Category Archives: Hearts & Homes events

November 2020 Happenings

Holiday Gift Drive – Become a Wishmaker!

Our Holiday Gift Drive is going strong and it’s not too late to contribute. You can give holiday cheer to a child by purchasing items on their wish lists. Your kindness during this season is greatly appreciated by our youth and all of us at Hearts & Homes. Please contact Hazel Eguia at heguia@heartsandhomes.org to get started. Find out more ››

We are Thankful!

Thanksgiving was extra special this year as we reflected on all the things we were thankful for, including you! We are especially thankful for those who helped us in the month of November:
The Woodland Family – Organized and contributed art supplies and games
Kingdom Fellowship A.M.E. Church – Donated 15 turkeys to our homes
Chores for Charities, Kurtis Cross, Marquise Evan’s and Nandos Peri-Peri – Provided 80 Thanksgiving meals to our foster homes, independent living apartments and group homes
Jack & Jill Club of PG County – provided homemade Thanksgiving meals to our JumpStart and Helen Smith group homes
BB&T & Suntrust Bank, now Truist– Contributed care packages through their Lighthouse Project for all of our children, and paint for one of our group homes
Alexandra Martin and Razzle Dazzle Birthdays – Provided a birthday party and gifts to our kids with November Birthdays

  

End of the Year Campaign

As we come to the end of 2020 with the hope of a better year ahead, please consider one last donation to Hearts & Homes. Your contribution helps us provide tutoring sessions, childcare for young mothers, educational & recreational outings, GED programs, vocational trainings, trauma services, diapers & baby supplies for young mothers, life skills trainings and much more. To donate please visit our website www.heartsandhomes.org or mail your check to: Hearts & Homes for Youth, 3919 National Drive, Suite 400, Burtonsville, MD 20866. Thank you for your consideration!

October 2020 Happenings

Virtual Gala Update

Our first online Virtual Charity Gala was a success! We send out heartfelt thanks to all who purchased sponsorships, tickets, silent auction items and viewed the event online. A special thank you to our Premier Sponsor, Aronson, LLC! We greatly appreciate everyone’s help in providing for our children during these challenging times. We’re also very grateful to Automatic Films  for donating their time and expertise in filming the event, Rob Sheer of Comfort Cases for being our MC,  Steven Davis for chairing our gala committee, and Jasmine Green for heading up our gala marketing committee. We wish a bright future for all in 2021 and hope we can meet in person then.
 

Holiday Gift Drive

Each and every year we rely on generous donors like you to help us fulfill the wishes of the children of Hearts & Homes for Youth. Each child or teenager in our care writes a “Wish List”.  If you participate to become a “Wish Maker”, we’ll 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 will be wonderful and would send a message of care and support to our young people. Please email heguia@heartsandhomes.org to become a wish maker.
 

Community Help

Thank you to Lisa Stearns and the Ms. Biz Mornings Networking Group for purchasing and assembling brand new tote bags filled with toiletries for our young women. 
 

A yummy homemade dinner was delivered to our JumpStart and Helen Smith group homes from the Jack & Jill Club, Prince Georges County. Thank you to Zakia Brunson and the club for coordinating several dinner for our kids! 
 

Hero Corner

Heroes are among us!!! LaTonya Gardner, one of our newly licensed foster parents, has been with the Family Ties, Treatment Foster Care program, for almost a year. During her tenure she has been instrumental in supporting the placement of one youth with a history of involvement with the Department of Juvenile Services. The youth had several pending charges and was committed to a detention center for several years prior to placement. Currently the same youth has had no police involvement during his entire stay with Ms. Gardner. The youth has progressed well in school and his outlook on life has improved vastly! The placement has been so successful, Ms. Gardner accepted the youth’s sibling in her home as well. Despite the challenges of raising her own biological child along with youth placed in her home by our agency, Ms. Gardner continues to prevail. Ms. Gardner has a total of three foster youth in her home. The younger youth, while experiencing the impact of trauma and neglect are thriving and getting and stronger by the day! The training and oversight provided by Hearts & Homes for Youth, along with being an amazing, caring and patient human being, Ms. Gardner emerges as a hero and beautiful human being! Even in this time of great national and global distress, Ms. Gardner and many of our Foster Resource Parents forge a path of love by opening their homes and their hearts!

