All posts by Hearts & Homes for Youth

APRIL/MAY 2022 Happenings

Celebrating our Young Mothers on Mother’s Day

We celebrated the young mothers in our Damamli Independent Living Program with a Mother’s day Lunch. The girls were treated to a delicious meal at Matthew’s 1600 in Catonsville, MD. They also received gift bags filled with goodies. We are proud of our young mothers!



Rob and Linda Hermann, Foster Parents of the Month for April

We are thrilled to announce the Foster Parent of the Month – Linda and Rob Hermann. These two are an incredibly dedicated couple who have been with Hearts and Homes for over 20 years! Their empathy, consistency, wisdom, and years of experience make them incredible foster and adoptive parents to all the children in their family. We are so lucky to know them and to have seen the positive impacts they have had on foster children over the years.

Hearts & Homes Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Thank you to all of our sponsors and the golfers who participated in our 10th Annual Charity Golf Tourna-ament, especially our Premier Sponsor, Standard Technology, Inc.! We were thrilled to see all of our old friends and make new ones. Thank-fully it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day. Congratulations to our First Place winners, Halpern Financial; Second Place winners, HUB International; and Third Place winners; Paley Rothman, Attorneys at Law.

Click here to see the photos from the Event!

Thank You Sandra Queen!

Sending a big shout out to Sandra Queen an HHY counselor. Ms. Queen has been with our agency going on 9 yrs. She has been an integral part of our Kemp Mill program. She takes on additional tasks and shifts whenever asked and is a true team player. Ms. Queen always has the youth’s best interest at heart and motivates them to achieve their goals. We are truly grateful to have her.

On to College!

Deshaun has been with us for 7 months coming from Baltimore County. He has been able to attend school on a reduced schedule and work a job while at our Jumpstart program. Program manager, Dion West, took him to University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne for the Engagement Day for Future Freshman at the end of April. Deshaun had a great time and wanted to make it official. Shortly after he received his acceptance letter for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore! We are so happy and excited for him in this next chapter of his life! We wish him the best in all his future endeavors!

A Positive Outing

The young men in our Avis Birely Program were able to attend a motivational event by Tony Hoffman, From Prison to the Olympics. He shared how he reformed his life by setting goals, developing healthy coping skills, and healthy friendships which helped him reform his life.

March 2022 Happenings

March Was Social Work Month!

We celebrated our Social Workers during Social Work Month. A fun night was had by all at the Walrus Oyster and Ale House at Columbia Mall. Our highly qualified team of social workers are vital to the work we do, providing much needed care and support to the youth we serve. They actively engage our youth in individual, group, and family therapy leading them to brighter futures!

We love Our Social Workers!

Speaking of Social Workers, Rhiannon Richards has gone above and beyond in her role as the Social Worker at our Avis Birely Therapeutic Group Home. In the last few weeks there has been a significant transition in leadership at the program, leaving Rhiannon as the remaining consistent face of the program. She has picked up additional programmatic duties to ensure continuity of care for the youth. She has also been providing additional therapeutic support to the young men as they work to adjust to the change in leadership. Rhiannon’s dedication to the wellbeing of our youth is truly admirable, and the agency is lucky to have her as part of the Social Work team!

A Heartfelt Welcome to Our Newest Foster Parents!

Welcome Martha and George Benyella! The Benyellas  are an exceptionally loving couple excited to open their hearts and their home to a foster child in need! As the parents of five adult children, the Benyellas are motivated to continue on parenting and giving back to their community. Both George and Martha are most looking forward to providing steady care and consistent nurturing to any child placed in their home. However, George is particularly excited to play sports with a child while Martha is looking forward to teaching a child how to cook and having lots of good laughs together. Hearts and Homes is so excited to welcome Martha’s warm energy and George’s patient listening ear into our foster parent family!


We are super proud of Marcus, a young man in our foster care program. He competed in his middle school’s spelling bee and won! He then participated in the next round and won again! Now he’s on to the National Spelling Bee contest. We wish him the best and will cheer him on to success!


Don’t forget to sign up for our Charity Golf Tournament!
May 23 – Norbeck Country Club


February 2022 Happenings

Spring is on the horizon and it’s time to get outside and play golf! Please join us at Norbeck Country Club on May 23 for a fun time while supporting our kids. This is a great networking opportunity, since we have many sponsors from top companies playing in the event. It’s also a good time to meet our incredible staff and find out more about what we do each day to help children in need. Visit www.heartsandhomes/golf for more info and to register.  See you on the green!

Meet Our Newest Social Worker

Please join me in welcoming Florence Amankwaa-Asante to HHY as our newest Clinical Case Manager! Florence is an Alum of Howard University. She is a wife and a new mom who loves to cook, write, and hike. She has a passion for children and she loves participating in outreach services anytime she can. She is very involved in her church and is working to be more involved in her community. Florence says, “I’m excited to join this great team and I look forward to working with everyone!” We are so very lucky to have her here with us at HHY!

