, Frederick County residents can apply for assistance in paying back rent resulting from the COVID crisis. For more information, click here.
In response to the pandemic, Frederick Community Action Agency (FCAA) is utilizing the Health Center to offer COVID-19 testing. The testing tent is located at the George L. Shields building and open from 9 am – 5 pm. The health center is also offering telehealth services to existing patients which can be scheduled by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 301-600-1393 or 301-600-1506. If you are not a current patient of the FCAA Health Center and are in need of healthcare services, complete an online intake form to determine qualification for healthcare services, click here.
FCAA also participated in the Food Distribution Initiative during COVID-19. To date, they have provided over 12,000 bags of food to various households throughout the community. The soup kitchen remains open for carryout and the food bank continues to operate. In collaboration with the Salvation Army, FCAA has mobilized its Food Bank to serve over 150 local seniors and families. Additional food drops are being coordinated with the Asian American Center of Frederick and the Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland in Frederick.
The Bread of Life kitchen and the Food Distribution Center are serving the hungry in our community throughout COVID-19 by pivoting how meals and groceries are distributed. Meals are served in take-out trays for breakfast and lunch each day. Groceries are pre-packed and distributed at the Frederick Rescue Mission campus and various food drops throughout the community. The Mission is also partnering with Ausherman Family Foundation to continue to enhance food security throughout the area by strengthening local food banks and providing resources to all area groups who want to take action to serve neighbors in need of food.
During COVID-19, the nonprofit expanded their services to help those in need as well as adjust and continue programming. Centro de Hispano supports the immigrant and Limited English Speaking Community. Weekly food and diaper giveaways serve about 75 families per week. They have continued to serve the Golden Years (Años Dorados) participants by providing older adults living by themselves with food and produce delivery.
Clients continue to be assisted with their unemployment applications and EBT cards. They recently celebrated graduation of over 30 high school student and gifted them with $50.00 Amazon gift cards and other goodies. The Exito Summer STEM program is underway and the English As A Second Language (ESL) and Citizenship classes have resumed following all the COVID-19 protocols.
In March, I Believe In Me (IBM) temporarily pivoted their mentorship programs to help w provide Frederick community youth and their families with food and nutrients to successfully complete distance learning. As the demand for food continued to increase, IBM partnered with other legacy food providers to create mobile food distributions and serve underserved areas. Over 10,360 individuals were served in locations expanding from Thurmont to Brunswick and Walkersville to Frederick City. For ways to support IBM and continue to spread hope into our community during these difficult times, please click here.
Since March 2020, the COVID-19 project at the Asian American Center of Frederick (AACF) has taken shape to help those who need it the most in Frederick County. AACF has assisted through Food Distribution, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Virtual Online Hub, creating masks and making technology available. The Asian American center utilized “RSVP”, a volunteer network for people 55 and over, to allow volunteers to stay connected to community during the pandemic. These senior volunteers made over 4,000 masks for individuals, families, medical facilities, places of faith and other Frederick County agencies. AACF is helping to provide essential items for individuals such as food, hand sanitizer, diapers, wipes, baby formula, and gift cards to small businesses in the Asian and local community. Through support of the Frederick Community Action Agency, The Salvation Army and Frederick Rescue Mission, AACF has distributed over 25,000 pounds of food.
A Virtual Hub was launched on the website for individuals to request assistance with services such as completing unemployment applications, healthcare, and food. When a request is received, office appointments are scheduled where social distancing and PPE is utilized. The Maternal Child Health Program and English as a Second Language Program meet online to allow participants to stay connected.
When the pandemic struck in March, Mission of Mercy continued to provide free healthcare, dental care and prescription medications to Frederick County patients who are uninsured, underinsured and sick and suffering from chronic health conditions. They quickly adjusted to a “telemedical/teledentistry model”. This included establishing “command central” at an undisclosed location where medical records and medications are stored and physicians and nurses connected with patients. Simultaneously, the dental director implemented a teledentistry program online to screen/triage dental patients, determine their oral health needs and ensure that they received necessary antibiotics until they could receive an appointment. Mission of Mercy is now utilizing a combined model of telemedical and teledentistry along with in-person visits at church clinic sites in Brunswick and Frederick. To ensure the personal health and safety of patients, and medical and dental teams, they follow all CDC protocols and use scheduled appointments.
Mission of Mercy’s signature, fundraising Gala, will be held at Ceresville Mansion either in-person, or virtually, on October 9. They are still seeking sponsorships for this significant, entertaining event. If you are interested in sponsoring the Gala, or learning more about Mission of Mercy, please contact Linda Ryan, Executive Director, at 301.682.5683 ext. 202 or via email at: email@example.com.
