Grants available for organizations addressing social needs
Organizations that address pressing social needs in Charles County are eligible for grants of up to $5,000 from the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland thanks to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor. The total funding available is approximately $45,000, and the foundation anticipates funding nine applicants with awards averaging about $5,000 each.
Grants from the Opportunity Fund are available to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, religious charities and government agencies that provide drug rehabilitation, emotional rehabilitation, domestic violence and youth wellness services to Charles County residents.
“Through this program, the foundation identifies high-priority needs and seeks opportunities where a relatively modest amount of grant money can make a significant difference in Charles County,” Gretchen Hardman, executive director of the community foundation, said in a release.
Applicants are evaluated according to a set of criteria that includes:
• The evidence of need for the proposed project;
• The potential impact of the proposed solution;
• The degree to which the project is consistent with or enhances the orga- nization’s mission;
• The capacity of the organization to implement and sustain the project;
• The organization’s fiscal responsibility, governance and management qualifications;
• The possible use of the grant as seed money to leverage funding from other sources;
• The ability of the organization to obtain additional funding to implement and sustain the program;
• The degree to which the project complements other programs or services offered in the community;
• The number of people that will benefit from the project; and
• The extent of volunteer involvement for the project.
Awardees of Opportunity Grants are required to complete a detailed application identifying the number and primary age group to be served, describing the proposed project or need, and identifying the proposed project’s management and budget. Awardees are also required to submit evaluation reports at the end of the grant award cycle.
Applications are due on Friday, March 17, by 4 p.m. and must be submitted electronically. Awards are announced in May, and the grant period runs through May 2018. Application forms are available for download from the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland website at www.cfsomd.org.
Health department to host smoking cessation program
A free, eight-week Quit Smoking program will start in early May at the Charles County Department of Health in White Plains. This program offers quitting support, help with making a plan to quit and quitting aids. Pre-registration is required. Call Mary Beth Klick at 301609-6932 to register.
Humane society receives award from Snyder Foundation
The Snyder Foundation for Animals has awarded the Humane Society of Charles County $174,200 to fund free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries over the next five years.
The Snyder Foundation for Animals Inc., whose mission is to promote the welfare of animals through philanthropic support and education, will be closing as of March 31. During the final months, the foundation will be distributing its remaining assets to be used primarily for spay/ neuter surgeries.
For more than 20 years, the Snyder Foundation has awarded the Humane Society of Charles County (HSCC) grant funding to provide free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for low-income families in Southern Maryland. The Snyder Foundation chose the HSCC to receive a final award of $174,200 to be used in accordance with previous years’ awards, according to a press release.
This generous award will be used to fund the HSCC Forever Friends Community Outreach Program for the next five years. This volunteer-driven program addresses the needs of asset-limited, income-constrained members of the community who own pets or care for large numbers of outdoor cats, but cannot afford to get them fixed. Providing free and lowcost spay/neuter surgeries and rabies vaccinations is a critical part of reducing the euthanasia of unadoptable feral cats in Charles County and in preventing the endless intake of unwanted animals into area shelters.
“This is absolutely spectacular,” Ginny Crane, HSCC board president, said in the release. “Our relationship with the Snyder Foundation has been a godsend.”
Families needing spay/ neuter assistance for owned pets or community cats in an established colony may contact the Humane Society of Charles County shelter directly at 301-645-8181 or apply online at humanesocietycc.org.
Library invites the public to meet ALICE
The Charles County Public Library will host the first of a series of Community Conversations at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at the Waldorf West Branch. The conversations are open to the public and suitable for all ages.
“As the United Way’s recent ALICE Report highlighted, 25 percent of Charles County households are struggling to make ends meet,” said Janet Salazar of Charles County Public Library. “We believe there is work ahead to make Charles County a better place to live and work. Opening up the dialogue at our Community Conversations: Come Meet ALICE event is a step to a stronger community.”
United Way organizations across the country released a report in 2016 that provided a comprehensive look at the extent of financial need of communities in 15 states. The result is that ALICE is rapidly becoming part of the common vernacular, appearing in grant applications, in the media, and in public forums discussing financial hardship in communities across the country.
“The ALICE study sheds light on segments of our population that have been suffering in silence. ALICE is one car repair or dental emergency away from homelessness. Over 50,000 people in our community are ALICE and these families live in all our towns and neighborhoods. At United Way of Charles County, our hope is to start a conversation with the community about the underlying issues affecting the success of ALICE families and launch, fund and advocate for actionable solutions,” said Mike Bellis, executive director of the United Way of Charles County. “Together, we have the opportuni- ty to evaluate the current solutions and discover innovative approaches to give ALICE a voice, and to create changes that improve life in Charles County.”
Like all states, Maryland was hit hard during the recession and has rebounded to some degree during the recovery. The 2-1-1 Maryland System, which serves the entire state, handled a record number of calls for assistance in the last year — more than 278,000 in total — often from ALICE individuals needing help to navigate financial struggles such as rent, health care, utility assistance and food.
The Community Con- versation will conclude with a panel featuring business and community leaders committed to pulling together in ways that would help encourage a comprehensive look at the extent of financial need in Southern Maryland. There will be time for questions. Light refreshments will be served.
Curbside yard waste collection to resume
The Charles County Department of Public Works announced that curbside collection of yard waste will resume on Monday, April 3.
Weekly collection of yard waste is available to areas that receive recycling collection and occurs April through December on the same day of the week as the “Every-Other-Week” recycling collection.
Acceptable items for curbside yard waste collection include grass, leaves, garden clippings, and brush. Items must be placed in brown paper bags, a reusable container, or bundled for collection. Yard waste in plastic bags or containers weighing over 50 pounds will not be collected. Branches must be bundled and not greater than 4 feet in length and no individual branch more than 6 inches in diameter. All reusable containers must have handles and be clearly marked with an “X” or “Yard Waste”. Yard Waste will not be accepted if placed inside of a Recycling Cart.
Unacceptable items include loose branches and brush, plastic bags, dirt, rocks, sod, trash, and material exceeding the weight and size restrictions.
For more information, call the Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division, 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866269-9006.