August 2020 Happenings

Your help is needed more than ever as we navigate the new reality of living during a pandemic. More children are entering the child welfare system, thus we have a need for more foster parents who can provide kids  with a loving, safe home and help support families and our community.

Join us for an inspiring evening online as we raise money to help the children in our  Foster Care, Group Homes and Independent Living programs. Discover all that Hearts & Homes has to offer and be part  of building a brilliant future for a child!

For more information, tickets and sponsorship opportunities visit: www.heartsandhomes.org/gala2020
Or contact Valerie Snogren at vsnogren@heartsandhomes.org

We’re Proud of Jason!

This month we successfully discharged one of our Avis Birely residents after 5 months with us. When this youth first arrived, he was understandably frustrated with his situation and was struggling in many facets of his life. He was skipping classes at school, he was experiencing tension in his family relationships, he was experiencing a distrust of others, and on top of all of that he was a new parent. Instead of sitting in his frustration, this youth challenged himself to use his time at Avis Birely to improve his situation. Upon his discharge, this youth had passed his summer class with a B, worked hard in therapy to improve his communication with his mother, and completed a parenting program to help guide him through fatherhood. The amount of hard work and focus that this young man demonstrated in such a short time was amazing and we hope the skills he gained while at Avis Birely help him as he navigates his bright future!

Madison Too!

We’re also proud of Madison who graduated from high school and is on her way to Southern Maryland Community College!

Summer Fun

What did your kids do this summer to stay occupied? It was challenge keeping teenagers busy during the pandemic when they were confined to their homes. Below are some things our kids did to keep busy this summer.

Garden Update

Look what our garden has produced! We’re super excited to see the success of this project. Our JumpStart guys are enjoying the fruits of their labor!

June 2020 Happenings

We are Thankful for our Heroes!

Heroes are among us!!! Foster parents, Mr. Tony & Ms. Amy, are a beautiful example of what it takes to create a home full of love and compassion. Mr. Tony & Ms. Amy accepted three young men in their home over a year and a half ago. The youth came to the attention of local social services due to a history of neglect. Mr. Tony & Ms. Amy have worked with the local referring agency, Hearts & Homes for Youth, as well as the biological family of the three brothers to ensure their overall safety, well-being and successful development. Due to their efforts one of the brothers has transitioned to an Independent Living program where he is offered to live in an apartment and gain valuable life skills to ensure his future success. The oldest brother who suffers with cognitive delays has improved his communications skills and will soon successfully complete high school. Each Brother remains in therapy and are meeting their individual goals successfully. Mr. Tony & Ms. Amy have continued to make great sacrifices for all three youth to ensure they know they are loved and supported. There are many struggles in raising youth who suffer with mental health concerns and can become overwhelmed with their past trauma stories. However, these two amazing foster parents press toward a mark of excellence shrouded in love, patience and understanding. The training and oversight provided by Hearts & Homes for Youth, along with being amazing, caring and patient human beings, Mr. Tony & Ms. Amy emerge as heroes! Even in this time of great national and global distress, Mr. Tony & Ms. Amy and many of our Foster Resource Parents forge a path of love by opening their homes and their hearts!
Kevin Beverly, President of Social & Scientific Systems with help from Melissa Boone and Alicia Thomas, have continually provided dinners for the young men at our Avis Birely Home. Kevin is a wonderful chef. His homemade delivered dinners are a real hit with the guys, who were also excited to receive clothing, sports equipment and personal care items from Kevin, Alicia and Melissa.
Sharonda Jones, Founder and Executive Director of the Little Phoenixes Foundation, donated copies of her book, Nevertheless, Peace in Spite of Pain along with tote bags from the University of The District of Columbia, Frisbees and some personal care items for our young ladies. The Little Phoenixes Foundation is dedicated to encouraging youth to dream a bright future, empowering them to believe in their ability, and inspiring them to rise above the challenges and circumstances they face. They offer mentoring, after school programs and summer enrichment programs. www.LittlePhoenixesFoundation.org
Jazmyn McKoy, Founder of the Heart of Tabitha Foundation generously donated a meal from Cava to our Helen Smith Girls’ Home. The girls loved being treated to a delicious meal delivered to the home. Jazmyn also donated paint, paint brushes, string, chalk markers, string, a basketball and several art canvases to the program. The girls are excited about having a paint night at the house. The Heart of Tabitha Foundation is dedicated to preparing, inspiring, and guiding economically and socially disadvantaged students to achieve their post-secondary goals, enroll in college and/or learn about career options, and have a greater chance at living a fulfilling life. www.heartoftabithafoundation.org/

