Maryland Departments Hold Day of Service Events

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For immediate release:
August 26, 2015

Contact:
Erin Montgomery erin.montgomery@maryland.gov
Eric Shirk eric.shirk@maryland.gov
410-974-2316

Maryland Departments of Business and Economic Development, Agriculture, and Planning; MD

National Guard; MD Emergency Management Agency; and Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Hold Day of Service Events

 

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Departments of Business and Economic Development, Agriculture, Planning; the Maryland National Guard; the Maryland Emergency Management Agency; and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives today participated in events as part of Governor Hogan’s “Maryland Unites: Day of Service” initiative.

Maryland Unites (www.marylandunites.org) was created in the wake of civil unrest in Baltimore in April, and has raised more than $500,000 toward relief efforts. The “Day of Service” initiative is an opportunity for state employees to offer their time and talents to benefit our citizens through community service. State employees will receive four hours of paid leave if they choose to participate and have the option to take part in the agency event or a volunteer activity of their choice.

“These days of service are about the spirit of giving back and sharing it with our state and our local communities,” Governor Hogan said. “I am proud of the overwhelming response we have received to date and encourage all state employees to participate in an event with the shared goal of helping those in need.”

On June 1, Governor Hogan announced “Maryland Unites: Day of Service,” directing his Executive Cabinet to coordinate a volunteer event for employees at their respective agencies.

As part of their Day of Service activity, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) volunteered at the Holy Angels Catholic School in West Baltimore. With a new school year starting this week, the DBED team, led by Secretary Mike Gill, helped out in in the school garden and worked with students in grades 1-6 to create artwork to showcase in the classroom.

“Education is at the root of economic development and one of the most critical components to growing a community,” Secretary Gill said. “Our team at DBED enjoyed working one-on-one with the bright and energetic students at Holy Angels to kick off an exciting school year.”

Representatives from the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), including Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder and Deputy Secretary Mary Ellen Setting, united at the Anne Arundel County Food Bank (AACFB) headquarters to sort, pack and assemble food donations in support of thousands of families who struggle with food insecurity in Maryland.

“Many farmers in Maryland have opened both their fields and their hearts to participate in the Farm to Food Bank Program. Our employees share that same spirit of giving back and sharing it with our state and our local communities. We take this opportunity today to help those who are hungry and directly impact the quality of life of our neighbors,” Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder said.

Founded in 1986, AACFB is the only free multipurpose agency in Maryland that provides food, nutritional supplements, medical equipment, furniture, vehicles, appliances, and more free of charge. To learn more about the Anne Arundel County Food Bank, visit www.aafoodbank.org.

The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives (GOCI) today partnered with East Baltimore’s Turning Point Clinic providing volunteer assistance to help inner-city Baltimoreans recovering from heroin addiction. GOCI staff joined clinic professionals to assist with patient intake, serving meals in the dining hall, and distributing bags of groceries to East Baltimore residents at New Life’s Food Pantry.

“Every day, GOCI staff works across Maryland’s communities – urban, suburban, and rural – to advise and implement Governor Hogan’s community engagement strategy and invest in Maryland’s communities,” said GOCI Executive Director Steven J. McAdams. “GOCI is honored to partner with Turning Point Clinic and New Life Evangelical Church in East Baltimore for Governor Hogan’s Day of Service.”

The New Life Evangelical Baptist Church located in East Baltimore established Turning Point Clinic in 2002 and has become one of the largest faith-based methadone clinics in the United States, now treating more than 2,000 patients annually.

Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) employees today volunteered at Paul’s Place in the Washington Village/Pigtown neighborhood in Baltimore, assisting the community center by serving lunch to its guests and to help in any way needed. After more than 30 years of service to the community, Paul’s Place offers more than two dozen services and programs to low-income individuals and families in the Washington Village/Pigtown community. MDP’s Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (JPPM) staff, located in St. Leonard, volunteered at SMILE, an ecumenical ministry in Calvert County that provides food, clothing, educational opportunities, and financial aid to those in need. JPPM is collecting food and clothing for SMILE and personal hygiene items for Project ECHO of Calvert County, a provider of transitional shelter.

This is the third time MDP employees have volunteered at Paul’s Place as part of Governor Hogan’s Day of Service initiative, first on July 29, and then due to that success, again on August 19 and today.

The Maryland National Guard and Maryland Military Department personnel today volunteered their time to help cadets beautify the Freestate Challenge Academy.

“This is a great opportunity for us to give back to the community and work with and mentor the students of the Challenge Academy Program,” said Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh, the adjutant general of Maryland.

The Freestate Challenge Academy is a division of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program. Established under the authority of both federal and state law in 1993, it is a state-run 17 ½ month residential and post-residential intervention program for 16-18 year olds who have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out. The program provides at-risk youth with academic, job, and life skills training with emphasis on positive values in a structured environment that will give them hope and opportunity to become productive citizens.

Also, on August 24, Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) employees, joined by Executive Director Russ Strickland, sorted food and helped ready meals for distribution at the Maryland Food Bank.

“The Maryland Food Bank’s mission is to end hunger and make sure Marylanders are fed and healthy,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “This is related to MEMA’s mission to help Maryland residents and to ensure that they’re prepared for and safe from emergencies and disasters.”