Author Archives: grassrootstim

Back to School Supplies Drive 2021: Backpacks and Gift Cards Information

Last year the COVID-19 pandemic and switch to virtual classrooms changed the way we collected and distributed school supplies. We asked for gift cards for students instead of backpacks and supplies and are grateful for the amazing generosity of Howard County residents, groups, businesses and faith congregations in responding to this change.

We received feedback from many parents and students who greatly appreciated the flexibility that gift cards provided – they were able to purchase exactly what they needed. Many families also appreciate receiving backpacks that are filled with essential supplies so this year we are taking a hybrid approach to best serve local families in need. Following is more information and thank you for helping prepare Howard County students for success this year!

Backpacks (new items only)
Pack a backpack with supplies for elementary, middle or high school students. Specifically we are looking for:

Twenty-five to thirty backpacks containing the following:

  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • One 1” Binder
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Crayons
  • Highlighters
  • Ruler
  • Calculator

Neutral colors and packs without characters on them are helpful for providing supplies to diverse ages and genders.

Visit the HCPSS School Supply Lists website for suggestions on quantities for schools and grade levels at https://www.hcpss.org/schools/school-supply-lists/

Gift Cards
We recommend gift cards in amounts of $20, $25 or $50 from Staples, Walmart and Target.

Note: Due to storage limitations we are asking for backpacks and gift cards only. If you would like to donate individual items such as notebooks, loose leaf paper, folders, crayons, pencils & pens, glue, rulers, etc. we suggest contributing directly to a school in your area. Thanks for your understanding!

For questions please contact Monteith Mitchell, Volunteer Coordinator, at mont@grassrootscrisis.org or (410) 531-6006.

Click here for a pdf of this information.

Spirit Award Presented to Nursing Team

Spirit Award Presented to Nursing Team

Grassroots has honored the crisis intervention center’s team of nurses and nurse practitioners with the annual Grassroots Spirit Award to recognize their helpfulness, openness, welcoming spirit and respect for colleagues, clients and visitors. The award was presented during Nurses Appreciation Week. The Grassroots nursing team is responsible for the clients being served in the New Beginnings… Continue Reading

Grassroots Recognizes Nursing Team with Annual Spirit Award

New Beginnings nurses and nurse practitioners distinguish themselves during COVID-19 pandemic. Grassroots has honored the crisis intervention center’s team of nurses and nurse practitioners with the annual Grassroots Spirit Award to recognize their helpfulness, openness, welcoming spirit and respect for colleagues, clients and visitors. The award was presented during Nurses Appreciation Week. The Grassroots nursing… Continue Reading

Volunteers Needed in Columbia and Jessup Centers

Grassroots is seeking volunteers for both the Crisis Intervention Center and Shelter in Columbia and for the Day Resource Center in Jessup, according to Grassroots Volunteer Coordinator Monteith Mitchell.   Volunteers are needed to serve as Office Assistants in Columbia on Thursdays and Fridays for two-hour shifts between 10 a.m.-3 p.m.   Two volunteers age… Continue Reading

Grassroots Cold Weather Shelter Ends Busy Season

Clients receive help applying for housing vouchers and health insurance, finding jobs, screening for substance use, replacing identification The Howard County Government, partnering with Grassroots and local faith communities, provided an expanded Cold Weather Shelter Program for 37 struggling individuals from the end of November until the end of March. People are referred to the… Continue Reading

Opioid Related Deaths Increase in 2020

Howard County saw a 43% increase in opioid related deaths in 2020, compared to 2019, part of a national and statewide trend as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated opioid and substance misuse, according to information provided by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.   “Our community, like others, is suffering from the compounding of the coronavirus pandemic… Continue Reading

LGBTQ+ Community Provided Safe Space

More Trainers Needed to Support Program Grassroots is seeking applicants for “Safe Space,” its training and certification program to learn how to provide a supportive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. The program helps attendees become more culturally competent in providing services and dealing with issues specific to the LGBTQ+ population. Since 2017, over 200 people have… Continue Reading

Grassroots Distributes Rent and Utility Relief Funds

Grassroots is distributing $1 million in Howard County COVID-19 Relief funds to help residents pay past due utility bills and rent payments to prevent eviction. The U.S. Treasury is providing the rent relief and utility assistance funding. In the two weeks since Grassroots partnered with the county to process applications and award the relief funds,… Continue Reading

Howard County Covid-19 Relief – Rental and Utility Assistance

Beginning March 11, 2021, Howard County residents may contact one of the participating providers to complete an application for assistance to pay past due utility bills and rent payments to prevent eviction. Maximum assistance per household is 12 months of rent and utility expenses. Residents that previously received rental assistance are eligible to apply for… Continue Reading