Teenagers Make the Most of Downtimes

Look how their garden has grown! In April we promised pictures of the garden that the young men of our JumpStart program planted. Tomatoes, squash, potatoes, Zinnias, and other veggies have popped up, and some are almost ready to eat!

 

 

Our 2020 Annual Charity Gala is Going Virtual

Your help is needed more than ever as we navigate the new reality of living during a pandemic. More children are entering the child welfare system, thus we have a need for more foster parents who can provide kids with a loving, safe home and help support families and our community. Join us for an inspiring evening online as we raise money to help the children in our Foster Care, Group Homes and Independent Living programs. Discover all that Hearts & Homes has to offer and be part of building a brilliant future for a child!

Online October 15, 2020 – 7pm

 

True Heroes Live Here

We are thankful to the many people who have supported us during this pandemic. They are our heroes!

Mark Futrovsky, President of Rolyn Companies, provided pizza for all of our group homes.
Alicia Thomas of DLH Corporation had dinner delivered to the guys at our Avis Birely Home for 3 nights from their favorite places to eat.
Stacey Decker organized a donation drive for us at the offices of Education Week.
Larry Davis created a fundraising event for us on his Facebook page.
The Law Firm of Paley Rothman donated much needed hand sanitizers.
Kingdom Fellowship AME Church donated nonperishable goods to the young mothers in our Damamli Independent Living Program.
Andrew Seested, Wells Fargo, donated art supplies.
Jon Watkins donated a Wii
Kayla Kania and Cindy Cruz organized a neighborhood drive collecting food, books, games and a PS3 station.
Vietnamese American Services, Lauren Gallagher Perrella, Hazel Eguia, Anke Mann, Alison Cummings, Deanna Crouse, Ta-Keisha Smith – These people donated much needed masks.
Kevin Beverly, President of Social & Scientific Systems – Delivered his homemade spaghetti sauce and banana bread to our Avis Birely Home

The following heroes generously donated funds to help us with the extra COVID costs:

Alan Schulman, Insurance, Benefits & Advisers, Inc.
Elaine Krueger
Rebecca Martin
Lee Mintz
Keith Jennings, Snyder Cohn, PC
Dr. Judith Bernardi
Mike Whitehurst, Centrus Energy
Mark Bomster
Kathryn Turner, Standard Technology Inc.
Melissa Tarkett, Aronson
Kathleen McCallum, Ronald D. Paul Companies, Inc.
Judith Sadowsky
Liana Loewus
Ike & Catherine Leggett
Lynn Bennett
Aaron Ghais
Kinya Stewart
Michael Kurlancheek , Lime
Dr. Cyrus Katzen Foundation
Aronson

April 2020 Happenings

Wishing you and your loved ones safety and wellness during
this difficult time in the world.

We are Thankful!
We have much to be thankful for during these difficult times. First off, we are extremely thankful for our program managers, senior counselors, counselors, independent living support staff, and foster parents. They are true heroes for coming to work each day to take care of our kids, and are working hard to keep everyone safe, fed, and entertained! We’ve had many generous donations from supporters who care about our mission and kids. Sending out a heartfelt thanks to the following people that helped us in April:

The Law Firm of Paley Rothman – Our friends at Paley Rothman donated over 100hard to get hand sanitizers to help us stay safe.
Kingdom Fellowship AME Church – These longtime supporters of our youth donated non-perishable goods to young mothers, many who have lost their jobs, in our Damamli Independent Living Program.
Mark Futrovsky, President of Rolyn – Mark thoughtfully sent pizzas for dinner to all of our group homes. YUM! The kids were thankful!
Vietnamese American Services, Lauren Gallagher Perrella, Hazel Eguia, Anke Mann, Alison Cummings, Deanna Crouse, Ta-Keisha Smith – These individuals donated much needed masks that they were able to obtain or make.
Andrew Seested, HHY Board Member – Donated art supplies providing our youth with tools to express their creative spirit.
Jon Watkins – Jon generously donated a Wii to help keep our kids entertained and occupied.
Kayla Kania and Cindy Cruz – These HHY supporters organized a neighborhood drive collecting food, books, games and a PS3 station.
Keith Jennings & Alan Schulman, Board members – We are thankful for their generous monetary donations.

