Success Stories Archives 1st Half 2020

Covid-19: Week 15 of Food Distributions, June 26, 2020

Food, grocery cards, and essential products were distributed at our three sites — Parkville High School, Owings Mills High School, and Loch Raven Academy:

Parkville High School: 269 cars, 5 walk-ups, 21 deliveries

Owings Mills High School: 146 cars, 5 deliveries

Loch Raven Academy: 125 cars, 2 walk-ups, 10 deliveries

Almost $45,000 of food and non-food products was distributed; the food represented over 32,000 meal equivalents.

Non-food items include paper products, period products, diapers, personal care items, and household items.

 

Special thanks to Jacob Schleupner of Elite Spice for donating150 large bags of seasonings for our distributions – they were a great addition to our groceries!

Expressions Of Gratitude, June 2020

The message below was sent to the Network from Caryn Putchat, the social worker at Loch Raven High School – Caryn has always been wonderful about passing on messages of gratitude from students and their families.

“I could not let this school year close without sending you thanks for all you have done for our families. While Loch Raven High School students have benefited from the Loch Raven Network for 5 years, the support this year has been unprecedented, right in keeping with the unprecedented circumstances. It started with your rallying to provide families with grocery gift cards and extended access to the Loch Raven Haven on 3/13 and has extended since to biweekly grocery gift card mailings to families; this is all in addition to the amazing food and household item distributions happening at nearby schools every Friday.

I am in awe of everything the Network is doing. The families have been so grateful for your support and it has lessened the economic burdens that the pandemic has exacerbated. I am including some words of thanks that I received on your behalf below:

“It would absolutely be a blessing to keep getting them.”

“Yourself and so many others have been doing so much for so many families in need, it’s so worth it to me….. acknowledging the good, with all that is going on across the Country. It is necessary to acknowledge the good that so many people are doing as well.”

“I know a lot of people are going through tough times, and LRHS community, staff, and faculty has been doing such a magnificent job helping the families and the community to get the assistance that everyone needs. So, thank you so much.”

“Thank you very much for all the help.”

“This is helping out my family and I very much. Thank you!”

Thanks so much for all you do! Please share these thanks with the other volunteers.”

Caryn

Covid-19: Week 14 of Food Distributions, June 19, 2020

Food, grocery cards, and essential products were distributed at our three sites — Parkville High School, Owings Mills High School, and Loch Raven Academy:

Parkville High School: 269 cars, 10 deliveries

Owings Mills High School: 153 cars, 12 deliveries

Loch Raven Academy: 118 cars, 6 walk-ups, 10 deliveries

Over $57,000 of food and non-food products was distributed; the food represented almost 36,000 meal equivalents.

From Vicki Almond, who coordinates the Network food distribution on Fridays at Owings Mills High School:

“On behalf of the Student Support Network, I want to thank Owings Mills Dentistry for their generous contribution of gloves, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other personal items. We gave them out at our food drive at Owings Mills High School. Thank you!”

 

A big thank-you to the players and families of Baltimore Union Boys 2006 Select soccer team, who generously donated these items for our food distributions

Gratitude For What Our Donors And Volunteers Help Us Do, June 2020

This is a recent message from a teacher after receiving support for a family in dire need this spring – the Campfield Early Learning Center has participated in our Spring and Fall Drives.

“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for the assistance the Student Support Network provided for my student and her family.  The passing of her father presented so many uncertainties and challenges that proved overwhelming for this family. With your help they were able to work through some of those hardships and for this they send their thanks.

Your kindness and willingness to help this family in need was appreciated not only by her family, but also by the entire Campfield Early Learning Center Family.

Please pass along our thanks to those that work alongside you and help you with meeting the needs of so many.

You are greatly Appreciated!!”

Congratulations To Parkville High Graduate, Isa Hambrick! June 14, 2020

More great accomplishments – achieved by a student helped by the Network.  Some of you may remember our post last year about this wonderful young man who attended Parkville High School – he had no transportation to get to work.

“Isa is the young man for whom [the Network] purchased a bike and helmet so he could get to work. He gave up athletics so he could work and support his family and is choosing to enlist in the military for the same reason; he has also been helping with food distribution during COVID. We have created an award for him.

The Isa Hambrick Humanitarian Award will be presented to AVID students who have lived a life of honesty, integrity, and responsibility, with a demonstrated commitment to the welfare of the greater community.”

We are very proud of Isa and wish him all the best as he moves forward in military service to our country.

Covid-19: Week 13 of Food Distributions, June 12, 2020

Food, grocery cards, and essential products were distributed at our three sites — Parkville High School, Owings Mills High School, and Loch Raven Academy:

Parkville High School: 346 cars, 7 walk-ups, 47 deliveries

Owings Mills High School: 149 cars, 10 deliveries

Loch Raven Academy: 108 cars, 3 walk-ups, 9 deliveries

Almost $51,000 of food and non-food products was distributed; the food represented over 38,000 meal equivalents.

