It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, especially since United Way supporters are busy making holiday magic and building beautiful memories for central Maryland families in need. Thanks to United Way’s generous donors and volunteers, more than 700 children received gifts/donations this year, including:
- 90 adopted families
- 38 families who received gifts through Holiday Village
- 47 children who received brand new bikes and bike helmets
- 150 kids who received toys at Matthew Henson Elementary
- 75 kids who received stockings in Baltimore County
- 260 women who received jewelry gifts at My Sisters Place, Sarah’s Hope, SARC, Sarah’s House and Turnaround Inc.
- Several babies who received brand new clothing, books, and teddy bears at the United Way Family Center at Ben Franklin High School and PACT nursery
Check out a few stories:
Celebration at the Stadium
After a death in the family, Falander a hardworking single mother, struggled with her family’s finances, was facing eviction and doing her best to work seasonal jobs to provide for her two children and somehow make ends meet. Giving Christmas gifts did not seem possible this year.
All that changed thanks to Aramark at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. On Monday, December 21, United Way of Central Maryland and Aramark worked together to make the holiday season special for this Baltimore family in need.
Aramark sent a limousine to drive the family from their north Baltimore apartment to the stadium where they were treated to a special tour and dinner in the WBAL suite. The evening concluded with a celebration and gifts for the kids, all courtesy of Aramark.
Falander and her children are enrolled in one of United Way of Central Maryland’s Family Stability programs, which works with families to keep them together, safely housed and out of shelters, and promotes education, health and self-sufficiency. United Way has been working with the family to help them get back on their feet, and thankfully, Falander now has a job at Amazon.
United Way’s Emerging Leaders United (ELU) members made magic happen on December 19 at an amazing Holiday Village celebration at Lifebridge Sinai Hospital. ELU members and United Way staff donated funds, shopped, and had fun stuffing stockings and wrapping gifts to prepare for this special event.
This year’s Holiday Village provided presents for 39 families currently enrolled in United Way’s Family Stability programs. Baltimore Ravens Running Back Justin Forsett spent significant time at the event visiting families and posing for pictures.
After arts and crafts, an army of ELU volunteers and United Way staff served dinner, offering a delicious menu provided by Sinai Hospital Catering. All the families left with warm pajamas, a photo with Santa, books, gifts and a whole lot of smiles.
On December 20 at a pizza party hosted by Fitness Optimist Transformation Center in Hanover and Laurel, 47 children in need received a very special surprise: a brand new bike! Plus, bike helmets from United Way. (Safety first!)
These children and their families are enrolled in United Way of Central Maryland’s Family Stability programs through Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families.
One mother of four in United Way’s homelessness prevention program in Meade/Severn said, “United Way’s support has been a blessing at a very difficult time in my life.”
Thanks to Fitness Optimist owner Joe Baubeng, his staff and the club members for making this special event possible and bringing joy to our neighbors in need.