Grant Recipients 2003 – 2021

$731,870 to 101 non-profit organizations

2021 GRANT RECIPIENTS 12 grants totaling $49,318

The following is a description of each of the 2021 grants.

“Program Needs”

CASA of Caroline, founded in September 2003, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the best interest of children, victims of abuse or neglect, who through no fault of their come to the attention of the Circuit Court of Caroline County.  Assigned CASA Volunteer Advocates, the rights of the children in need of assistance (CINAs) are addressed with the children, foster parents, natural parents, teachers, medical professionals, social workers, and others involved in the lives of the children.  With the knowledge gained by the Advocates, they submit twice-yearly reports to the court and the judge relies on the assessments to protect the best interests of the children.  In 2019-20, volunteer advocates represented 23 children in foster care.  This grant will support CASA of Caroline’s professional level on-going training opportunities for its volunteers, board members, and staff.

“Grief Services for Women and Children”

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.  They also offer palliative care for individuals who are transitioning to the next level of care or are not yet ready for hospice.  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.”  During 2020, The Hope and Healing Center, which offers a variety of counseling services, developed zoom groups and telehealth virtual settings to provide critically needed one-on-one care and support groups.  This grant will support grief and counseling services offered by three programs offered through The Hope and Healing Center: Camp New Dawn, HALOS (Healing After a Loved Ones Suicide), and RASP (Reconciling After a Substance Passing.)

“Tuition Scholarship Fund”

Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers (CACC) is a non-profit, educationally based childcare center that is licensed and accredited through the Maryland State Department of Education with the highest rating of EXCELS Check-Level 5. Their mission is to provide financially accessible childcare in a nurturing, diverse, safe, and enriching environment.  Founded in 1970 as Easton Day Care Center, Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers has grown to include five sites located throughout Talbot County and serves more than 440 annually (non-Covid), ages 2-12 in preschool, K-5th grade before-and after-school care, and summer camp programs.  Since its founding, CACC has served four generations of families from varying socio-economic backgrounds.  Since 1970, more than $2.75 million in tuition scholarships have been awarded to CACC families. This grant will support single mothers of CACC students who are working hard to maintain stability for their families.  The affordability, along with the high-quality learning environment, will provide a tremendous emotional benefit to each of these women.

“Targeting Anxiety in Teenage Girls”

For All Seasons, Inc. is the largest licensed and CARF accredited behavioral health and rape crisis center serving men, women, children, and families in the five county Mid-Shore region.  It accepts clients without regard to their ability to pay.  Founded in 1986, the agency offers an array of mental health services including, psychiatry, psychotherapy, support groups, school-based mental health, neurofeedback, medication management, case management, and a range of rape crisis services including 24/7/365 multilingual telephone hotlines.  Headquartered in Easton, it has satellite offices in Denton, Cambridge, Stevensville, Tilghman, and Chestertown.  Since the onset of Covid-19, there has been a surge in demand for mental health services from all demographic groups and FAS has undertaken a number of strategies to address community needs, including public information sessions over Facebook Live, presentations to community groups via Zoom and other online platforms, outreach efforts such as advertising billboards radio, print, and digital ads, and one-on-one outreach to community partners.  Clinicians have provided telehealth and in-person services.  This year, FAS is adding a new initiative to address anxiety in teenage girls through a direct campaign aimed at girls and their caregivers.  The goal is to raise awareness of the common symptoms of anxiety in girls, offer strategies to address anxiety, determine the need for and how to access professional help for anxiety.  The multi-pronged program will include a campaign webpage to share articles and information about how to access mental health services, targeted campaign messaging on rack cards and online ads on Facebook, Spotify, YouTube and Instagram.  Additionally, a five-week campaign, that could reach 10,000 Mid-Shore girls and caregivers, is strategically planned for November-December 2021, including a Facebook Talk with For All Seasons’ chief executive officer and chief clinical director.  This grant will support “Targeting Anxiety in Teenage Girls.”

