—– By: Ann Costantino —–
In the giving spirit this holiday season? Consider making a donation of food, time, goods or money to local organizations in Maryland.
There are numerous ways to give or give back to a community while making a significant impact that can be life-changing for individuals and their families.
Here are just five non-profit organizations in Baltimore City and County that are changing lives and making such an impact on Marylanders:
The Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training: The Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training (MCVET) provides short and long-term housing, food, healthcare, education, substance abuse and mental health counseling for Maryland’s homeless veterans. According to MCVET, more than 500 veterans are sleeping on the streets, and many are dying as a result of substance abuse and medical complications associated with homelessness. MCVET provides veterans “the Home, the Hope and the Help” for male and female veterans so that they can rejoin society as employed, responsible citizens, while moving from dependence to independence. Donate here.
Baltimore’s Fund for Education Excellence: The Fund for Education Excellence (The Fund) aims to support student achievement in Baltimore City schools through a variety of programs that support school readiness, in-school and extended learning opportunities, and the promotion of fluent reading by 3rd grade. “The Fund understands that a successful public school system is crucial to ensuring the health and vibrancy of Baltimore City. Strong schools play a singular role in moving urban families out of poverty, improving neighborhoods, and increasing college and career opportunities for young people.” Donate here.
The Student Support Network: The Student Network helps Baltimore County Public School students – struggling everyday with the effects of poverty and homelessness – through the donations of food, clothing, personal care items, and basic items that students and their families often cannot afford. “A high school student who does not have to worry about hunger, dirty clothes, or not having deodorant, toothpaste or shampoo is a student much more capable of concentrating in school.” Donate here.
Dyslexia Tutoring Program: In 1984, a group of concerned citizens in Southeast Baltimore formed the Dyslexia Tutoring Program (DTP) after noticing a pattern between repeat juvenile offenders and dyslexia. With the support of professionals, DTP sought to demonstrate that “with a small investment of time and energy” many of the challenges and effects of dyslexia could be resolved. Volunteer tutors and professionals for DTP provide assessments and tutoring for youth and adults, using a multi-sensory skill method of teaching reading, writing, and spelling through researched-based Orton-Gillingham, and other supplemental programs. Donate here.
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project: Founded in 2000, the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP) aims to overturn the convictions of innocent incarcerates in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. MAIP has helped secure the release and/or exoneration of 30 innocent men who spent a total of 545 years in prison for crimes new evidence proved they did not commit. Through the use of modern testing – such as DNA – investigators are now able to prove prisoners’ innocence in cases where new evidence can be considered and where MAIP has found flaws in the judicial process that led to convictions, such as eyewitness misidentification, unreliable or improper forensic science, false confessions, government misconduct and/or inadequate legal defense. Donate here.