For the second time, Maryland Waterways Foundation with the leadership of Karen Wynn, supplied crucial transportation for a huge amount of perishable produce and bread donated by the Edgemere Church of God. We received 80 boxes of produce and 20 boxes of bread yesterday! We distributed all of the produce and bread and fed over 120 families comprising hundreds of people, at Loch Raven Technical Academy in Towson and some at Parkville High School too. The produce was in wonderful condition thanks to Brewers Landing Bar & Grill supplying the refrigerator truck for storage.

Every one of these links had to happen and they all did – donation to Edgemere Church, then to Maryland Waterways and Karen, to Brewers Landing, to Michael Darenberg and Zac Cantler, and finally to the volunteers organized at the distribution site. We are so grateful for everyone who makes this complicated transportation and distribution possible!

Covid-19: Week 12 of Food Distributions, June 5, 2020

Food, grocery cards, and essential products were distributed at our three sites — Parkville High School, Owings Mills High School, and Loch Raven Academy:

Parkville High School: 346 cars, 7 walk-ups, 27 deliveries

Owings Mills High School: 140 cars

Loch Raven Academy: 110 cars, 3 walk-ups, 10 deliveries

Over $45,000 of food and non-food products were distributed; the food represented over 28,000 meal equivalents.

Owings Mills High School’s distribution included 185 boxes of produce, donated by the Baltimore County Government and John Olszewski Jr.  Each box held 30 pounds and included potatoes, celery, fruit, rice and tomatoes. This donation was in addition to the regular distribution of bread and non-perishable groceries and essential items like soap and diapers.

 

Bags of produce for distribution at Owings Mills High School

Covid-19: Week 11 of Food Distributions, May 29, 2020

We provided 3 food distribution sites: Parkville High School, Owings Mills High School, and Loch Raven Academy.  In 2 hours, there were 565 cars, 40 deliveries to families, and 12 families walking to sites to get food.  The estimated total number of people served was over 3,000.

The need is increasing at the rate of 10-15% a week.  We are running out of diapers in 30-40 minutes at every site.

We are now purchasing food to supplement the incredible efforts of our volunteers and to sustain these sites through the summer months.

Aerial view of Parkville High School parking lot – four lines of cars and still a major back-up on to Putty Hill Ave.

Covid-19: Week 10 of Food Distributions, May 22, 2020

Distributions of food and essential items were made at Parkville High School, Owings Mills High School, and for the first time, at Loch Raven Academy in Towson.

The distributions were from 11 am to 1 pm and In those two hours:

Parkville High School: 283 cars, 5 walkers – 36 more cars than the week before

Owings Mills High School: 140 cars plus 10 deliveries to families — 26 more cars than the week before

Loch Raven Academy, Towson (first one): 97 cars plus 3 deliveries to families and one walker

The photos show all three sites – many thanks to Dana Stein and to Jonathan Schwartz for volunteering at Owings Mills High School this week.

Also a big thank you to Baltimore Hunger Project for bread, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center for sub sandwiches, and to all of our volunteers around the County who collect, sort, and bring donations week after week.

Covid-19: Week 9 of Food Distributions, May 15, 2020

Distributions of food and essential items were made at Parkville High School and Owings Mills High School from 11 am to 1 pm and In those two hours:

361 cars came through the lines.

Over $17,000 in food, grocery cards, and essential products were distributed, the food portion representing over 9,000 meal equivalents.

We are so grateful to Baltimore Hunger Project for bread, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center for sub sandwiches, and Saval for additional food supplies.  As always, a big thank you to all of our volunteers around the County who – week after week – collect, sort, and bring donations,  including diapers and period products.

Covid-19: Week 8 of Food Distributions, May 8, 2020

At Parkville High School, 45 cars had already lined up by 10am for the distribution beginning at 11:00a.m (see photo below).  At our food distributions at Parkville High School and Owings Mills High School, we distributed almost $20,000 in food and essential household items – in food, the equivalent of over 4,538 meals. A total of 359 cars came through both sites in a little over two hours.

Since schools closed on March 13, the Network has mailed or distributed over $40,000 in grocery gift cards to students/families in great need as identified by school staff.

The Student Support Network is one of twelve organizations that received emergency grant funding from No Kid Hungry for our food distributions – we are grateful for this support!

Many thanks to Nick Shah, owner of McAvoy’s Sports Bar & Grill for making another wonderful donation of 100 sandwiches, juice and cookies today – students love them!!

