United Way of Central Maryland Awards Over $500,000 in Neighborhood-Targeted Grants Through Maryland Unites Fund
Organization focuses on programs targeted to youth
BALTIMORE (June 2, 2015) – United Way of Central Maryland today announced initial grants to 23 organizations through its Maryland Unites fund at an event hosted by the Enoch Pratt Free Library branch on Pennsylvania and North avenues, one of the recipients of funding to expand summer programming for children.
United Way of Central Maryland President, Mark Furst made the announcement together with Enoch Pratt Free Library CEO Carla Hayden, Center for Urban Families Founder, Joe Jones, and other community leaders.
United Way of Central Maryland established the Maryland Unites Fund last month as a vehicle to provide humanitarian relief and stabilize the neighborhoods affected by recent events in Baltimore. To date, the emergency fund has raised over $500,000 through both corporate donations and gifts from more than 750 individuals via its mobile and digital giving platforms.
The Maryland Unites grants mark the continuation of United Way of Central Maryland’s presence in the affected communities, where it currently facilitates family stability and workforce programming through partnerships with frontline human service organizations.
“Through Maryland Unites, we are providing humanitarian relief and attending to basic needs. We have allocated a majority of funding for youth employment, tutoring, mentoring and enrichment,” said Furst. “We believe that engaging young people in meaningful programs—especially this summer and after school in the fall—is an urgent need.” Furst added, “While we have made strides across our region to lift up families and improve community conditions, there is still much more work to be done to address deep-rooted problems. Together with our partners, we’re committed to continuing this important work now and well into the future.”
In making its decisions, United Way convened a special steering committee comprising knowledgeable community leaders from the faith, education, nonprofit and business communities as well as the school system, state and city governments. Priority was given to organizations based in or serving the affected neighborhoods.
“We are humbled and very grateful by this generous gift from United Way of Central Maryland,” said Carla D. Hayden, chief executive officer of the Enoch Pratt Free library. “The Pennsylvania Avenue Branch was at the epicenter of the unrest at the intersection of North and Pennsylvania Avenues. The library, along with all other Pratt Branches, stayed open for patrons including children at a time when they needed a safe place. This donation will fund much needed library upgrades and program enhancements for children and teens that will provide a step forward in rebuilding the Penn North community.”
“Before the events leading up to the unfortunate death of Freddie Gray United Way of Central Maryland has had a longstanding and strategic investment commitment to strengthening families,” said Joe Jones, founder, Center for Urban Families. “In the aftermath of recent events United Way of Central Maryland has continued to be responsive to community need. CFUF is honored to be an investment partner with United Way of Central Maryland in our mutual efforts to empower individuals and families achieve stability and economic success.”
United Way of Central Maryland received nearly 100 applications from nonprofit and religious groups requesting funding from the Maryland Unites fund. Today, the group announced these awardees:
- Beloved Community Services Corporation, $25,000 to support and expand their Male Mentoring Program at Union Baptist Church
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Chesapeake, $25,000 to support mentoring matches for youth in at-risk communities in Baltimore City
- Bon Secours Community Works, $25,000 to expand services for youth and young adults, including summer employment, parent trainings, and re-entry programming for young ex-offenders
- Camp Farthest Out, $25,000 to support Camp Empowerment 2015 summer programming for youth ages 6-12
- Camp Farthest Out, $23,000 to support the Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts’ summer arts and literacy programming for middle school students
- Center for Urban Families, $25,000 to support their Workforce Development, Baltimore Community Healing & Civic Engagement Pilot program
- Child First Authority, $21,000 to support summer academic and cultural enrichment programming for students at John E. Howard Elementary School
- Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc., $6,000 to support emergency transportation needs of residents living in the affected neighborhoods
- Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, $20,000 to support youth empowerment programming at the Druid Heights Community Center
- Enoch Pratt Free Library, $25,000 to expand summer programming for children at the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch
- Flight 1 Carriers, $25,000 to support their weekly distributions of fresh produce and meats, personal care products, and housing supplies to seniors in zip codes 21215, 21216 and 21217
- Fusion Partnerships’ Power Inside Community Trauma Initiative, $20,000 to expand their existing trauma interventions in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood
- Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, $25,000 to support summer enrichment programming for middle school girls from communities impacted by the recent civil unrest in Baltimore City
- Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, $25,000 to support job and resource fair events in West Baltimore designed to connect with the residents of zip codes 21215, 21216 and 21217
- Job Opportunities Task Force, $25,000 to support their Project JumpStart Program, a job-training program for Baltimore residents with a high school diploma or GED
- Maryland Food Bank, $10,000 to support their food relief efforts in zip codes 21215, 21216 and 21217
- Maryland New Directions, $25,000 to support their Youth Job Readiness Program for individuals under 25 years of age
- Middle Grades Partnership, $23,000 to support summer programming for middle school students from Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle School
- Parks & People Foundation, $25,000 to support youth programming
- Reading Partners, $23,000 to support their one-on-one literacy tutoring program expansion into Matthew A. Henson Elementary School
- The Salvation Army of Central Maryland, $10,000 to support their FeedMore Mobile Feeding Program that provides hot, healthy meals, as well as toiletries, to the affected areas of Baltimore City
- Y of Central Maryland, $25,000 to support the Druid Hill Summer Enrichment Program for children and youth ages 5-13
- YouthWorks, $30,000 to support the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development youth summer jobs program
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About United Way of Central Maryland
For nearly 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) has been the region’s human service leader, encouraging all central Marylanders to give, advocate and volunteer. Its mission is to mobilize the community to improve people’s lives. UWCM is dedicated to helping individuals and families facing poverty meet their basic needs, stabilize and achieve self-sufficient lives. By drawing upon local knowledge, data and expertise to understand the community’s needs, UWCM is able to identify where gaps exist and concentrate on what works in addressing them – serving as a powerful advocate on critical health and human issues. UWCM supports programs and initiatives in the city of Baltimore and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. For more information, visit www.uwcm.org.