Grant Recipients 2003 – 2019

$626,039 to 99 non-profit organizations

2019 GRANT RECIPIENTS 17 grants totaling $48,749

“Routine-Based Interviews”

Anchor Point, Inc., located in Cambridge, began working in partnership with the Dorchester Board of Education in 2015 to provide school readiness services to families in poverty. Using the Maryland Department of Education’s “Ready at Five” curriculum and “Family Engagement Framework,” the Anchor Point team uses five strategies to assess and increase family well- being: Home Visits to establish a positive relationship and understand unique family challenges; Lesson Coaching using the Ready at Five curriculum that includes family skill development and child play sessions; Routine-Based Interviews to gather information about a family’s functioning within the context of their daily activities and identify family concerns, needs, and priorities; Supportive Services such as supplemental food, school clothing and supplies; and, Parent Networking for deeper engagement and social connections enabling parents to meet and learn from each other. This grant will support the Routine-Based Interview process, which requires a trained facilitator and assistant, mentoring sessions, and educational supplies.

“Stepping Up Our Game”

Founded in 2013, Destined to Rise Coalition promotes community service, leadership development, and educational philanthropy. Its mission is to empower teen girls to create personal goals, develop civic responsibility, and gain leadership skills. The Girls Empowerment and Mentoring Program (GEMS) offers a mentoring relationship between professional women and high school students to teach participants leadership skills, self-esteem enhancing strategies, conflict resolution, and the negative effects of bullying. Monthly meetings offer workshops on topics such as social and business etiquette and effective public speaking. For four years, Destined to Rise has hosted a summit for Mid-Shore girls, “Stepping Up Our Game.” The daylong event is both fun and educational providing practical advice on topics such as study skills, conflict resolution skills, and finding a balance between school, sports, and social activities. In 2019, the summit will include elementary school-aged girls and a new “Girls Village” to explore STEM careers. This grant will support the costs of the “Stepping Up Our Game” summit.

“Blanket, Bear & Book Project”

Founded in 1986, For All Seasons is the leading licensed behavioral health and rape crisis center serving the five Mid-Shore counties without regard to one’s ability to pay. Services are available every day of the year to over 2,300 men, women, children, and families at offices in each of the five counties and at schools in Caroline, Dorchester, and Kent counties. The families include mothers whose problems, often opioid related, have caused them to end up in jail. The TAMAR (trauma, addictions, mental health, and recovery) project helps the women deal with trauma, addictions, and mental health issues.. Their children are at high risk for lifelong problems of attachment disturbance, insecurity, anxiety, and depression. As part of TAMAR, For All Seasons has created a test project “Blanket, Bear and Book” to help the mothers in the Dorchester County Detention Center and their children. Each incarcerated mother will receive a book to read over the phone with her child, who receives a copy of the same book, a cozy blanket, and stuffed bear to provide comfort. Mothers will also receive prepaid telephone calling cards (if needed) to help establish a regular reading time and a way to connect with their children, even from a distance. This grant will support more than 30 mothers and children identified as mother-child pairs for this potentially positive and powerful program.

“Part-time Social Worker”

Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s serves as an enrichment program to encourage a diverse group of students whose families are at or below the national poverty level to realize their full potential. The goal is to reduce the academic achievement gap between impoverished and middle-class public school children that can occur over the summer. Horizons Summer six-week program provides a safe and caring environment with hands-on learning activities and individualized support to meet specific needs. In 2018, 192 students (53% female, 47% male) participated in the Horizons Summer Program, and this coming summer, hopes to expand enrollment to 215 students. Despite the strong and consistent program, last year’s summer learning results were lower than previous years. The need to provide more support for children struggling with the challenges of poverty and trauma, which distract from academic achievement, will be addressed by the addition of a part-time social worker to work with small groups to empower students with positive problem-solving skills and methods to reduce stress and anxiety. This grant will support the hiring of a part-time social worker at the Gunston School, Kent School, and Washington College program sites.

“Scholarship Fund”

The mission of Maryland Community for Life – Talbot (formerly Talbot Village Connections) is to offer innovative options for positive, safe, healthy aging for Talbot County seniors who wish to live independently in their own homes through personalized, affordable, non-medical support and services. This includes in-county transportation, safety assessments, monthly home maintenance, fraud prevention, telephone chat service, and monthly social and educational programs. With the“Silver Tsunami”of baby boomers turning 65 – – 10,000 a day until 2035 – – one statistic shows approximately 72% of seniors living alone in Maryland are female. A Scholarship Fund has been established for senior women so that they may age in place with dignity and independence, for as long as safely possible. This grant will provide one-year Scholarship Memberships for three low-income women in Talbot County.