“Mentoring First-time Homeowners”

Kent Attainable Housing is working to break the cycle of poverty by building or renovating affordable houses and partnering with low income, working families to prepare them home ownership.  There is a large pool of families who live or work in Kent County that earn less than 50% of the Kent County median income.  A recent survey by the Kent County Local Management Board determined 600 Kent County children live in poverty, and data shows children suffer stress when their housing is not secure.  Currently working with 24 low income working families (majority in their 30’s and 75% headed by single mothers), Kent Attainable Housing is the only public or private entity in Kent County providing end-to-end services for its clients: designing and constructing homes, renovating available homes, providing financial and homeowner classes, and mentoring families through the transition to first-time home ownership.  This grant will provide funds for consultant services to provide mentoring to applicant families through the multi-step process of budgeting, improving and maintaining credit, attending classes, and the myriad of steps necessary to become a successful homeowner.

LADIES OF NIA – $1,100
“Tomorrow’s H.O.P.E. Mentoring Program”

Ladies of Nia (Nia in African means “Purpose” or having a goal) is a volunteer organization comprised of a “group of friends who are united in sisterhood for the restoration of our communities, especially children, teens and women of color.” Their goal is to educate our communities by increasing awareness in regard to the importance of education, healthcare, and properly managing personal finances.  The mentors are all professional, family-oriented women who have some connection with Caroline County from their own youth, and who still desire to be a presence there and be role models for young girls growing up facing difficult challenges.  Tomorrow’s H.O.P.E. Mentoring Program connects middle school students with positive and professional role models who will support them in setting and achieving educational goals through high school and beyond, while encouraging them to become effective leaders.  Started in the 2009-10 school year, the Ladies of Nia partnered with Lockerman Middle School in Denton to offer its mentoring program to girls in grades 6-8.  In 2014, their first mentees graduated from high school and from 2015-19, twelve more mentees graduated.  In 2020, during Covid-19, there were eleven participants in the Caroline County Public Schools.  The typical twice-monthly in-person sessions became monthly zoom calls, which was problematic for girls without personal laptops and tablets.  This grant will underwrite the cost of eleven tablets for the purpose of supporting these critical mentor-mentee relationships.

MAC INC. – $5,000
“Empowering Women Caregivers in Dorchester County”

MAC Inc is the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) serving over 4,800 seniors annually in the four Lower Eastern Shore Counties, which includes Dorchester.  Founded in 1972, its mission is to provide programs and services in three broad categories, Information and Empowerment, Nutrition and Wellness, and Long Term Services, that preserve dignity, health, and independence for an aging population.  It is a one-stop source of information and assistance for family members, caregivers, disabled adults, and seniors, which helps them navigate through the maze of long-term care services and links them with local and state programs.   Services also include an Aging and Disability Resource Center and Life Bridges, an Alzheimer’s program.   Women comprise 60% of the caregivers for Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients, and many of them are family or unpaid care providers.  Through the Life Bridges program, MAC has developed a multi-pronged initiative to address the various needs of women caregivers: Savvy Caregiver class; Life Bridges Support Group for non-paid female caregivers; and, PEARLS, a personalized one-on-one counseling service for age 60 and older.  This grant will support the Life Bridges program for Women Caregivers in Dorchester County.

“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.  For 40 years, MSCFV has served as the central access point for assistance on domestic violence in the Mid-Shore region.  Services span from crisis-focused hotline, legal services, and emergency shelter to counseling, education, economic empowerment programs, and longer-term transitional housing.  In March 2020, in preparation for serving clients during the quarantine, MSCFV developed a chat feature on its website that provided victims trapped at home with their abuser a way to seek help without speaking out loud.  They also partnered with more than 90 local businesses to share their contact information through stickers on to-go containers, flyers, posters, billboards, and social media sites to make sure victims knew they remained open to help.  During 2020, MSCFV provided services to 440 victims of domestic violence (96% female) and their 687 children.  Increasingly, clients’ greatest needs are for daily necessities such as food, toiletries, pet food, school supplies, and every day living items.  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.

