Grant Recipients 2003 – 2020

$682,552 to 99 non-profit organizations

2020 GRANT RECIPIENTS 15 grants totaling $51,176

The following is a description of each of the 2020 grants, approved March 4, 2020.  In light of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Board of Directors voted at its April 4, 2020 meeting to give this year’s grant Recipients the option to use the awards for their greatest needs

Community Mediation Upper Shore, Inc. (CMUS) $5,996
“Conflict Resolution & Arts for Teens & Tots (CRAFT-T)”

For 16 years, the mission of Community Mediation of the Upper Shore has been to address community and individual disagreements providing free mediation services to all communities throughout Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties.  Last year, 580 individuals were directly served through facilitation, mediation and conflict awareness programs, with a ripple effect within their families and throughout Kent and QA Counties.  CMUS programs include: Family reunification mediation for incarcerated parents at the Kent Co. Detention Center; 15-week “Gettin’ Ahead” workshops for community members in poverty; facilitation meetings for parents/guardians of QAC public school students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that requires a team approach to receiving supportive services; and, in partnership with Kent and QAC Family Courts, child-access mediation services to parents or guardians who cannot afford a paid mediator.  As part of the “Gettin’ Ahead” program, CMUS built a strong relationship with the Baywood Village subsidized housing community located in Fairlee, Kent County, 7.5 miles from any grocery, food pantry, or town.  This grant will support the CRAFT-T program, developed in partnership with the Kent County Arts Council, to bring arts and conflict management skills to children in Baywood Village.  The program will run from late June through the end of August providing breakfast and lunch daily along with crafts, art projects, dramatizations, and music.

Compass Regional Hospice $1,000
“Memory Bears”

Compass Regional Hospice, located in Centreville, is a fully licensed, accredited, independent, community-based non-profit organization certified by Medicare and the State of Maryland.  Established in 1985, Compass Regional Hospice is now the sole provider of in-home (including services at nursing homes and assisted living facilities), residential and in-patient hospice care for residents of Queen Anne’s, Kent, and Caroline Counties.  Its mission is “to provide the highest quality hospice care and grief counseling services for patients and families … while maintaining a fiscally sound and progressive organization led by compassionate, committed, caring, and trustworthy professionals and volunteers.”  In 2018, over 600 patients received quality hospice and pre-hospice care and grief services were provided to more than 1,000 residents in their service area.  They provided 796 face-to-face counseling sessions for individuals, 8-week support groups for 52 clients, monthly drop-in support groups for 43 clients, family counseling for 16 families, and school-based counseling for 125 students.  Additionally, the bereavement camp, Camp New Dawn, hosted 93 campers and 8 families, and Remembrance Events and therapeutic workshops served 230 participants.  Compass Regional Hospice has observed that sometimes the smallest things have the biggest impact – after the death of a beloved family member, the sight of the deceased’s favorite item or article of clothing can trigger a flood of memories and can contribute to a healthy grieving process.  In 2019, Compass volunteers began making “Memory Bears,” hand-stitched teddy bears made out of the deceased hospice patient’s favorite item of clothing.  Each family that participates in the program brings an article of clothing that has meaning to them, which is then turned into a treasured keepsake.  In 2019, 229 Memory Bears were made, and it is anticipated 300 will be made in 2020.  This grant will underwrite the cost of supplies for making the bears and advertising to recruit new volunteers to join the Memory Bears sewing circle.

Delmarva Community Services, Inc. $5,000
“Academy Street Women and Children’s Home”

Delmarva Community Services, Inc. was established in 1974 to address the needs of adult individuals with disabilities.  Today, DCS is a multi-service non-profit agency whose mission is to help people who wish to maintain dignity and independence within their community on the Delmarva Peninsula.  Programs have expanded and DCS now offers an extensive list of services for the entire community including: Delmarva Works vocational program; public transit services in four counties for MTA; Area Agency on Aging, which prepares and delivers 300 meals daily in Dorchester and Talbot Counties; Respite Care Program; Adult Medical Day Care for Dorchester and Talbot Counites to serve medically frail individuals; and, Community Action, which operates the Delmarva Community Action Center providing a food pantry, transitional home for men, foreclosure assistance, income tax preparation, rental assistance, and housing rehabilitation.  DCS recently renovated a five-bedroom house in Hurlock with the goal of providing transitional housing for women and children.  Under its 2GEN Initiative, DCS will use a whole family approach to assure that mothers and families receive the necessary services to successfully achieve positive outcomes, leading them to sustaining permanent housing. This grant will support the Academy Street Women and Children’s Home.