“Food Pantry Program”

The mission of the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence is to create healthy opportunities to break the cycle of domestic violence through intervention and prevention by providing shelter, counseling, and advocacy services for victims and abusers. Between July 1, 2016 and June 20, 2017, MSCFV served 387 victims of family violence and their 503 children. Services spanned from crisis-focused hotline, legal services, and emergency shelter to counseling, education, economic empowerment programs, and longer term transitional housing. Statistics show 97% of family violence victims are women with a mean age of 39, 70% are Caucasian, less than 50% are employed, and more than 25% have no income of their own. Access to nutritious food is critical for those in crisis, and often difficult to obtain. To address this need, MSCFV has established food pantries at its five offices, one in each county served. This grant will support the purchase of food items for the pantries.

“Weekend Backpacks for Mace’s Lane Middle School”

MidShore Meals til Monday (MtM), founded in 2017 to help 25 students at Vienna Elementary, is a twelve-month backpack program that currently addresses the needs of food-insecure school children (approximately 20% of the county’s students) at four elementary schools in Dorchester County — Vienna, Choptank, Sandy Hill, and Maple. Their mission statement summarizes their objective, “Working to end childhood hunger on the Mid-Shore and beyond.” Personnel at the individual schools identify the children in need and, for privacy concerns, provide only the number of students for whom “backpack bags” are to be prepared. Weekend meals include nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and snack items, including a piece of fresh fruit, and an incentive treat, such as a pencil or stickers. After being approved as a Maryland Food Bank partner in 2018, MtM again expanded to provide food for children attending summer schools, camps, and other programs at six local community organizations. Outreach efforts to families and community members include “Food Give-ways”, food distributions from the Maryland Food Bank, and the use of volunteers, mostly elderly African-American women who are grandmothers and great grandmothers of children attending Vienna Elementary School. This grant will support MtM’s next expansion to Maces Lane Middle School in order to provide weekend meals to 100 or more critically food-insecure children.

“Child Advocacy Project”

Mid-Shore Pro Bono (MSPB), founded in 2005, was the first pro bono legal services group in Maryland, and remains the only pro bono legal services provider on the Eastern Shore. Known as a walk-in agency for people looking for help, offices are located in Easton, Chestertown, Salisbury, and, soon, in Cambridge. MSPB is committed to strengthening local communities by providing access to the legal system through programs such as free Legal Clinics and its “5 Core Projects:” Family Law Project, Elder Law Project, Economic Stability Project, and Vulnerable Population Assistance Project. MSPB has launched a new “Child Advocacy Project,” part of its core Family Law Project, which will focus on Third-Party Custody cases. A third- party custody case is filed when grandparents, aunts/uncles, other family members, or neighbors seek to gain legal custody of a minor child whose parents are unable to care for them, often the result of opioid addiction. Obtaining third-party custody is highly complex and often contested, but is critical to being able to get proper court documents in order to make decisions and care for the children. This grant will support the initial costs of the new project.

“Fed Up Rally”

In 2013, Mid-Shore Restoring HOPE in Women (HOPE) was created as an answer to the call for help in the fight against the rising opioid crisis. This organization helps women and girls find their way to rehab and works across the Mid-Shore to educate the public about the dangers, trauma, and disease of opioid addiction. It fosters cross- sector collaborations among various drug and alcohol programs in the area to reach victims of addiction and advocate for resources to help in the fight. Since 2016 in Caroline County and 2018 in Talbot, HOPE has hosted “Fed Up” rallies to raise awareness about the opioid crisis as part of the national Overdose Awareness Day. The crowd size has grown dramatically each year – – more than 300 in 2018 – – to learn about addiction, recovery, resources, and to share their own stories. Local organizations participating in the rallies include county mental health agencies, and law enforcement. Additionally, health departments provide Narcan training at the rallies. This grant will fund the 2019 “Fed Up” Rallies in Caroline and Talbot Counties.

“Girls in Science”

Founded in 2001, New Beginnings Youth and Family Services is located in the Bay Country Apartment complex in Cambridge, and serves families who reside in two low-income apartment complexes, Bay Country and Parkside.

Free afterschool and summer programs on a wide range of topics from academic and recreational to financial literacy and career development are offered for school-age children (K-7th grade) Monday through Thursday twelve months a year. Upper middle school and high school girls are able to volunteer and earn hours toward graduation. Paid staff positions are available to female residents, equipping them to enter the competitive workplace with marketable skills. With an eye on the future, and in conjunction with Girls Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, New Beginnings will offer “Girls in Science” that is all about science, chemistry, and engineering. The goal is for girls, often hesitant to take science courses, to develop group problem solving skills, communication skills, and build confidence. This grant will support the cost to register 15 New Beginnings girls in “Girls in Science.”

“The Gratitude House”

Realslow Recovery, LLC opened The Gratitude House for Women in June 2018 to provide safe, affordable and supportive housing for women to live and grow in recovery  from drug and alcohol abuse. Certified by the Maryland Certification of Recovery Residences, the house combines the latest in substance-abuse recovery research and evidence-based practices. Centrally located in Easton, the house is within walking distance to everything in town, and functions like a family with group meals, chore assignments and group activities. Founders Sara and Michael Rissolo and their staff have a combined 50+ years in long-term recovery. In its first year, 15 women received safe housing and recovery support. It often takes women who move into recovery houses some time to find a job and establish healthy living habits. Therefore, a scholarship fund has been created that will cover the modest rent required for residency at The Gratitude House for two five weeks to make it possible for freshly sober women to move on with their lives. This grant will support the scholarship fund.