Supporting Our Community
Support organizations by giving back to our community through virtual fundraisers, unique events, and more!
This year, participants can enjoy a custom Tour de Frederick experience! Just pick a place and time you want to ride and GO any time from August 1 – 16, 2020. Register today, start a team, join a team, become a sponsor, or donate to a friend who is riding – no matter how you choose to participate, YOU are giving kids in Frederick a safe, fun place to go with engaging experiences and caring professionals. YOU are opening doors and building great futures for the youth in Frederick County. For more information, click here.
In The News:
Tour de Frederick to be held socially distanced this year, Frederick News Post, July 31, 2020
On Sunday, August 9th at 2 pm, join acclaimed storytellers Noa Baum & Regi Carpenter via Zoom for an uplifting family show of shimmering stories entitled “Story Gems: Radiant Tales of Hope and Courage”. This feast for the imagination will reconnect us to a wealth of traditional and universal values the world over. It is a free event and donations are not required but always appreciated! To register and receive the Zoom link, click here.
In The News: Tour de Frederick to be held socially distanced this year, Frederick News Post, July 31, 2020
The Intermission Project, an initiative created by the Community Outreach Committee which will ensure that upon the reopening of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, all residents of Frederick County can partake in live performing arts regardless of their ability to pay. This fund will provide free tickets for first responders, healthcare workers, front-line employees and those impacted financially by COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 has shuttered theaters and live performance spaces, people still turn to the arts for comfort through streamed concerts and plays. For more information, click here.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore Now Open & Blue Crabs and Blue Prints Fundraiser
Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is now open with limited hours to donate and shop! Temporary hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 AM – 2 PM and Saturday 9 AM to noon. Hours will change as they adjust to adhere to COVID-19 requirements in an effort to keep employees, donors and customers safe and healthy.
The signature Blue Crabs & Blue Prints event has transitioned this year to a new ‘to-go’ format which will keep everyone safe while raising critical funds to help Habitat provide the stability of an affordable home to more people in our community. Crab feasts and lots of add-ons are available for pre-order HERE – and must be pre-ordered by August 2 for pick-up from the Walkersville Fire Hall on August 8! We invite everyone to crack claws for a good cause – at home!
The 12th annual Stuff the Bus, is a school supply campaign that benefits thousands of local FCPS students each year. Due to COVID-19, even more families will struggle this year to provide the school supplies their children need. The campaign will now allow donors to contribute supplies virtually through an online store. In addition, businesses, community groups and others can set up teams and host a virtual drive online. Individuals can also make a monetary donation for supplies. United Way hopes to collect more than 93,000 supplies for up to 8,000 elementary, middle, and high school students. For more information on this year’s Stuff the Bus drive, including how to set up a group, order online or make a donation, click here.
United Way of Frederick County also continues to operate financial stability programs through the Prosperity Center with its partners. Through a first time home ownership program, credit assistance, budget coaching and other opportunities we work with families to achieve their goals of financial independence. Learn more about what is available and how we can help in this flyer.
This September, Community Living, Inc. will host a Netflix virtual watch party of the popular 80s cult classic, “Airplane!” Donors receive a gift card and/or a t-shirt just for participating. During the movie, trivia questions will be sent out with winners earning anything from gift cards to cash prizes! Community Living, Inc. supports people who have Down syndrome, autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities. This event will replace the annual fall gala which raises funds for programming and operations. To be added to the email list and receive updates and the Netflix link, email Elaina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to give neighbors assistance and hope during this unprecedented time of need, the Seton Center expanded their abilities to include any pandemic-related expense, not only medical or housing-related. To assist with costs, a COVID-19 Recovery Campaign was launched to assist northern Frederick County residents. Their goal is to raise $100,000 and they are little more than halfway there. To contribute to the campaign, click here.
The Seton Center has made several adjustments to accommodate COVID-19. For client intake, they are preventing unnecessary risk of exposure by making all initial requests and gathering of information online via a webform, email, and phone. It has streamlined the process for everyone involved, allowing them to reach more people. For the future and when it is safe to do so, they plan to continue in-person programs but with limited numbers and a virtual contingency plan.
The Hope Fund was established as a response to COVID-19 to support middle school girls participating in the S.W.A.G. program. These middle school girls and their families received funding for any needs generated by the pandemic. In addition to fundraising, ECLN found unique ways to keep the girls involved. They sponsored a Mother-Daughter Cooking class taught by a professional chef.
