Grassroots faced many challenges during the past fiscal year, as record numbers of callers, clients and residents turned to us in their time of crisis. In addition to the best efforts of talented and dedicated team members, those challenges required the help of Grassroots supporters.
Outpouring Almost 600 volunteers provided services to Grassroots from July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023. Of those, the 99 shelter volunteers contributed 1,143 hours of service, and the 498 volunteers at the Day Resource Center contributed 7,620 hours, according to Monteith Mitchell, Volunteer & In-Kind Donations Coordinator.
The volunteers’ hours are inspiring. In-kind donations were also remarkable. Donations to the shelter totaled $236,404, and donations to the Day Resource Center totaled $227,776.
Among the highpoints of the year were donations of Back-to-School supplies for children’s backpacks, Thanksgiving meals and Holiday Giving gift cards. Groups brought Mother’s Day gifts and Easter baskets. Columbia Links donated blankets, Faithful Circle Quilters provided their own creations, and Home of Our Own contributed furniture and household items for residents moving into their own places. Others cooked, painted, gardened and gathered for shelter residents and visitors to the Day Resource Center.
Faith Community Special thanks go to the many faith communities supporting efforts at the shelter and Day Resource Center through volunteer service, in-kind donations and financial help on a regular basis. Among the standouts were Church of the Resurrection, First Lutheran, Glen Mar United Methodist, Jewish Federation of Howard County, New Hope Church, Orthodox Church of St. Matthew, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
Student Support While the student philanthropy and community service initiative, Change Matters, was derailed during COVID and hasn’t fully rebounded yet, efforts on behalf of Grassroots continue. VolunTeens at Howard High School raised $1,500 to purchase nonperishable and hygiene items from the Grassroots wish list, as well as purchasing household supplies on the Target charity registry for shelter residents moving into new homes. Special thanks to projects leaders Lily and Sofie Douglass, faculty advisor Molly Hart and the school’s bookkeeping staff led by Peg Miller.