Maryland Departments of Environment, Aging, Budget and Management, Juvenile Services, and Health and Mental Hygiene Hold Day of Service Events

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Erin Montgomery

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erin.montgomery@maryland.gov

Maryland Departments of Environment, Aging, Budget and Management, Juvenile Services, and Health and Mental Hygiene Hold Day of Service Events

Annapolis, MD (August 12, 2015) – The Maryland Departments of Environment, Aging, Budget and Management, Juvenile Services, and Health and Mental Hygiene today participated in events as part of Governor Hogan’s “Maryland Unites: Day of Service” initiative.

Maryland Unites (www.marylandunites.org) was created in April, in the wake of civil unrest in Baltimore, and has raised more than $500,000 toward relief efforts. The “Day of Service” initiative is an opportunity for state employees to offer their time and talents to benefit our citizens through community service. State employees will receive four hours of paid leave if they choose to participate and have the option to take part in the agency event or a volunteer activity of their choice.

“These days of service are about the spirit of giving back and sharing it with our state and our local communities,” said Governor Hogan. “I am proud of the overwhelming response we have received to date and encourage all state employees to participate in an event with the shared goal of helping those in need.”

On June 1, Governor Hogan announced “Maryland Unites: Day of Service,” directing his Executive Cabinet to coordinate a volunteer event for employees at their respective agencies. Additional “Day of Service” agency-wide events are scheduled onAug. 26.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) today partnered with Steuart Hill Academic Academy Elementary School in West Baltimore to provide volunteer assistance in preparing the building and surrounding grounds for the upcoming school year, including: cleaning up trash, moving furniture into classrooms, and painting the walls of hallways and classrooms.

“MDE is pleased to partner with Steuart Hill Academic Academy Elementary School for Governor Hogan’s Day of Service,” said MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles. “All Maryland students deserve to start a new school year in a clean and inviting environment that encourages creativity and critical thinking skills. I hope that MDE’s efforts at Steuart Hill will inspire others to get out and beautify their own communities.”

The Maryland Department of Aging today announced a new supplemental food program called “My Groceries to Go!”—which will provide healthy meals and promote better nutrition among low-income older Marylanders. The new program is a partnership of the Department of Aging and the Maryland Food Bank.

Secretary of Aging Rona E. Kramer will be joined by 15 volunteers who will pack and distribute boxes filled with 40 pounds of food for older adults who have registered for the program. Also on that day, fresh produce will be distributed to older adults in attendance.

“The ‘My Groceries to Go!’ supplemental food program will allow us to provide nutritious meals to our most precious citizens,” said Secretary of Aging Rona E. Kramer. “We are excited about our partnership with the Maryland Food Bank and the USDA because, with their help, we are able to expand our goal of keeping our senior citizens healthy.”

Employees of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), including DBM Secretary David Brinkley, today prepared sandwiches to donate to the Annapolis Lighthouse Shelter’s bagged lunch program, along with collecting donations to deliver to their Career Closet, which is a program that assists in finding appropriate clothing for jobs and job interviews.

“With these days of service, Governor Hogan has been encouraging state employees to invest in their communities, and we at DBM have taken that to heart,” Secretary Brinkley said. “Our staff here in Annapolis have donated not only their time, but the food and other items as well. On top of that, last month many of our Baltimore staff members volunteered at the Franciscan Center in Baltimore City, where they served lunch, sorted clothing donations, and helped organize the store. I’m proud to see that so many of our employees understand the importance of giving back, and I hope many more throughout the state are inspired by our example.”

The Annapolis Lighthouse Shelter is an organization dedicated to rebuilding lives by providing shelter and services to prevent homelessness and empower people as they transition toward employment, housing, and self-sufficiency.

Also today, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) gave back to the local Baltimore City community with free, fresh, organic peaches that were just picked by DJS youth at an orchard in Western Maryland.

“Picking peaches with more than a dozen of our DJS kids was a unique and rewarding experience for all,” said Secretary Sam Abed of the Department of Juvenile Services. “Not only are we assisting our youth to become successful leaders, we are also distributing the organic fruit to the Baltimore City community.”

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is also participating by giving its employees a variety of ways to contribute to the efforts to help the thousands of Marylanders at risk of hunger. DHMH is holding a food drive, along with a virtual food drive where DHMH employees can visit the DHMH Virtual Food Drive site at https://fooddrive.mdfoodbank.org/dhmh, where they can purchase the most-needed items and make a difference in the lives of food-insecure Maryland individuals and families. DHMH is also encouraging staff to volunteer at the Maryland Food Bank.

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