On Saturday, August 29th, a the S.W.A.G. Virtual Fundraiser will take place live at 12 pm and a silent auction is open from 9am-5pm. Don’t miss out on exclusive door prizes! Register here.
On July 11, 2020, Interfaith Housing Alliance (IHA) celebrated 30 years of affordable housing development and preservation. Due to the pandemic, they found a different way to celebrate by sharing home ownership stories from participants. They also announced the temporary transition to community based and virtual service delivery platforms. Programming including home ownership classes, financial education classes and credit cafes will be offered online. This format will allow participants to erase barriers such as transportation and childcare as well as expand program access.
Nonprofit Achievements During COVID-19
Even as our community faced the impact of COVID-19, nonprofits found creative ways to continue their programming and support their clients. Congratulations on these achievements!
On June 30th, Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) launched a new program, “Discover Your Powers” Virtual Studio Series, created by the Frederick County Youth Action Board in place of the New Horizons Academy. The eleven-session online program has been developed by Story Tapestries, a Montgomery County-based educational nonprofit that utilizes the arts to teach life lessons and skills. Story Tapestries’s resident artists lead the instruction in subjects as diverse as storytelling, puppetry, jam poetry, and graphic design. The program is open to youth experiencing homelessness and enrolled in Frederick County Public School high schools. To review registration for the program, click here.
Even through the pandemic, participants in the Woman to Woman Mentoring program were eager to keep moving forward in identifying and working toward their education, career, and life goals. The group was able to pivot quickly by utilizing video conference and other electronic formats to continue sessions. Mentees have been focused on their futures and volunteer mentors have been extremely dedicated in their work. Applications for new mentees and mentors are still being accepted! Visit womantowomanmentoring.org to learn more, apply or to donate!
Families, friends, and even pets cruised through the parking lot where staff safely distanced with signs, noise makers, and lots of love! They continue to support participants and their caregivers with daily calls, virtual activities, emotional support and links to other resources. Over 45 families drove through to say hello and it was a spirit booster that everyone needed!
The Literacy Council partners with Plamondon Hospitality Partners (PHP) to bring English language classes to hotel associates. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adaptations were made including online classes and adjusted curriculum. PHP provided safe social distancing learning spaces and contributed laptops, tablets and technical support for students. The curriculum focused on new hotel industry cleaning and maintenance processes and emphasized vocabulary for simple customer conversations related to frequency of sanitization to boost consumer confidence that appropriate guidelines were being followed.
The purpose of the program is to empower limited English language proficient employees to gain sustainable employment, contributing to achieving greater financial stability and impacting the lives of their families. The program will also help employers identify and retain an educated workforce and reduce turnover, thereby strengthening the entire community. Additional classes will continue in the fall. For more information on the Workplace Literacy Program contact coordinator Kim Brown, email@example.com.
The Mental Health Association of Frederick County (MHA) recently celebrated 4 young people and their families as they graduated from the Healthy Families Program. This is a free, voluntary home visiting service designed to support first time parents. The program provides quality, strength-based, family-centered services and support, and access to community resource agencies to help build stronger families, healthier children and a better community. During these times of uncertainty, MHA is continuing to support families in need of support through ways that are safe for both them and the staff. Family Support Specialists also offer virtual home visiting services.
Throughout the pandemic, Second Chances Garage was able to continue their mission of providing car ownership as a critical leg up in life for those in need as well as low-cost auto repair to help them keep their car on the road so they can provide a better future for their families. Check out this video of a Program Car Recipient whose life will be changed by an apprentice who donated his car to give someone else opportunities they deserve and worked hard for. To donate a car or learn more about how you can support this organization, click here.
Heartly House remained open as clients need them more than ever providing essential services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and child abuse. They ensured crisis, hotline, legal and shelter staff are available on the front lines while counseling staff began telehealth by meeting with clients individually and in groups over a secure virtual platform.
This virtual platform will be used to offer a weekly Summer Series of community training and awareness events. The Summer Series will include topics introducing their work or classes on how to potentially save a life and help to end sexual violence. For the most up to date information, follow Heartly House on Facebook, Instagram and news on their website.
Heartly House is working to adapt their biggest awareness event, Walk a Mile in Their Shoes to tentatively take place this fall. It will be a week of activities and virtual participation encouraging individuals and teams to register to walk over a period of time, log their walk, post to social media, and more. Stay tuned for details!
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