Helping Teenagers Make the Most of Downtime
The young men in our JumpStart Semi Independent Living Program came up with a great idea. They noticed an empty space in the yard and decided to plant a garden there. It’s in the planning stage now, but they are excited to get their hands in the dirt and start digging! Stay tuned for updates on their progress.

What Success Looks Like
A young lady at our Helen Smith program has successfully passed all of her classes and will be graduating high school with her diploma! When entering our program she was struggling with substance use and has been able to remain substance free for over 30 days. In addition, she is being successfully discharged and has been accepted to an Independent Living Program which means she will be living in her own apartment. She will continue to receive support in her new program as she learns to live independently.


Hearts & Homes is participating in Giving Tuesday Now, a global day of giving on May 5, 2020. If you would like to support us by donating or helping us out during the pandemic, please visit https://heartsandhomes.org/giving-tuesday/. Thank you!

 

Golf Tournament Update!
Unfortunately due to the current crisis our world is facing, we had to cancel our golf tournament that was scheduled for May 15 at Norbeck Country club. We will miss seeing all of our golfing friends and supporters this year, but hope to try to have the event next year when the world is in a better place.

March 2020 Happenings

During this Difficult Time

Thank you to all the people who have reached out to check on us and offer assistance. We have heard from board members, former employees, funders, family members and we are so grateful. We are working diligently to make sure our staff and youth are well taken care of and adjusting to a new way of living. We are grateful even during challenging times and know that our community will help each other through this crisis.

Chloe Perez, CEO

March – Social Worker Month

We would like to highlight our social workers this month and their extraordinary contribution they make not only to HHY but also to the community as a whole! Our phenomenal social workers inherently value the youth and families they work with always remembering that they are people first and not defined by what they are going through. They recognize the importance of meeting our young people where they are and are not afraid to stare injustice in the face if it means helping to create change or being a fierce advocate. Each day presents a new challenge, reward, opportunity for growth or learning moment and they rally around each other and the youth and families in our care to work towards supporting young people in learning how to empower themselves. We are thankful for the commitment, dedication and all that you do to enhance our community!

Thank You to Our Amazing Counselors!

Sending many thanks to our counselors, senior counselors, and program managers for keeping our kids safe by making sure they follow all safety guidelines and keeping them busy during these difficult times. We appreciate your dedication!

Success!

One of our residents began our program in September 2019. ​At the time, he was doing poorly in school, had poor relationships with his family members, and had never participated in any type of therapeutic treatment. He was feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of growth he was expected to make in our program. During the six months this resident was in our program, he made tremendous progress in all of the aforementioned domains. This resident worked diligently with staff to complete his homework nightly, and by the time of his discharge he was earning B’s and C’s in all of his classes. He also worked extremely hard in both individual and family therapy and began to enjoy weekly successful home passes with his family. And lastly, by the time of his discharge he had been promoted to the highest level of our privilege system and was presenting as a role model to all of the other residents in our home. This resident was so resilient and perseverant and we are so proud of his achievements.

Daily Quarantine Questions to ask yourself each day:

1. What am I grateful for today?
2. Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
3. What expectations of normal am I letting go of today?
4. How am I getting outside today?
5. How am I moving my body today?
6. What beauty am I creating, cultivating or inviting in today?

January 2020 Happenings

Hearts & Homes Charity Golf Tournament May 11, 2020
Are you dreaming of spring on this dreary winter day? It’s just around the corner and so is for our Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Monday, May 11, 2020. Please join us at Norbeck Country Club for a fun filled day of golf, and networking with other business professionals. We’ll have fun activities on the course as well as a silent auction and raffle. End your day of play with a cocktail and cigar on the patio. For more info please visit www.heartsandhomes.org/golf.

