With One Tweet, Making Change Earns $10K Grant

With a few simple, but powerful, words and the click of the “send” button, Making Change, of Columbia, became one of 10 small nonprofits from across the county to have an extra $10,000 each, thanks to the Deluxe Corp. Foundation’s Short & Tweet Grants Program. Part of Deluxe Corp.’s year-long 100th anniversary celebration, the Short & Tweet Grants Program replaced the customary grant application with a succinct and appealing entry: a tweet.

Making Change became one of 10 recipients from nine states to benefit from the grant program. The winning organizations, which serve communities nationwide, have primary missions based in economic empowerment, creating tomorrow’s workforce, promoting financial literacy and crisis assistance or the arts.

“We received more than 900 nominations from nonprofits across the country, nonprofits that work tirelessly to improve their communities and enrich lives,” said Amanda Brinkman, chief brand and communications officer for Deluxe. “Making Change stood out as an organization whose work in financial education sets the example for great nonprofit work. We are proud to award them a $10,000 grant.”

Carpet One Floor & Home Continues Support Veterans

Carpet One Floor & Home, and flooring manufacturer partner Mohawk, have been working together for two years to help build Smart Homes for catastrophically injured veterans by providing flooring and installation. Homes have been built across the United States through Building for America’s Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Carpet One Floor & Home has helped build 18 homes for America’s Bravest, and 18 more are already in progress.

The smart homes built are custom designed. The goal of each new home is to help severely injured heroes have a better quality of life and regain their independence. The homes are designed to be energy efficient, automated and easily accessible. Carpet One Floor & Home stores in Maryland have teamed up with other locally-owned stores across the nation to raise funds, spread the word and install floors in all homes built by the Building for America’s Bravest program.

To learn more about Carpet One Floor & Home and Mohawk’s participation in the program, visit www.CarpetOneCares.com; for more information about Carpet One Floor & Home’s partnership with Building for America’s Bravest, go to carpetone.com/our-bravest.

COLA Hosts Lab Forum for Allied Health Students

COLA, a national laboratory accreditor and an advocate for quality in laboratory medicine and patient care, recently hosted an interdisciplinary workshop to discuss and promote the impact of laboratory medicine across the entire health care system. The event was held at Howard Community College (HCC), in Columbia.

COLA employees were on-site at the college to present the important connections between laboratory testing and allied health professions, including nursing, radiology, physical therapy, public health, emergency medical services and more. The forum was designed to present students and faculty with a basic knowledge of the critical role quality laboratory testing plays and its effect on diagnosis and treatment in various health care settings.

“To a laboratory scientist, following Quality Assurance procedures during the pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phases of laboratory testing are the most important factors in providing quality patient care,” said Nancy Calder, chair of the Medical Laboratory Technician Program at HCC.

In 2013, COLA announced a $25,000 endowment to expand HCC’s then-newly-created Medical Laboratory Technician program. The gift was designed to help foster awareness of laboratory science careers.

AACC Named a Military-Friendly College for Seventh Year

Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) has been named one of the nation’s most military-friendly colleges by two organizations, BestColleges.com and Victory Media. Colleges are selected for the level of academic, financial and personal support they provide to veterans and active-duty personnel. AACC, which has identified 1,500 students who have served in the military, has received this honor from these organizations for seven consecutive years.

AACC offers a student success coordinator specifically for military and veteran students. Students also can join the campus veteran-student organization and have access to a Veterans Resource Center, and the college partners with military-access programs to offer multiple academic programs that allow them to take traditional in-class courses or online courses accessed from wherever they are stationed.

The college also changed its financial aid policy this year to allow active-duty military — regardless of where they live or where their duty station is — to be charged tuition at the in-county rate.

Give the Gift of Time or Service, Holiday Volunteer Guide Now Available

The Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center now has a Holiday Volunteer Guide listing volunteer opportunities through December. Volunteering is a way to support your favorite cause, even when you are short of cash. Gifts of time and in-kind donations can be pivotal at this time of year for the charities listed in the Holiday Volunteer Guide.

You can receive a free copy of the Holiday Volunteer Guide by stopping by the Volunteer Center, located at 2666 Riva Road, Suite 130, Annapolis, Md. 21401; or via e-mail, by sending a request to [email protected]. The guide is also posted at www.aacvc.org/Resources.

For more information, contact the Volunteer Center at 410-897-9207 or at [email protected].

MAA Named to USO-Metro’s Circle of Stars

The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore (USO-Metro) has named the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) to its 2015 Circle of Stars. USO-Metro established its Circle of Stars program to recognize outstanding businesses and organizations that support the USO’s important programs, events and services.

The MAA is a long-time partner and supporter of USO-Metro. The USO International Gateway Lounge at BWI Marshall was first opened in 1999. The 5,000-square-foot lounge is among the busiest USO facilities around the globe, serving thousands of military service members and families each year. The MAA spent $1.1 million to design, build and furnish the lounge at BWI Marshall and has over the years to help update it to provide a comfortable environment for traveling military service members.

