Doing the People’s Work

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(©istockphoto.com/Irina_Qiwi)

It’s the most wonderful time of year for nonprofits. After all, with Thanksgiving and Chanukah fast approaching, people are in the spirit of giving.

Although the holiday season has its advantages for giving, many local nonprofits fight year-round to address the community’s growing needs. No matter how high the bar is set for these charities, every gift and donation makes a difference.

Here are 10 organizations that continually campaign hard to keep their doors open throughout the year:

Baltimore Humane Society
Since its founding in 1927, the Baltimore Humane Society has strived to help unwanted and unprotected animals and address their suffering by providing a temporary home, a safe refuge and much-needed care. Until a permanent home is found for the animals it takes in, the organization relies on a network of dedicated volunteers and continuous donations to run the private shelter.

“If you are an animal lover, there is nothing more gratifying than helping homeless animals find a forever home,” said Andrew Levine, executive director and board member at the Baltimore Humane Society.

For more information, visit bmorehumane.org.

Digital Harbor Foundation
The Digital Harbor Foundation is devoted to developing learning, creativity and productivity for all children, serving more than 1,500 Baltimore City youths per year through after-school and summer programs. Money raised through its “pay-what-you-can model” goes toward programs that teach interactive electronics, 3-D printing, computer coding and Web development.

“[Digital Harbor Foundation’s] programs are accessible to everyone regardless of financial ability,” said Shawn Grimes, interim executive director of the foundation.

For more information, visit digitalharbor.org.

Sports Boosters of Maryland
In 1950, a group of Baltimore men used their loved of sports to help give back to children with the creation of Sports Boosters of Maryland. Today, the organization hosts bimonthly dinners and special events that honor the top names in local sports to bridge the budget gap many local youth sports leagues face.

“We have a lot of fun raising money to help kids,” said Ron Levine, executive director of Sports Boosters of Maryland.

For more information, visit sportsboosters.com.

Baltimore Child Abuse Center
The Baltimore Child Abuse Center gives victims of sexual child abuse and trauma an outlet for healing, hope and justice through comprehensive medical and mental health treatment. In addition to helping individuals and families recover from abuse, a main goal of the organization is to educate individuals on how to recognize, prevent and report suspicions of abuse to the proper authorities.

For more information, visit bcaci.org.

Sarah’s Hope at Hannah More
Under the St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore umbrella, Sarah’s Hope at Hannah More runs a 24-hour emergency shelter, provides case management and offers other support services for homeless women and children in Reisterstown. The objective of this nonprofit, which opened in 2012, is aimed at helping families get back on their feet and sustain long-term stability.

For more information, contact Vicki Snyder at vicks48@verizon.net.

Jewish Caring Network
Families feeling overwhelmed and alone in combating life-threatening, lifelong or serious illnesses can turn to the Jewish Caring Network, whose mission is to “touch lives and make a difference.” This nonprofit assesses each individual family’s needs, allowing board and staff members made up of doctors, rabbis and others to cater to their specific needs.

For more information, visit jewishcaringnetwork.org/j.

The Bridges Program
An organization that supports a high-quality music educational experience, the Bridges Program seeks to reach the underserved and at-risk youth in the city. To accomplish this, children are provided access to string and harp instruction at a beginner’s level, the use of other instruments and orchestra experiences without the burden of a financial commitment.

For more information, visit bridgesmusicbaltimore.org.

Art With a Heart
Bringing together people of all ages from all different backgrounds, Art with a Heart brings interactive visual art classes into school classrooms, community centers, permanent housing facilities, hospitals and senior housing facilities. Founded in 2000, this organization has swelled from four small classes per week to more than 11,000 annually across the community.

For more information, contact info@artwithaheart.net.

Jewish Abilities Alliance
Through Baltimore Jewish Abilities Alliance, individuals with disabilities and their families are provided a host of resources that promotes an environment to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of every member in the community. There are parent-to-parent networking opportunities, various event gatherings and support services made readily accessible to those interested in joining the program.

For more information, visit baltimore.jewishabilities.org.

Moveable Feast
With more than 3,300-plus volunteers, Moveable Feast has nurtured a strong support group to deliver healthy hot meals to people battling HIV and AIDS, cancer and other deathly diseases. In its 24-year existence, the organization has expanded to include medical transportation, culinary training, nutritional counseling and food service among other amenities.

For more information, visit mfeast.org.

jsilberman@midatlanticmedia.com

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