Covid-19: Week 7 of Food Distributions, May 1, 2020

For Week 7 of distributing food and other essential items at Parkville High School, people started lining up at 8:30am although we didn’t begin until 11am, demonstrating once again the extent of the need in Baltimore County.
Many thanks for the generosity of the following:

Maryland Food Bank, 9000 pounds of produce, meat, eggs and yogurt
University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, 160 sub sandwiches
Baltimore Hunger Project, 150 loaves of bread (they give the same amount to the distribution at Owings Mills High School)
Our incredible volunteers and donors, including Yara Cheikh, Cathi Forbes, Cheri Bond Pegues, Roxann Stackler AndersonNancy Budacz Dimitriades and Peter Dimitriades, Phoebe Evans Letocha and her daughter Abby, AND SO MANY OTHERS, who helped to donate and/or bring nearly 500 bags of groceries, over 120 bags of essential items and period cycle packs, and to our custodian hero Dave at Parkville High School, just an incredible effort today!

We are so grateful for the constant presence of Parkville High School administrators and staff – today Maureen, Paul, Carl, and Roxann all volunteered the whole time.  BCPS Board of Education Chair Kathleen Causey and County Councilman David Marks volunteered with us today too.

Distributions were also made at Owings Mill High School and grocery cards were mailed by staff at Network schools to those in need.

The top four photos from today’s food distribution were generously donated by a photographer who used his time to help us by documenting this event – the aerial view was taken of the parking lot at Parkville High School after cars were directed to line up there instead of backing up on Putty Hill and stretching to Harford Road.

Teachers understand we are doing this for the long haul: the far right photo on the bottom shows donations already on Laurie’s porch for next week from Parkville High School teachers!

 

Covid-19: Week 6 of Food Distributions, April 24, 2020

Literally hundreds of people made this huge food drive possible – we are so grateful!  There was an absolutely incredible effort from Cathi Forbes, Yara Cheikh and the amazing neighbors in Cathi’s neighborhood who donated to the Student Support Network Friday distribution at Parkville High School today!  So many people came to drop off food and share their commitment to keep doing this as long as people need it. Thank you all!

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell and photographer Jerry Jackson covered today’s distribution at Parkville High School.  To read the digital article, click here

All photographs below are courtesy of Jerry Jackson.

 

Wonderful Thank You Note After Week 5 Food Distributions, April 17, 2020

A heartfelt message, and photo, came in from a family who was at the end of the line on Friday, April 17, 2020 for the Network’s Parkville High School distribution.  This is the photo we all need to think about and here is her message:
“I was at the end of the line that went to almost Harford Road. I truly appreciate your help! My family really is forever grateful! First time ever being out of work and the kindness and generosity from the community has been amazing. Again, thank you everyone! The feminine products were also extremely helpful!!! I was in line and so many emotions were going through my head. To see so many people who need help and then to see so many wonderful people who are helping!”

Covid-19: Week 5 of Food Distributions, April 17, 2020

As Laurie Taylor-Mitchell reported: “The food distribution last Friday (April 17) at Parkville High School was one of the most wrenching events I have ever experienced – the line of cars with students and families waiting for food stretched as far as we could see for hours, extending out of the long parking lot back into Putty Hill Ave.

We gave out food for an hour and 45 minutes after Baltimore County Public Schools stopped handing out food – i.e. for nearly four hours.

The demand was so great I didn’t have time to stop and take pictures of the lines of cars – but did take some of setting up – we gave away all of the food you see in these photos, including over 9,000 pounds of produce, milk, yogurt and meat from the Maryland Food Bank, bread from Baltimore Hunger Project, 180 sub sandwiches from University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center (same number donated to Owings Mills!), and hundreds of bags of non-perishable food including food bags from Barb Carden and Linda Oliver, 80 bags of essential household supplies given by donors and sorted and bagged by Yara Cheikh and her family, (they are running out of all of those too, toilet paper, etc.), and 120 bags of period products, mostly from Abby Letocha’s wonderful project.

Vicki Almond and the team at Owings Mills High School ran out of food in two hours (photo at far right is from the Owings Mills distribution). We share resources, so recipients at Owings Mills received produce from Hungry Harvest this week, and also Saval Foods, again, as well as donations mentioned above. They ran out of food in two hours.”

In addition to the food distributions at Parkville and Owings Mills, staff at the rest of the Network schools mailed grocery cards to their students and families in need.

Covid-19: Week 4 of Food Distributions, April 10, 2020

Who would have thought we would be distributing food and essential household items in snow squalls and 30-mile an hour winds today, but so glad we were there! BCPS did not distribute today and will not on Monday because of the Easter holiday.