USO-Metro recognized the MAA at the Four-Star level in the Circle of Stars— reserved for the most-elite, generous supporters.

Howard DPW to Host Second Round of Meetings on Watershed Assessment Study

Howard County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is hosting a second round of public meetings to discuss details of a comprehensive assessment of the county’s Middle Patuxent River and Little Patuxent River watersheds.

The assessment measured the current environmental conditions and identified restoration opportunities that should be considered for capital improvement projects. These projects would improve the water quality in the county’s streams and rivers, as well as the Chesapeake Bay.

With both watersheds encompassing a large area, the assessment was split up into four study sections: the Northern Little Patuxent, Southern Little Patuxent, Northern Middle Patuxent and Southern Middle Patuxent. Two of the four public meetings remain to be held, on the dates noted below:

  • Southern Middle Patuxent Watershed
    Wednesday, Dec. 9, Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane, Auditorium, Columbia, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Northern Little Patuxent Watershed
    Thursday, Dec. 10, Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall, Room 401, Columbia, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

A copy of the watershed assessment reports and the countywide restoration plan report is available online for review and comment at www.howardcountymd.gov/SWM.htm. An RSVP is requested for those persons who are planning to attend a meeting. For more information, contact Kelly Hargadin at [email protected].

Annapolis Partnership Unveils Logo, Announces Holiday Investments

The Annapolis Partnership recently hosted a launch party at BAROAK at the Loews Hotel, revealing its new logo, designed by Herrmann Advertising | Branding | Technology, and announced the investment of nearly $40,000 to support Annapolis small businesses and holiday activities.

The holiday decorations to be purchased by the Annapolis Partnership include lamp post greenery, wreaths, street swags, lighted planter boxes, Snow Flake Alley lighting and tree trimmings. Through a contract with Homestead Gardens, the decorations will appear on Main Street, Maryland Avenue, West Street, Church Circle and adjoining streets.

In addition, Homestead Gardens has agreed to contribute the decorations and trimming of the city’s holiday tree. Highlighted are the remaining (at press time) holiday events that will generate additional shopping opportunities for businesses and residents alike, including the following:

  • Dec. 5: SoFo Ho Ho Ho: A shopping event on Forest Drive with Santa.
  • Dec. 6: Chocolate Binge Festival: A new West Street event that includes chocolate samplings and holiday cheer and festivities.
  • Dec. 10: Midnight Madness II: The madness continues for a second night with stores open until midnight and entertainment on historic Annapolis streets.
  • Dec. 12: It’s A Wonderful Life in West Annapolis: A day-long shopping event in the Village of West Annapolis with entertainment and surprises.
  • Dec. 12: Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade: The Sailing Capital’s holiday boat parade along Spa Creek.
  • Dec. 17: Eleventh Hour: One last night of downtown retailers staying open late for shopping, along with more entertainment.

In addition, the Annapolis Partnership has commissioned, and will sell, a limited edition Christmas tree ornament at select retailers this holiday season. Only 350 of the ornaments, that are hand-painted by local artist Sarah Schabow of the Naval Academy Chapel, will be available. Performers who wish to donate their time and talent, and citizens who want more information, are encouraged to contact Judy Buddensick at [email protected].

Praxis Engineering Donates to Blossoms of Hope

Annapolis Junction-based Praxis Engineering, a provider of software technologies and proponent of breast cancer awareness, is giving back to the community with a donation of $3,000 to Blossoms of Hope, a Howard County nonprofit organization that plants cherry trees and other shrubbery to beautify public lands and private properties. Blossoms also supports cancer survivors and their families by raising money to benefit such charities as the Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center at Howard County General Hospital.

“Praxis is proud to support the great work that Blossoms of Hope performs every day in the fight against cancer,” said Praxis Vice President Jerry Schepers. “Today’s donation is actually from the entire community. Praxis is fortunate to have a caring network of employees and friends committed to bringing awareness to organizations contributing greatly in the communities where we live and work.”

CA Scholarships Available for Community Service Efforts

Applications are now being accepted by Columbia Association (CA) for the 2016 Maggie J. Brown Spirit of Columbia Scholarship Award. Up to six $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors from local high schools who have shown a history of providing community service to benefit Columbia residents and those in the area.

The students must live on CA-assessed property or have a parent/guardian who works full-time on or owns CA-assessed property. Applications are available online at ColumbiaAssociation.org/Scholarship. Completed applications must be submitted by March 15, 2016. For more information, call 410-715-3161 or e-mail [email protected].

HCLS Customers First in Maryland to Receive Automatic Renewals

The Howard County Library System (HCLS) is the first library system in Maryland to institute automatic renewals for its customers. All HCLS materials, except eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, will automatically renew three days before their due date.