“Critical Home Repairs and Accessibility Modifications”

The Caroline County affiliate of Rebuilding Together operates year-round and is an entirely volunteer run organization providing free services to qualified low-income homeowners elderly, disabled, veterans and families with children who face needed but unaffordable home repairs or improvements to keep them living in their homes in comfort and safety. Since its founding in 2007, volunteers have given 22,325 hours and completed 217 home repair or modification projects, including specialized mobile home repairs. In addition, the affiliate operates the West Denton Depot that sells building materials, architectural items, appliances, and a variety of household items to help fund organization’s building projects. This grant will support the cost of materials or necessary independent contractors to make dwelling repairs or improvements for women homeowners.

“Capt. Joe Kettinger Scholarship Fund”

Rising Above Disease (RAD) serves women in recovery from addictions by providing a safe, secure living environment, bolstered by healthy routines, individualized recovery plans, and opportunities to develop skills to become productive community members. RAD has provided housing and guidance for 51 women since opening its doors in 2016. Volunteer staff members schedule medical, dental, and mental health services, as well as arrange classes to promote recovery, such as art therapy, relapse prevention, and financial planning. Applicants must pass a urinalysis, agree to house rules, have a strong desire to recover, and pay for the first month’s rent. Too often, addictions have resulted in the loss of financial stability and independence, and to address this RAD created the Capt. Joe Kettinger Scholarship Fund to provide temporary rental assistance for the modest rent RAD charges its residents. In 2017-2018, rental assistance was provided to 17 local women. This grant will support the scholarship fund.

“Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls”

Soroptimist International of Talbot County is a new program to the Women & Girls Fund this year. Soroptimist
International includes some 120,000 members in 21 countries around the globe. The local chapter was chartered in 1964, and consists of business and professional women who look to improve the lives of women and girls in Talbot County. Funding will support their new Dream It Be It program for 7th grade girls. It is an eight-week afterschool program to explore girls’ dreams and careers, create achievable goals, rise above obstacles, turn failure into success, balance stress and put their dreams into action. Soroptimist members provide the hands-on training themselves. While 7th grade girls aren’t expected to know what they want to do in their adult lives, the skills they develop in the program can be applied at any stage of their education and careers.

“Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress for multi-disciplinary staff of Children’s Advocacy Centers”

Talbot Community Connections (TCC) purpose is to raise and distribute funds to enhance the Talbot County Department of Social Services’ (TCDSS) capacity to respond directly to problems of safety and wellbeing of county residents. Since 2001, it has raised more than $250,000 and provided assistance to approximately 2,500 county residents in need. The funds support a number of TCDSS programs, including the Parent Education Program, Empower Me personal safety program, Foster Care, and the annual Senior Summit. Additionally, TCC provides support for child victims of sexual abuse and their families served by the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), located at UM Shore Regional Medical Center in Easton. In 2017, 58 children and their families were served through CAC. Statistics show that staff in trauma-exposed work environments can experience physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual “Secondary Traumatic Stress,” part of the cost of caring for others in emotional pain. This grant will help fund a staff support program to provide a holistic and comprehensive approach to address work-related trauma exposure for the Multi-Disciplinary Team of child protective services workers, family advocates, law enforcement, and medical team.

“Easton’s Promise Child Care Fund”

Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) was founded 10 years ago to provide temporary shelter to homeless men, women and children and raise awareness of homelessness in the community. TIS opened a permanent shelter in 2014 in downtown Easton, and now also supports formerly homeless families in eight transitional apartments. Today, TIS serves some 50 people each year, including many families with children. One of the most difficult challenges that homeless mothers face is finding safe, reliable childcare for their children so they can go find a job and work. This grant will support short-term assistance for childcare for single mothers of children under 12 to make it possible to go to interviews, enter the workforce and eventually, become self-sufficient.

“Building Community Leaders”

The aim of Tilghman Area Youth Association (TAYA) is to enrich the lives of Tilghman area youth by connecting them to each other, their families, and their community. Founded in 2003, the organization sponsors Tilghman After School Kids (TASK) program. TASK extends the learning day at Tilghman Elementary School by offering creative enrichment classes, exercise time, homework time (including personalized tutoring), and a healthy meal. In the past two years, TASK has added afterschool programming on half-days of school, new classes, like yoga and cooking, and a once weekly program for middle school students. Enrollment has increased, and with it the need for skilled instructional assistants and volunteers. Recruiting and training staff has been an ongoing challenge given Tilghman’s remote location, and TAYA has found the best way to attract qualified employees is to offer young women in-depth training and mentoring to develop necessary skills to run the program. With that in mind, two fellowships have been established to support an Afterschool Director and Assistant Afterschool Director, the Cornwell and Simison Fellows. This grant will help to underwrite these fellowships for the upcoming school year.