At Parkville High School alone we provided:
– 200 sub sandwiches donated by St. Joseph Medical Center.
– over 200 bags of bread/rolls donated by Baltimore Hunger Project – all bread was distributed
– 70 bags of produce
– 200 bags of food
– 40 bags of non-food essentials – gone in 30 minutes
– 20 bags period products – gone in 30 minutes

Many thanks to Weis Markets and to the Maryland Food Bank – they also donated food to this effort!

In addition to the food distribution at Parkville, staff at the rest of the Network schools mailed grocery cards to their students and families in need.

Covid-19: Week 3 of Food Distributions, April 3, 2020

At Parkville High School, the Network distributed via grocery gift cards and donated food the equivalent of 1700 meals.  Many thanks to McAvoy’s Sports Bar & Grill, St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson Presbyterian Church, and the Baltimore Hunger Project, which all donated food for today!

For the first time, we also distributed essential items, including toilet paper, soap, and laundry detergent – $800 worth donated.

We had twice as much food to give out as last week and ran out in the same amount of time, just over an hour, which shows how fast the need is increasing.

In addition to the food distribution at Parkville, staff at the rest of the Network schools mailed grocery cards to their students and families in need.

Photos: Mitch Koppelman, Reuters

Why We Do What We Do:  Thank You Note From Battle Monument School, March 31, 2020

We received this lovely note from one of the Network schools. Battle Monument School serves students between the ages of 3 years and 21 years old who have multiple disabilities and reside in the southeast area of Baltimore County.

Dear Student Support Donors and Volunteers,

The Battle Monument School Community is extremely grateful for your donation of grocery gift cards for our families. We have received a number of emails from families extending their sincere thanks. Families have expressed how challenging this time has been for them, and that they were thought about and supported through your gift meant a lot.

Our families, like everyone else, struggle with limited or discontinued income/resources as a result of this pandemic.

Our students thrive with routine, structure, and consistent supervision/care. Our current situation has put added stress on families who must find ways to address our student’s special physical and behavioral needs in their homes, without assistance or a break. For many of our families, finding ways to get out to food distribution sites with their children poses a serious challenge. Many of our students are medically fragile and require special diets or supplies. Having the freedom to use a grocery gift card to get what they need is extremely helpful. Their challenges will continue throughout this pandemic.

Again, thank you so much for your support. Our school community very much appreciates the support you have given to our families.

Sincerely yours,

Hilary R. Hellerbach, LCSW-C

School Social Worker

Battle Monument School

Covid-19: Week 2 of Food Distributions, March 27, 2020

Another great success with our food distribution at Parkville High School today!

We distributed 250 sub sandwiches (donated by St. Joseph Medical Center); 100 boxes of produce (donated by Hungry Harvest); 140 bags of food and some personal care items donated by the Student Support Network; and $500 in grocery gift cards were distributed by school staff. Everything we had was distributed in about an hour and ten minutes before we ran out – over 100 cars came through in the first hour, with students of all ages.

Many thanks to Erin of St. Joseph Medical Center, David of Hungry Harvest, Timonium United Methodist Church, and our Network volunteers, the Principal of Parkville High School, Ms. Maureen Astarita, Ms. Roxann Anderson, the PPW for Parkville, and Officer Buie, for helping us with this distribution! 

A Food Distribution Was Made March 25, 2020

Great work from our friends at Loch Raven Academy and Halstead Academy for distributing 3,000 lbs of food from the Maryland Food Bank to 89 families yesterday! The Student Support Network helped support this distribution by providing plastic bags/gloves/hand sanitizer and supplementing food with grocery gift cards.

A Food Distribution Was Also Made At Owings Mills High School, March 20, 2020

We also made a distribution of food at Owings Mills High School today.  Here’s a report from Vicki Almond on the wonderful results:

225 people served – this does not count the many additional family members who will benefit from:
   150 sub sandwiches donated to the Network for distribution
   100 boxes of produce donated to the Network
   65 bags of food purchased by the Network
   frozen items donated by the Maryland Food Bank

We are so thankful to Vicki and her organization of volunteers at the High School who made this distribution possible!

Our First Food Distribution Was Made at Parkville High School, March 20, 2020

In support of Network students during the Covid-19 outbreak, we made our first food and grocery card distribution at Parkville High School today.  It was a huge success! We gave out 150 sub sandwiches and grocery cards – everything was gone in an hour. We hope to be back next Friday with more food.

Many thanks to the Community Health Specialist and Community Outreach staff of the University of Maryland St. Joseph Health Center for making this donation — and the one to Owings Mills High School today also — possible!

We got close enough just for a few seconds for one group picture with Parkville school staff (will not do that again…). We all wore gloves – the hospital provided hand sanitizer and wipes and the tablecloth and information on the virus to pass out – very thoughtful!