For All Seasons, Inc. $2,500
Dare to Lead / Brené Brown

For All Seasons (FAS) was founded in 1986 by a group of social work students concerned about child sexual assault in Easton. Today, 34 years later, FAS is the largest licensed Behavioral Health and Rape Crisis Center serving all five Mid-Shore Counties with offices in Easton, Denton, Cambridge, Chestertown, Stevensville, and Tilghman, accepting clients of all ethnic groups, ages, races, and levels of ability or disability regardless of their ability to pay.  For All Seasons provides community-based psychiatry, psychotherapy, group therapy, and case management.  The Rape Crisis Center, with its 24-hour bi-lingual hotline, offers a continuum of services to support and treat victims of rape and sexual assault.  In 2019, the For All Seasons Center for Learning opened, offering training workshops, seminars and lectures to schools, community groups, and other providers.  Among the 2020/21 programs will be two Dr. Brené Brown “Dare to Lead” training sessions, led by FAS’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Clinical Officer who have attended the Dare to Lead facilitator workshop.  Dare to Lead focuses on courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy; the workshops will teach four skill sets of courage: “Rumbling with Vulnerability, Living into Our Values, Braving Trust, and Learning to Rise.”  This grant will help underwrite one of the workshops, open first to women affiliated with local non-profits and civic organizations.


Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake $1,500
“Access for All Girls”

Established in Annapolis in 2005, Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake (GOTRGC) reaches close to 1,800 girls a year at over 130 sites in Baltimore City and five Maryland counties, including Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties.  The after-school program brings together teams of 8-15 girls to meet twice a week during 10-week spring and fall seasons.  The professionally developed curriculum encourages positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development.  Girls learn different tools and techniques to help work through challenging situations they may encounter in adolescence.   Lessons are integrated with training for an end-of-season community 5K run in which all girls participate and learn the very tangible lesson of setting goals and overcoming challenges.  Research by The Women‘s Sports Foundation shows physical activity is a fundamental solution to the serious and unique health and social problems faced by all girls.  Regular participation in physical activity promotes the development of a positive body image, confidence, and self-esteem and has proven to improve academic performance and career success.  Girls also participate in a Community Impact Project that each team develops and completes during the season, demonstrating they can be agents for positive change in their communities.  This grant will underwrite the enrollment fee for ten Mid-Shore girls.

Greater New Hope Church & Ministries $3,000
“Fitness in Action Girls”

New Hope Church & Ministries (GNHC&M) was established in Caroline County in the 1940s and is now permanently located in Preston.  In 2012, its building and ministries were expanded to meet the needs of its growing congregation.  As a community meeting place for all ages, GNHC&M offers the following non-sectarian programs: Fitness in Action, SHARE Community Pantry, Cub Scout Pack 226, Man Up, and Sister to Sister.  Fitness in Action (FIA) is a six-month fitness, healthy lifestyle, mental health education, and mentoring program for girls ages 12-18.  Maryland ranks 13th in the nation for the highest obesity rate among children ages 10-17, and within that group, African American girls have the greatest percentage of obesity.  FIA’s curriculum is based on the “Eat Healthy Be Active” initiative that teaches girls healthy weight isn’t about short term dietary changes; with a goal to lose 3% body weight and improve blood pressure rates, participants learn healthy eating skills and increase their physical activity (30 minutes/day) while building self-esteem and mental stability through mentoring.  FIA anticipates serving 30-50 girls in 2020, and this grant will underwrite the program expenses.

Haven Ministries $2,500
“Case Management Services”

Haven Ministries, Inc. is a nonprofit organization formed fifteen years ago to assist the poor within Queen Anne’s County.  Since then it has grown to include: a long-term cold weather shelter (October-April) with extensive case management services; a Resource Center with educational programming and financial assistance; an emergency food pantry and thrift store; Shelter transportation services; Hope Warehouse, which sells used furniture, appliances, and building supplies; Job training; Art for Your Home that provides artwork to clients donated by local artists; and, Street Outreach Program that sends staff out into the community to help individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis.  Open to men, women, and children, Haven Ministries provided 211 nights of service to 38 people (26 adults and 12 children) during the 2018-19 shelter season. Case management is critical to the smooth delivery of services to Haven Ministries’ fragile clients, and this grant will cover a portion of a Housing Assistance Program case manager’s salary.

Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s $2,800
“Horizons Social-Emotional Resources for Children of Poverty”

Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s provides academic support and meaningful enrichment to underprivileged elementary and middle school children.  For young people from low-income families facing limited access to things like technology, cultural enrichment, the arts, regular exercise, and healthy food, Horizons closes gaps of opportunity that begin at a young age.  Horizons is different because it delivers high quality academic, enrichment, and social/emotional support to students by building lasting, long-term relationships and partnerships between students, teachers, families, and communities.  The six-week program, located at The Gunston School, Kent School, and Washington College, is often described as “six weeks of happiness.”  It serves students from Pre-K – 8th grade. Skilled and nurturing educational professionals in small classes utilize hands-on teaching methods focusing on reading, writing, and math.  Students also learn to swim and participate in activities that foster creativity, confidence, citizenship, and wellness.  In 2019, Horizons enrolled 183 students (57% female), all of whom met the Federal poverty requirements to receive the Free and Reduced Meal program.  It is anticipated 195 students will enroll this summer.  Many of the students struggle with the challenges of poverty and trauma, and last year a licensed clinical social worker was hired to support their social-emotional needs.  This support resulted in a reported increase of the students’ academic progress, indicating the positive difference the social worker had on the effectiveness of the summer learning program.  This grant will support the full-time social worker’s salary plus resource materials for Horizons’ 2020 program.

Maryland Community for Life – Talbot $ 2,880
“Community for Life Scholarship Program”

The. Mission of Maryland Community for Life – Talbot (CFL-Talbot) is to offer innovative options for positive, safe, healthy aging for Talbot County seniors who wish to live independently in their own home through personalized, affordable, non-medical support and services.  CFL-Talbot is a membership fee-based program providing in-county transportation, monthly home maintenance, home safety assessments, fraud prevention, information and referral services, telephone chat service, and monthly social and educational programs.  Until 2035, 10,000 baby boomers will 65 every day; in Maryland, 72% of the seniors living alone are female.  The Scholarship Fund makes it possible for senior women in Talbot County to age in place with dignity and independence as long as safely possible.  This grant will underwrite the annual membership fee for five new scholarship female members.

Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence $1,500
“Food Pantry Program”

The mission of Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV) is to create healthy opportunities to break the cycle of domestic violence through intervention and prevention for victims and abusers; and by changing society’s attitudes and systems that permit and promote such violence against women, men, and families.  MSCFV provides services that span from crisis-focused hotline, legal services, and emergency shelter to counseling, education, economic empowerment programs, and longer-term transitional housing.  According to the Maryland Uniform Crime Report and data on the percent of victims that do not report family violence, more than 1,000 reported and unreported domestically-related crimes occur each year in the five Mid-Shore counties.  Between July 2018 and June 2019, MSCFV served 531 victims of family violence and their 824 children; some of the services provided were 479 hotline calls, 638 crisis counseling sessions and 4,462 non-crisis counseling services, and 6,527 follow up services.  This grant supports the Food Pantry Program, available at all five locations, to ensure victims of family violence and their children have access to healthy nourishment throughout their time with MSCFV.

MidShore Meals til Monday $7,000
“School Backpack Program”

Located in Dorchester County, MidShore Meals til Monday (MtM) is a year-round “backpack” organization sending home weekend food for food insecure children attending Dorchester County Public Schools, including various summer schools and programs.  Founded in 2017, MtM has grown from serving 25 students at Vienna Elementary to providing food for nearly 500 students at four elementary, one middle, and one high school.  Backpack meals include a nutritious breakfast, lunch, beverage, piece of fresh fruit, healthy snack, and an incentive item such as a pencil or stickers.  Every three months, backpacks include dental supplies and, in cold winter months, include warm hats and gloves.  MtM’s mission statement summarizes its objective: “Working to end childhood hunger on the Mid Shore and beyond.”  In order to do so, MtM purchases food from the Maryland Food Bank and other sources, such as warehouse clubs.  In Dorchester County, all students qualify for federally funded, school provided breakfast and lunch.  MtM bridges the gap over the weekends for almost half of the 1,000 food-insecure children attending DCPS.  This grant will be used for the purchase of food for the School Backpack Program.

Soroptimist International of Talbot County, Maryland $1,500
“Dream It, Be It; Career Support for Girls”

Soroptimist International (SI) is a global volunteer movement working to transform the lives of women and girls.  SI is made up of over 75,000 clubs in 122 countries – Soroptimist International of the Americas was formed in 1921 and currently has about 120,000 members.  The local club, Soroptimist International of Talbot County (SITC), was chartered in 1964 and since that time has taken on projects to educate, empower, and enable opportunities for women and girls.  Advancing girls’ access to education and training is now widely accepted as a human right and development imperative.  In 2012-13, SIA conducted extensive research that identified emerging issues in the adolescent girl world and how best to use Soroptimist members’ time and talent to meet the needs of girls in their communities.  Research found the challenges faced by girls include violence, body-image related issues, peer pressure, and dropping out of school.  And, it showed that a quality education and knowledge of available opportunities were important in helping girls achieve their dreams.  With the results of their research, SIA developed the Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls program.  The seven sessions are: Discovering Your Dreams; Exploring Careers; Creating Achievable Goals; Rising Above Obstacles; Turning Failure into Success; Balancing Your Stress; and Putting Dreams into Action.  Skills developed during the program can be applied to any goal girls identify throughout their education and careers.  Presented in Talbot and Dorchester Counties for the first time last year, SITC plans to repeat the program this year estimating they will serve 15-30 9th grade girls.  This grant will support the costs of the 2020 program.

