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United Way of Central Maryland Spreads Cheer for Local Families in Need at First Holiday Pop-Up Market

May 10, 2021

Baltimore, MD (December 10, 2018) – On Saturday, more than 100 area volunteers brought joy and spread cheer to 65 local families in need at United Way of Central Maryland’s first-ever Holiday Pop-Up Market. Hosted at Baltimore’s Leadenhall Baptist Church, the market’s mission was to make the holidays brighter for struggling families. Decorated like a winter wonderland, the market was a one-stop shop where families could choose from an assortment of donated gifts for children and adults including everything from bikes and Barbies, to hats and gloves, to household items to put under their tree this year.

The morning before the event, United Way ran a special “Santa Shuttle” to collect gifts from various Baltimore businesses that donated to the market, including Wilmer Eye Institute, Hyatt Place Inner Harbor, Gordon Feinblatt LLC and the United States Postal Service. More than 20 area companies, businesses and organizations held internal drives for toys and other gifts. Amazon Fulfillment Baltimore City was the event’s lead sponsor, donating 5,000 books, cleaning supplies, toys and more, and underwriting costs associated with managing the event. The market also offered families a variety of services and resources, including healthy food, personal care items, health screenings and tax preparation assistance.

“We love to give back to the communities where our associates live and work, and we look forward to continuing to work with and support United Way of Central Maryland in its mission to fight hunger and homelessness and to address the immediate needs of local children and families,” said Jenna Frey, assistant general manager of Amazon Baltimore’s fulfillment center.

“So many volunteers, donors and area businesses and organizations united to give these families something that so many of us take for granted: the ability to provide gifts for our loved ones during the holidays,” said Franklyn Baker, President and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “Their support shows the power of partnerships and the power of a common purpose: to improve lives.”

In addition to the Holiday Pop-Up Market, United Way also ran an adopt-a-family program, which gave groups, families or individuals the opportunity to purchase gifts from a family’s wish list for Christmas. There were more than 300 families available for “adoption” this year, and all were provided for. Those interested in helping area families this season can text HolidayHelp to 71777 or go to A gift of just $25 can provide hats, gloves and scarves for a family, or books and a gift from a child’s wish list, and gifts of any size are appreciated.

“While the holiday season is such a critical and important time for struggling families, the goal to help them should not just stop once the holidays are over. It’s important that as a community, we continue to focus on families in need and help them get back on their feet,” added Baker.

For more information on what United Way of Central Maryland is doing to help struggling families year-round, please visit

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About United Way of Central Maryland

United Way of Central Maryland fights for the education, financial stability and health of every person in every community across central Maryland. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against our community’s most daunting social crises. Learn more at


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