Diaper Bags
The young mothers in our Damamli Program were delighted to receive adorable diaper bags filled with everything they need to care for their babies. Sending a big thank you to Dr. Carolyn Conway-Branch for organizing this drive with the Grand Organizer’s Families in Crisis Department, falling under the umbrella of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order Elks of the World (I.B.P.O.E. of W.), a non-profit organization. We are thankful for their care for our youth!

Winter Coats for Our Kids
Did you know that many of the youth that come into our care have nothing but the clothes on their backs? With the cold winter weather here we were in need of warm coats for our kids. The Children’s Charity Foundation came to the rescue with a donation of 50 brand new coats! They have distributed brand new winter coats to more than 22,000 children from 30 local charities and community organizations in the Washington DC area. Many thanks to Ron for helping load the coats into our van, and to Children’s Charities for keeping our kids warm this winter! To find out more about their amazing organization please visit: https://www.ccfdc.org/coats-for-kids/

A Word from our CEO
The following is a beautiful email we received about the services we provide pregnant and parenting teen moms in our Damamli program. Thanks to our staff and your support we are able to help these amazing young women build their confidence and reach their goals. However, all the credit goes towards our young moms! It is their strength, resiliency and commitment to their children that makes it all happen!

With a warm heart, Chloe

“The Hearts and Homes staff were the epitome of professionals and were available throughout the entire process. The complex units were beautiful and very spacious for two women and their child. I was very delighted with the program stipulations, where the women were required to obtain gainful employment, keep the unit clean, monitor their child and follow visitation rules. The program was very organized, where a portion of the client’s income was put into a savings account for their successful transition into permanent housing in the community. Thank you so much for your time and services. ”

Save the Date for our Annual Charity GalaOctober 15, 2020 at Woodmont Country Club. Details to follow.

December 2019 Happenings

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!

Holiday Gift Drive
It was a joy to see the caring spirit of all those who made the season bright by participating in our Holiday Gift Drive. You showered our kids with happiness by your generous giving!
See some of their comments below:
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I appreciate you. Happy New Year!”
One young woman was having a rough day prior to opening her gifts. After opening her gifts she got very excited and said, “Thank you so much! I got everything I wanted. Best Christmas!”
“The skateboard is the best thing ever. I’ve wanted that for years!”
“I’m so happy to get the earbuds. I’ve been wanting a pair!”
“Thank you for the prayer rug, it’s great!”
“Can’t believe I got the Beats headphones. It’s my favorite gift!”

End of the Year Campaign
We are incredibly thankful to all those who participated in our End of the Year Giving Campaign. Your generosity helped us raise $28,000! This money will help us provide child care for our young mothers, tutoring sessions, educational & recreational outings, GED programs, vocational trainings, trauma services, baby supplies, life skills trainings and a lot more. Thank you!

A Special Thank You to Social & Scientific Systems
The young men in our Avis Birley Program were treated to a special dinner by the folks at Social & Scientific Systems. Their group came loaded with food and gifts for the house including sheets, blankets, coats and many other household supplies. The guys also received personal gifts from them at the program’s holiday party. They were thrilled to receive the attention and love!

Thank you to all our holiday gifts sponsors!
Adam Abramowitz
Adam & Cocoa for Kids
Andrea Goldin
Aronson, LLC
Barbara Jordan
Carey Miller
Cathy Scott
Centrus Energy
Charlene Bolden
Concord St. Andrews Church
Council of the Great City Schools
David Moon
Edelman Financial Engines
Education Week
Franklin Montessori School
Fred Pugh
GlaxoSmithKline
Howard & Sharon Metro
IBM Watson Health
Jeannette Hasan
Jennifer Roesler
John Smehil
Kara Permisohn
Kevin McRaith
Margaret Jylkka
Marie O’Dea
Melinda Coolidge
Melinda Hutton
Michelle LaLiberte
Michelle Steffes
Mindy Steffes
Mont. County Planning Dept.
Nikki Korson
Northrup Grumman Corp.
Paley Rothman
Reid Temple
Silver Spring United Methodist Church
People’s Community Baptist Church
Social & Scientific Systems
Takoma Park SDA Church
The Geddings Family
Thea Green