“Community for Life Scholarship Fund”

Partners in Care (PIC), established in Anne Arundel County in 1993, opened sites in Talbot County in 2009 and Caroline County in 2013.  On November 1, 2020, it merged with Community for Life Talbot County (CFL) and expanded that program into Caroline County, combining their paid and scholarship-funded ride and handman services with PIC’s no-fee time exchange services to provide seamless service to adults over 60 in Talbot and Caroline Counties.  Programs and services contribute to seniors’ safety and well-being, helping them to age in their homes and remain actively involved in their communities through transportation, home repair, and meaningful social engagement.  The focus is on an aging population that cannot afford essential services.  The Maryland Department of Aging 2017-2021 State Plan on Aging projects that in Maryland the 60+ population will increase by 40%, with those ages 80-84 being the fastest growing age group.  In Caroline and Talbot, those numbers are expected to increase by 48% and 32% respectively.  This grant will help support two 60% scholarships to two low-income female CFL members so that they may receive CFL services free of charge or at reduced rates as CFL merges with Partners in Care.

“Trailblazing Women & Girls”

Pickering Creek Audubon Center (PCAC) is dedicated to conserving natural habitats on Maryland’s Eastern Shore by engaging and empowering the community through exploration, education, and stewardship.  PCAC serves people of all ages and backgrounds, annually making over 12,000 program contacts in the community, at schools and on its 400+ acres.  During Covid-19, new virtual programming has reached homes across the US.  PCAC serves as an outdoor lab for Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot County Public Schools environmental science curriculum.  It is committed to connecting children with the outdoors and making nature more accessible to all.  Pickering Creek plans to launch the Trailblazing Women & Girls program from May-November 2021 for ten girls 9-15 years of age, many of whom have limited outdoor experience, and a female mentor in their lives.  The program will include Girls’ Day Outside, guided nature exploration activities, and self-guided adventure kits that will develop confidence, skills, and interest in nature.  This grant will underwrite the cost for five girls and their female mentors.

“Educational Tutors for Girls”

Pine Street Committee (PSC) oversees The Empowerment Center in Cambridge, which offers a children’s after-school program, summer camp, food distribution for families, and senior activities.  Its mission is “to be an ongoing resource for children and adults in the community, to improve their lives, help them grow and reach their dreams.”  In September 2020, PSC opened a learning lab to help students with online learning.  Five tutors and a retired teacher worked with 25 children in grades K-8 helping them with their schoolwork. All of the students, many from single-parent homes, live below the poverty level and some have no access to Wi-Fi or a person at home to help them.  For the coming school year, PSC plans to identify 10-12 at-risk girls, ages 5-13, for an 8-week learning program with two tutors (college-bound or current college students) who will provide individual or small group tutoring four days a week to assist with online learning, school assignments follow-up, skill development, and playing learning games.  This grant will underwrite the stipend for two tutors for the girls’ program.

“Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center”

Talbot Community Connections (TCC) raises and distributes funds to enhance the Talbot County Department of Social Services’ (TCDSS) capacity to respond directly to problems of safety and well-being of county residents.  In addition to raising funds to help families in crisis, the unemployed and working poor, and disabled and frail elderly, TCC provides support that sustains critical services for child victims of sexual abuse and their families served by the Child Advocacy Center (TCCAC).  TCCAC, which is fully accredited by the National Children’s Alliance, offers a friendly environment where abused children can receive services from Child Protective Services, Law Enforcement, Legal Representatives, and Medical Staff who investigate abuse allegations and share information in a manner sensitive to the needs of young victims.  In 2019, 168 children and their family members were served through the TCCAC victim advocacy program, with 97 being new cases.  Of the new cases, 62 were females.  TCCCAC anticipates it will serve between 100-125 female children and caregivers in 2021-22.  Physical abuse, neglect, and childhood sexual abuse can have a prolonged and profound impact on survivors’ mental and physical health, including post-traumatic stress, feeling of guilt, eating disorders, and depression. In addition to the traditional mental health counseling services TCCAC currently provides to victims and families, they plan to expand therapeutic services to include art therapy, equine therapy, mindfulness, and yoga, which can aid in the healing process.  This grant will underwrite costs associated with providing alternative therapies and healing modalities.