Talbot Interfaith Shelter $5,000
“S4: Shelter – Stability – Support – Success”

Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) was founded eleven years ago to serve homeless families and individuals in the Mid-Shore region.  In 2014, a permanent shelter was opened, and ten transitional apartments have subsequently been added.  TIS typically serves 50 people a year, from newborns to senior citizens. TIS is the only local shelter that serves families with children.  As of 2019, there were 17 homeless children in Talbot County Public Schools, indicating approximately 65-70 families without access to stable housing.  Additionally, there are 40-50 individual men and women experiencing homelessness.  Rural areas face unique challenges for the homeless as services tend to be very spread out and public transportation is unreliable.  On top of not knowing where to find service providers or having easy access to them, efforts are further complicated by the fact that each agency needs different paperwork, identification, and other information.  In response to these challenges, TIS has developed the S4 (Shelter, Stability, Support, Success) program – a long-term, comprehensive program to create sustainable change in guests’ lives.  As they move through the steps of S4, guests are connected to relevant social services, taught how to save and plan a budget, and given access to mental health counseling and addiction treatment.  Those without a high school degree are required to complete GED classes.  Other classes include life skills, nutritious cooking on a budget, parenting, and anger management. TIS has partnered with local agencies, including For All Seasons, St. Vincent du Paul, and Chesapeake College, for this program.  When certain criteria have been met (budget, savings, emotional, mental, and physical stability,) guests move into rent-subsidized transitional housing where they continue to receive case management.  It typically takes three years to graduate from S4, but smaller successes are celebrated along the way.  This grant will support the S4 program.

Talbot Mentors $5,000
“One-on-One Mentoring Support for Girls Aged 6-18”

For 22 years, Talbot Mentors (TM) has continuously matched underserved girls and boys ages 6-13 from Talbot County with caring adult volunteers for long-term one-on-one mentoring relationships, at no cost to the youth.  Since inception, TM has supported over 700 Talbot County youth.  Talbot County Public School guidance counselors and teachers identify and refer girls and boys to TM throughout the school year.  A majority of mentees live with single mothers on an income below the poverty line, with African American and Latino children being disproportionately impacted by poverty.  Through consistent support, guidance, coaching and role modeling, the volunteer mentors instill values and standards, help their mentees succeed in their personal and professional lives, and increase their quality of life expectations. Statistics show young people who have a mentor in their early lives are 55% more likely to attend college and 78% more likely to volunteer in their community.  Mentors and mentees meet for at least two hours each week for a year – and 45% of matches have continued for more than three years.  Mentors and mentees do a variety of activities together, including reading and homework help, sports, visiting new places, cooking, learning job skills, eating out, and just talking.  Currently, there are 44 girl mentees (46% of all mentees) matched with a local woman as mentor.  During 2020, it is anticipated another 15-20 girls will be matched.  This grant will support the One-on-One Mentoring Support for Girls, including mentor recruitment expenses, background checks, and mentor training.

Tilghman Area Youth Association $4,000
“Girls and STEM”

Tilghman Area Youth Association (TAYA) provides community programs that bring needed educational and social services to the island and works with residents and other island non-profits to improve their quality of life.  Founded in 2003, the organization sponsors and funds community and school events, monthly cultural assemblies at Tilghman Elementary School, the school yearbook, and the Tilghman After School Kids (TASK) program.  More than 100 children and their families directly benefit from these programs.  TASK runs 34 weeks a year and extends the learning day by two hours offering creative enrichment classes, exercise time, homework time (including personalized tutoring), and a healthy meal.  In the past two years, TASK offered “Master Builders”, which was a hit with the students, and program leaders recognized girls were particularly enthusiastic about the engineering curriculum. As a result, this year, a STEM class was added with the hopes of further engaging young girls.  Building on the success of the STEM program, next year it will have a year-long math class, year-long engineering class, two sessions of marine science, and other hands-on science classes.  This grant will underwrite the cost of supplies and materials and help support the instructors’ fees.