We’re Excited About These Success Stories!

Jarred recently joined the spring musical at his school! This is the first time he has ever done extracurricular activities at school, and he’s loving it so far! His performance is at the end of March, and the whole program is planning to go to support him.

There were 2 successful discharges from our Helen Smith Home. One young woman was able to reunite with her mom and go home to live. The other young woman has successfully gone on to independent living. She’s working and in school, and her goal is to work at Hearts & Homes one day!

Fun Photo Day

Our executive team had a fun day being photographed for our website bios. Troy “Seven” Timberlake from Ex Voto Studio did an incredible job making us look our best! You may view the results on our website to see what we all look like! If you need a professional picture for yourself or your staff, please check out his website at

December 2021 Happenings

End of the Year Giving Campaign

We are incredibly thankful to all those who participated in our End of the Year Giving Campaign. Your generosity helped us raise over $80,000! We’ve had a couple of difficult years due to COVID, and this money will help us provide all of the services that our kids deserve and need including trauma/abuse focused treatment, educational and job search support, individual/group/family therapy, onsite psychiatric consultation, substance abuse treatment, grief and loss counseling, school enrollment and advocacy,
healthcare, anger and behavior management, and life skills training. We appreciate and are incredibly thankful for your support!

Thank you to all of our Holiday Gift Sponsors for making the holidays brighter for our children! 

Adam and Andrea Abramowitz       Jeff Duckworth
Adam Silverstein                               Katie
Barbara Jordan                                 Kayla Bogle
Brigid Corrigan                                  Kingdom Fellowship A.M.E. Church
Carey Miller                                        Melinda Coolidge
Cheryl Hess                                        Michelle Steffes
Church Women’s Ministries              Mindy Steffes
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Concord St. Andrews Church           Montgomery County Planning Dept.
David Moon                                       Northrop Grumman Corporation
Diener Foundation                             Paley Rothman Attorneys
DLH Corporation                                Paul & Geraldine Stein
Edelman Financial Engines               Sally Dohner
Education Week Silver                       Spring United Methodist Church
Fred Pugh GlaxoSmithKline              Takoma Park Seventh Day Adventist
Jannette Hasan

Our kids were overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity!

Celebrating our Young Mothers

Hearts and Homes loves to take any occasion to celebrate our youth, and the holidays create the perfect chance. We held a Damamli Day of Thanks to recognize our Damamli Independent Living Program mothers and the amazing jobs they do as young parents. Our incredible community partners joined in to make the day extra special with a nail salon, professional portraiture, great food, and gorgeous decorations!


Coats for  our Kids!

We are so excited and grateful to receive these coats from The Children’s Charity Foundation’s Coats for Kids! These stylish coats were much needed to help keep all of our kids safe and warm this winter. The Children’s Charities Foundation has distributed brand new winter coats to more than 27,000 children from 30 charities in the metropolitan area valued at more than $810,000. Thank you to this incredible organization for partnering and helping us once again!

Congratulations to LaVance Gholston, HHY’s Training Coordinator, for his 20 years of service and dedication to our youth! We appreciate you!

November 2021 Happenings

Thanksgiving at HHY

Our kids enjoyed delicious Thanksgiving meals due to the generosity of our supporters. Many thanks to Karyn Gross for donating 6 turkeys along with Giant gift cards. We’re also thankful once again to Kingdom Fellowship Church for their generous donation of turkeys and fixings for scrumptious Thanksgiving dinners for all of our HHY youth.


Youth Support

It’s a joy to see young people connect with their community and give back! Every year the children at the Sheridan School in DC share their Halloween candy with our kids, and this year was no exception. We received boxes of yummy treats that will bring much snacking happiness!
The Girl Up club at Berman Hebrew Academy packed up and donated 97 boxes filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, lotion, shampoo, a deck of cards, and dental floss. These will be nice welcoming packages for our incoming kids. We’re thankful for youth giving back to youth!


Foster Parent Spotlight

Ms. Shara Simms and her son Liam will be joining the HHY team as our newest foster family! Shara and Liam are celebration enthusiasts who love to experience seasonal activities like sledding, apple picking, swimming at the pool, visiting the park, and going on cool trips together. This duo is excited to welcome a third individual into their home so that they can share their love of having fun with a child in need of care, safety, and nurturing. When 5-year-old Liam was asked how he would feel playing with someone who may not be that good at sharing yet or know how to play well with others, he wisely responded “I suppose I will have to practice my patience.” Clearly, we are incredibly lucky to have these two join our team, and we know that they will make a huge difference in the life of a child placed in their care.

End of the Year Giving

Thank you to everyone who has generously given to our End of the Year and Giving Tuesday campaigns. We still need your help to provide the best care for our kids including trauma/abuse focused treatment, educational and job search support, individual/group/family therapy, onsite psychiatric consultation, substance abuse treatment, grief and loss counseling, school enrollment and advocacy, healthcare, anger and behavior management, and life skills training. All donations are tax deductible, so please consider helping us as 2021 comes to a close. We thank you for your consideration!

