It’s that time of year again — the recommended charities post. Listen — I understand housing isn’t on the top of everyone’s list, and I totally respect that. If you’d like to donate to Housing Policy Watch, great. If housing just isn’t your thing — here’s a list of charities we know and love. There’s something for everyone on this year’s list! (List is in no particular order.)
- Public Justice Center does a lot of work on fair wage issues, workplace justice, immigration, and civil right to counsel.
- 1000 Friends of Maryland works for smarter development across Maryland, and environmental issues.
- Healthcare for the Homeless — that’s pretty self-explanatory.
- Roberta’s House is a safe place for people, particularly children, who are mourning the loss of a loved one. They offer counseling and a summer camp for families in need.
- BARCS and the Maryland SPCA help abandoned animals find new homes and promote responsible pet ownership. The SPCA also advocates for stricter penalties for those who are found guilty of animal cruelty.
- Baltimore Heritage works hard to preserve and promote Baltimore’s many historic structures. They also offer walking tours, happy hours, and other events to get communities involved in historic preservation.
- Maryland Legal Aid is a nonprofit legal services provider that works with people who are primarily low-income. Contrary to what I’ve heard people say — Legal Aid is not the same as the Public Defender’s Office, nor is it a state agency. They’re one of the few resources for people who are in need of representation in a civil matter.
- Another nonprofit legal resource to those with limited means, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service assists people statewide in a variety of legal areas — all attorneys are volunteers who work for other law firms.
Thank you for your generosity!
As you’re contemplating the many deserving charities for your end of the year giving, here are some of our favorites — they’re all local, and they all work hard to make Baltimore a better city, despite the odds. Give often, and give generously!
A few new additions to the list for 2012, some of the same great groups from 2011:
- Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning
- Baltimore Heritage
- Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake
- Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
- Community Law Center
- Public Justice Center
- 1000 Friends of Maryland
- Homeless Persons Representation Project
- Healthcare for the Homeless
- Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.
- Lauren’s Luggage (This one is not yet a 501(c)(3) but they have applied. Consider donating anyway — there’s a compelling story behind this one.)
- Maryland Legal Aid
Why these charities and not others that might be equally as deserving? I have experience with all of them in some way. I know the executive directors, or I’ve watched them carefully over the years. These organizations have a few qualities in common:
- They spend more on programs and/or direct services than they do on swank office space or fundraising/admin costs.
- They’re organizations that work on the ground, directly making a difference — they “do” more than they “talk”.
So please — be generous. Without these organizations, Baltimore would surely suffer even more than it already suffers now. We can’t build a better city without them.
Property Address: 811 W Lanvale Street, Baltimore, MD 21217
Property Owner: Mayor and City Council, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
City Council District and Contact: District 9, “Pistol” Pete Welch
It’s always a shame to walk around neighborhoods in Baltimore and see all of the blighted vacant homes. It’s even more disturbing when they’re of great historic significance, like Upton Mansion. As if that wasn’t bad enough — this grand home is owned by the City, and has obviously been neglected for quite some time.
Join Baltimore Heritage and Baltimore Sun for our first photo walk and tour at the Sowebohemian Festival on Sunday, May 27!
The utterly unique Sowebo Arts & Music Festival is a can’t miss neighborhood event in Hollins Market with music, dancing, great food, artwork, antiques and more. Of course, the festival alone offers a feast of photo opportunities for any photographer but it is also a great excuse for us to go out and explore the historic parks and neighborhoods of southwest Baltimore.
Sunday, May 27, 3:00 to 4:30pm
Meet at the west end of Hollins Market (South Carrollton Avenue and Hollins Street)
Tour is free
RSVP on FB or here:
Parking: Free street parking available in the surrounding area. Off-street parking available at the UM BioPark Garage (West Baltimore and Poppleton Streets)
Transit: Take the free Charm City Circulator Orange Route to the Hollins Market stop at Arlington Street.
Bring along your camera for a quick afternoon walk to see a few of West Baltimore unique parks and landmarks. Starting from the handsome brick Hollins Market, designed by Baltimore City Hall architect George Frederick.
We’ll explore the Italianate rowhouses around Union Square and stop in at H.L. Mencken’s backyard.
From Union Square, we’ll cross Baltimore street (one of the oldest commercial strips in the city), check out historic Franklin Square, and take a look inside the grand Gothic Revival sanctuary at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. We’ll be joined by a Baltimore Sun photographer who’ll offer professional advice on getting the most out of your photos.
The Friends of West Baltimore Squares will also be raffling off a few chances to enter Baltimore City Parks Photo Competition for free! Even if you don’t win, you can enter the competition for $20 for adults and $10 for under 18. Learn more on the Friends of West Baltimore Squares website.
Received this email, forwarded by a friend, and thought it was important to share it with you!
Although this is not how I hoped to start the new year, I am emailing to share some distressing news for historic buildings on Downtown’s Westside and to ask you to help save them by sending an email to Mayor Rawlings-Blake. In late December a plan moved forward proposing to demolish in whole or part 14 of the 17 historic buildings on the “Superblock” on the west side of downtown, centered at the corner of Lexington and Howard Streets. Baltimore Heritage, along with Preservation Maryland and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, have advocated to preserve these buildings as part of a revitalized Westside for over a decade.
The plan includes a proposal to demolish the former Reads Drug Store at Howard and Lexington Streets, the site of one of Baltimore’s first student-led lunch counter sit-ins. This successful 1955 protest by Morgan University students led to the desegregation of the Reads chain in Baltimore and helped provide a model that guided later and better known student-led sit-ins at places like Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina. We believe the Reads building is an irreplaceable part of Baltimore. It helps distinguish our city and should be used as an asset for continued development.
This Thursday (Jan. 6) at 11:00 a.m., the Planning Department’s Urban Design and Architectural Review Panel will meet to consider the proposal. Please email Mayor Rawlings-Blake at email@example.com and ask her to support preserving the Reads building and other historic places in the heart of downtown as part of our city’s continuing revitalization.
If you would like to attend the review panel hearing on January 6, it will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the Baltimore Planning Department (417 E. Fayette St., 8th Floor), near City Hall.
Please do send an email to the mayor and/or attend the hearing. Our historic properties are quickly disappearing — along with the soul of the city!