Nonprofit Institute at CSM Promotes Local Projects for Local Support
The Southern Maryland community has provided more than $7,000 to local organizations through the online giving portal, Southern Maryland Gives, an initiative of the Nonprofit Institute at the College of Southern Maryland. The online hub, available at www.southernmarylandgives.org, highlights nonprofits addressing our region's needs through the environment, historic preservation, humanitarian aid, health, education, arts and culture, youth services and programs, animals and more.
In addition to the many local nonprofits that are accepting general donations, Southern Maryland Gives has added three projects, supporting Accokeek Foundation, Sagepoint Senior Living Services and Health Partners, Inc., for a total of nine featured projects during September. Projects are:
Accokeek Foundation, project goal $1,500
As part of its commitment to stewardship and sustainability, the Accokeek Foundation preserves several heritage livestock breeds, including Hog Island Sheep. Fleece is sheared, washed, carded, spun and made into woven, knit and crocheted items which can be used by museum interpreters on site or made available for sale in the Accokeek Foundation's gift shop. All of the funds raised by sale of raw fleece and finished products are used to support the livestock preservation program. Donations will support the work of the Stitch 'n Time volunteer textile club, as well as the heritage breed livestock program.
Sagepoint Senior Living Services, project goal $1,500
Music has power-especially for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Sagepoint Senior Living Services, formerly CCNRC, hopes to purchase MP3 players and music for its innovative music therapy program. This equipment, along with the services of a music therapist, will have a profound impact on residents living with memory loss. A person's ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact even into late stages of these diseases. Using music as a therapeutic tool can uplift a person's mood, manage stress and boost brain activity. Donating to this project will help Sagepoint succeed in providing effective treatment to its residents.
Health Partners Inc., project goal $1,500
Health Partners Inc., a free medical and dental clinic, serves the economically disadvantaged and uninsured in Charles County and surrounding areas. Their dental clinic is rapidly expanding, and the organization recently received grant funding for a third dental chair. However, the grant does not cover equipment costs for an adult X-ray unit. Health Partners also has a new volunteer dentist so the organization can serve more clients. Much of the groundwork has been done for this project, but local donations are needed to become fully operational. Donations will support Health Partners in their mission to increase dental care services in the community.
LifeStyles of Maryland, project goal $5,000
Safe Nights is a united and compassionate response to serving the homeless in our community. It provides overnight shelter to individuals and families from October 1 to April 15 of each year. The program rotates to a different host site each week. Participants are provided with meals, cots, linens and toiletry items. Supportive services and enrichment activities are conducted nightly to encourage the journey towards self-sufficiency. Donations will help pay for 50 sturdy, heavy-duty cots for the homeless in the tri-county area.
Bay K9 SAR, project goal $400
This search and rescue organization is run completely by volunteers in Charles County. Using bloodhounds to locate lost people, Bay K9 SAR supports the community by offering this service free of charge to law enforcement agencies. Their newest bloodhound, Mathilda, is a puppy in training. Mathilda could use a cooling vest and car fan for those hot days when she's working. She needs a service vest that will allow her to enter stores and homes as a professional working dog. As a tracking dog, Mathilda also needs an extra-long leash and customized harness. With this gear, she will be able to help find a critical person in need.
Southern Maryland Carousel Group, project goal $1,500
Preserving a piece of Southern Maryland history ignited this group into action. For those who may remember the carousel at Marshall Hall Park, this nonprofit wants to build a carousel in Charles County, similar to the original that was torn down in the 1970s. Some original pieces from the old carousel will also be worked into the new grand design. Commissioned local artists have already hand carved more than 50 animal figures, including two wheelchair accessible chariots. Supporting this project will buy stirrups for each animal, so riders can step up safely and go 'round.
Forever Free Books, project goal $2,000
Putting a book into the hands of a child who doesn't own one?this is why Forever Free Books exists. For a child, the chance to start a personal library at home can be empowering and encourage the love of reading. This program reaches out to kids throughout Charles County who have not had the opportunity to own even one book. Donations can help ensure that more children will be proud book owners and on the road to becoming lifelong readers.
Center for Children, project goal $5,000
Children who have been subjected to abuse urgently need help, not just for physical harm but also for damage to their mental health. As the largest provider of children's mental health services in Southern Maryland, the Center for Children serves 4,500 people every year. Crisis intervention, court advocacy and psychiatric testing are just some of the many critical services the center provides. Many parents cannot pay for the services and are without insurance. The center's project assures help to just such families. Donations can make a lasting difference in a child's life.
Humane Society of Charles County, project goal $2,500
Dogs at this shelter need long-term, loving families who know how to take care of them. To make that happen, a professional trainer is now on staff to work with pets and their future owners. Unfortunately, there is no space to conduct evaluations or counsel adoptive families. The trainer has been working in the parking lot, as potential adopters stand under the open tailgate of her minivan. A shed is a dire need, giving the trainer space to ensure successful adoptions. The structure requires siding, flooring, and other supplies-the Humane Society needs funding for all of these things.
The Southern Maryland Gives online portal is powered by Razoo and sponsored by the Nonprofit Institute at CSM. Any size donation is appreciated, but a minimum $10 donation is required to donate online.
Southern Maryland Gives supporters include Charles and St. Mary's county governments, Southern Maryland Oil, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Southern Maryland Publishing, The BayNet and the College of Southern Maryland.
For information about the Nonprofit Institute, visit www.csmd.edu/NonProfitInstitute/. To view the latest projects or search local nonprofits to support, visit www.southernmarylandgives.org. For information on adding a local nonprofit to Southern Maryland Gives, visit http://southernmarylandgives.razoo.com/giving_events/smg/nptoolkit or email firstname.lastname@example.org.