Annual Campaign Focuses on Community Service and Philanthropy
During the 2018-2019 school year, Howard County students raised a record-setting $80,000 to support services at Grassroots, the county’s 24-7 crisis intervention center and shelter for the homeless.
Of the county’s 74 elementary, middle and high schools, 43 participated in last year’s Change Matters campaign, the student community service and philanthropy initiative designed to raise awareness of Grassroots’ services, especially suicide prevention and the shelter program. The rise in suicide by young people and the increase in students without a permanent home were the catalysts for Change Matters.
Grassroots provides 24-hour crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and support to individuals and families with a mental health, substance use or homelessness crisis. Last year, Grassroots received 36,899 calls on its hotline, had 3,348 counseling sessions and other face-to-face contacts, and housed 500 people through the shelter program, including 118 children.
“We are grateful the students of Howard County so generously responded to the needs of others in the community,” said Grassroots Executive Director Ayesha Holmes. “These students will be the leaders, volunteers and philanthropists of the future,” she added.
Student fundraising activities included walkathons, sports competitions, movie nights, talent shows, candy sales, concerts, and change collections among other efforts. In addition, students held canned food drives, made bag lunches, gathered holiday presents for children in the shelter and volunteered at benefits for Grassroots, such as Soup’r Sundae and Breakfast with Santa.
“At any grade level, Change Matters provides opportunities for leadership and advocacy,” explained coordinator Cathy Smith. “Students learn that you are never too young to make a difference,” she added.
For more information about Change Matters, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-203-4662.