Books, magazines, CDs, nonfiction DVDs and toys will automatically renew for the standard 21-day period. Fiction, children’s and world language DVDs and Launchpad learning tablets will automatically renew for the standard seven-day period. The new due date will be calculated from the original due date. Automatic renewal will occur twice for HCLS materials and once for inter-library loan materials.

Customers will see a list of automatically renewed items on their “Items Due Soon” notice, which is e-mailed three days prior to an item’s due date. The itemized notice will first list materials due and not eligible for renewal, followed by those that have been automatically renewed, and then items on loan but not yet due.

A few exceptions apply to the new service:

  • If another customer has requested it and there are no available copies on the shelf
  • If the allowable number of automatic renewals has occurred
  • If the item is currently overdue
  • If fines on the customer’s account have reached $10

Customers may continue to check their accounts and renew materials either in person at any HCLS location, by phone using TelAccount at 410-313-7810 or at http://hclibrary.org.

HCAC Holds Call for Juried Silent Art Auction

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is seeking artists to participate in the annual Juried Silent Art Auction Exhibit as part of its annual fundraising gala, Celebration of the Arts in Howard County. The event shines a spotlight on the county’s diverse and talented visual arts community.

Visual artists working in all styles and media are invited to apply, including painters, sculptors, ceramicists, fiber artists, jewelers and photographers, who are 18 years or older and residing, working or studying in Howard County. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 19, 2016.

This year’s Celebration will be held at the Horowitz Visual & Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College on Saturday, March 19, 2106, from 6–10 p.m. The Silent Auction exhibit will be presented in the Rouse Company Foundation Gallery. The final bid for each artwork sold will be divided equally between the artist and the HCAC. Last year’s Silent Auction sales exceeded $11,700, with 88 pieces sold.

A prospectus with additional information is available on the Celebration page at hocoarts.org; to have a prospectus delivered via postal mail or e-mail, call 410-313-ARTS (2787).

Grassroots Cold Weather Shelter Program Is Underway

The 13th season of the Grassroots cold weather shelter program is underway and will run through March 27. The cold weather shelter program, housed in Howard County’s faith communities, is provided for people who are unable to find emergency shelter when Grassroots is full.

Last year, 78 people participated in the Cold Weather Shelter program, including eight children. Shelter participants receive additional services during their stay, including assistance with food stamps, medical assistance, case management referrals, preparing résumés and tax returns and getting a Social Security card.

This year, 16 local churches are hosting the shelter for one or two weeks. Church volunteers provide meals, transportation, clothes, medicine and laundry services, and Grassroots provides on-site staff, management and coordination.

This year’s participating congregations are Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church, Bethany United Methodist Church, Bridgeway Community Church, Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, Columbia Community Church, The Church at Covenant Park, First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, Glen Mar United Methodist Church, Grace Community Church, Kittamaqundi Community Church, New Hope Lutheran Church, Owen Brown Interfaith Center, St. John Baptist Church, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Temple Isaiah.

Grassroots is located on Freetown Road in Columbia. For information, call 410-531-6006 or visit www.grassrootscrisis.org.

MakingChange Seeks Volunteer Tax Preparers

MakingChange is seeking volunteers to serve as tax preparers, quality reviewers, greeters and office staff at The Multiservice Center in Laurel, where it will be hosting Howard County’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site.

The VITA site will operate on Monday and Wednesday nights from 4–8, Friday from 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Jan. 23–April 13, 2016. Volunteers are asked to commit to serving on a regular schedule of eight to 10 sessions for the duration of the tax season. An orientation and software training sessions will be held in January.

VITA offers free tax preparation assistance to most individual taxpayers who earn less than $53,000. VITA offers free electronic filing, savings bonds and the option to receive refunds via direct deposit onto a debit card.

To learn more about volunteering, visit http://makingchangecenter.org/join-us/volunteer/tax-volunteers, or contact VITA site coordinator Michelle Moore at [email protected], 443-718-9350, ext. 101.

Memorial Fund Set for Late Arundel Lax Coach

Long-time Arundel High School teacher and lacrosse coach Clint Gosnell passed away in September, and his former players are honoring his memory by setting up a fund in his name. During his more than 30-year career, Gosnell was a positive, supportive influence on countless students and players.

To memorialize his legacy and to assist the lacrosse program, some of his former players are establishing a fund in his memory to support the Arundel Lacrosse Program. Checks should be made out to Arundel High School, with the annotation “Arundel Lacrosse: Coach Gosnell Memorial,” and mailed to Arundel High School, to the attention of Kevin Necessary, 1001 Annapolis Road, Gambrills, MD 21054.

Questions regarding this effort can be directed to Necessary, the school’s athletic director, at 443-848-7381 or [email protected]; or former player Jeff Spear (’81) at 919-455-4472 or [email protected].