Our Holiday Gift Drive is going strong! There is still time to make the holiday wishes of a child come true. If you would like to participate, please contact:
Hazel Eguia at

October Happenings 2021

End of the Year campaign – Planting the Seeds of Change

Dear Supporters – The youth and families we serve have faced considerable challenges throughout their lives including extensive trauma at home and in their community. Our families need our support as they don’t always have the resources needed to safely support their children. As a result of barriers, our young people have significant mental health diagnoses and considerable setbacks in their day-to-day functioning. It is not uncommon for our youth to experience anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, PTSD, and a general mistrust of others, which is why our supportive services are so critical to help them begin their journey of healing. Community support is vital to provide the best services for our youth, and we need your help! If you would like to help us plant a seed of change for a child, please Click here to learn more. Thank you!

Make a Wish Come true!

The holiday season is upon us! Every year many of you help make wishes come true by participating in our Holiday Gift Drive. Through the generosity of our gift givers, we are able to provide holiday gifts to all of the children in our care. If you would like to provide some holiday cheer to a child, please contact Hazel Eguia at or visit Click here for more information. Many thanks!

Staff Spotlight

Introducing Toni: Toni Robinson is our Intake and Admissions Intern! Toni chose to work at Hearts & Homes because she is interested in working with foster youth, and children in general. Toni is currently a student at UMBC, and will be graduating with her Bachelor’s in Social Work the fall of 2022. She plans to get an MSW and her license in the future! She chose Social Work as her major because she has had a passion for helping others ever since she was a young child. Toni loves going to the beach during all seasons, but especially during the summer. She has four dogs, and has never been on a plane!
Many of our interns end up becoming full time employees when they graduate. We love having them intern with us!

Thank you to Truist Bank!

We are thankful to Truist Bank for their continual help for our kids through their Lighthouse Project. This year we were blessed by 2 Lighthouse Projects! Many thanks to Steven Davis for organizing a work day at our Mary’s Mount Manor home. We received 2 beautiful leather sofas, and the volunteers painted several rooms and cleaned up the yard. Henry Chavez organized his Truist group, and they donated much needed household items to our Helen Smith Home including sheets, comforters, towels, and kitchen/bathroom supplies. We greatly appreciate Truist Bank’s support of the children in our care!

Each child or teenager in our care writes a “Wish List”. If you volunteer to become a “Wish Maker”, we will send you the name, age, and wishes of the child you choose to help. Some groups adopt a household full of children, while others give a gift or two. Any help you give would be wonderful and will send a message of care and support to our young people.

Helpful Tips:           

  •  Do not feel obligated to fulfill the entire wishlist. Anything you can to help the children would be wonderful.
  •  Please do not wrap your gifts, but gift bags are greatly appreciated. Label your items with the child’s name and program name.
  • If you bundle gifts into boxes or plastic bags, you can just use one label for all.
  • If you are donating gift certificates, please put them in a sealed envelope.
  • We can arrange pick-up of the gift donations if needed. If delivering gifts, please deliver to:

HHY, 3919 National Drive, Suite 400
Burtonsville, MD 20866

  • All donations should be received by Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. If this is not possible, please call.

August 2021 Happenings

Thank you DLH Corporation!

For the past 19 years the DLH Corporation, previously known as Social & Scientific Systems, has been generously providing our kids with backpacks full of school supplies. We’re thankful that this year once again we can send them to school fully equipped to start a successful new school year! Thank you to DLH, Alicia Thomas, and the ladies that put this project together pictured here with our CEO, Chloe Perez.

Foster Parent Picnic

HHY celebrated our foster parents with a Foster Parent Appreciation Picnic at Centennial Park! The HHY family got to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon with good company, food, carnival games, and a raffle. It was awesome to see our foster parents interacting with each other – sharing stories and giving support. Our teen foster children got a kick out of challenging their peers to games of Uno, taking goofy pictures with our DIY photo booth, and hanging out in the sunshine soaking up some much-needed vitamin D. The smaller foster children spent the afternoon playing with balloons and bubbles! Lastly, we were joined by two of our esteemed board members who got to meet the staff, foster children, and foster parents in attendance.

Celebrating Success!

We are super proud of the young man in one of our programs who received an Elite Achiever Award from his place of employment, Petco. He received this award for his outstanding customer service and doubling the amount of sales in the department he works in. We congratulate him for his achievement!

Roma Marshall, LCSW-C

Meet Roma Marshall, HHY’s Chief Administrator and Clinical Director for our Damamli Independent Living and Therapeutic Foster Care programs. Ms. Roma is a sensational advocate for her team and for the youth in our care. She is a great role model for those she supervises, her sense of humor keeps everyone laughing, and her problem solving abilities are legendary. Thank you for everything that you do, Ms. Roma!