Category Archives: Volunteering

MLK Service Day at Silver Spring Civic Center

Thank you so much to the Montgomery County (MD) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for hosting Montgomery County’s MLK Day of Service! Thank you Nena Abdul-Wakeel, Bowie State University Graduate Student Administation, Paint Branch High School Eclectic Step Team, and MCACDST for adopting Hearts & Homes for Youth for your service projects today at the Silver Spring Civic Center!

On MLK Day, Hearts & Homes joined countless volunteers at the Silver Spring Civic Center for a Service Day hosted by the Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (MCACDST). MCACDST members led volunteers in creating beautiful bracelets for the youth in our care. The Paint Branch High School Eclectic Step Team led volunteers in creating positive word mirrors, which is a great way to boost self-esteem and support positive thinking! Bowie State University Graduate Student Administration led a room full of volunteers in making birthday cards for the youth in our foster care program, an incredible way to show them the support they have in the community!

Thank you to all the event organizers and volunteers!

“Everyone who is here cares about someone else, cares about giving, cares about serving.” – Nena Abdul-Wakeel

A Volunteer’s Impact at Kemp Mill Group Home

Recently a young professional in the community came to our Kemp Mill Group Home where he plans to come every weekend to mentor the young men there. Some of the young men spoke with us about the impact the volunteer is having on their attitudes and goals. The young men said:

“I appreciate him coming to the home, I like him. He talks to us about a lot of stuff like his work and his experiences. He talked to us about stuff we don’t even know about like how to build a career in his field and the different departments. He talked to us about how to act when you want to get a job and how to work on our anger. He talked to us about how we act toward certain things. He talked to us about how to be independent. He’s got faith in us. He made us feel like we could do anything. He gave us confidence. He said he sees a lot of potential in me. He’s funny and his stories are interesting.”

“In a group there’s always one leader who makes people feel great, good, safe, cared for. He’s like a leader. Everybody listens to him. He’s got my respect. He puts effort in. I can tell when people care and I can tell he cares. He answers all our questions. He doesn’t get mad. I feel like he understands me, even though he’s not in my shoes, I feel like he understands me.”

“He influenced us to do better. Like the way he talked to us, it doesn’t seem like we should be in this predicament. He knows we could be doing better and we shouldn’t be doing the stuff we’re doing now. I look up to him like my big brother that passed away. I like when he comes, he makes you feel at home.”

Volunteers, mentors, and tutors can have an immeasurable impact on the youth in our care. If you are interested in mentoring or tutoring, contact Caitlin Ward at

Ways to get involved and support Hearts & Homes

Are you interested in getting involved and giving back? Below we have listed a number of ways you can get involved and support the young people at Hearts & Homes for Youth. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, contact Caitlin Ward,

Sharing Your Expertise:

We are constantly working to prepare our young people to be well rounded, self-sufficient adults. There are opportunities’ to facilitate small life skills groups or provide one-on-one guidance to a young person that’s area of interest may align with your skill set. Life skills groups are hosted in Baltimore and Columbia, Md., some topic areas are:

  • Health Q&A
  • Study Skills
  • Goal Setting
  • Positive Self Identity/Self -Awareness
  • Social and Emotional Balance
  • Building a Strengths-Based Character
  • Social Skills
  • Drug Awareness
  • Budgeting and Money Management
  • Understanding Housing Costs and Paying Bills
  • Building Credit
  • Resume Writing
  • Job Skills for Maintaining Employment
  • Career Planning and Exposure
  • Healthy Relationships/SEX/Dating
  • Coping Skills/Understanding Emotions
  • Healthy Conflict Resolutions
  • Picture Framing
  • Re-upholstery
  • Electrical
  • Basic Auto Skills
  • Art
  • Cooking classes
  • Beauty and grooming (face and skin) group,
  • Personal branding
  • Parenting topics

Sponsor an Event: We aim to provide opportunities for our young people to create new positive memories while they are with us with the hope that the good will begin to offset the bad experiences in their life journey.  Some event ideas include:

  • Sponsor our Mother’s Day event
  • Sponsor an Amusement Park Trip
  • Sponsor and plan a Volunteer Day for our youth
  • Sponsor a Sporting Event Trip
  • Host a Barbeque
  • Sponsor a Graduation Party
  • Donate gift cards to restaurants, Dave and Busters, Movies, etc.

Employment Opportunities:  Our young people are seeking opportunities to build their professional skills and earn money in order to age out of foster care successfully. Our youth WILL benefit greatly while in our program as well as after they have transitioned. Some ways you can help:

  • Provide internship opportunities for our youth
  • Assist with linking qualified youth to employment opportunities

Mentoring or Tutoring: Youth in foster care often miss many needed educational opportunities and fall behind academically due to frequent moves. Providing our youth with one-on-one educational support can make a significant difference in a young person’s life.  A background check is required to provide tutoring or mentoring for our youth.

Helping Us Get The Word Out: Come to our agency for an orientation session and learn about the youth we serve and the programs we offer! Then take our flyers to your job, church, social groups, etc.! We are looking to recruit families interested in becoming foster parents!


  • Car seats
  • Strollers
  • Pack and Plays
  • Coats
  • GED Study Materials
  • Gift Cards to Target, Walmart, Babies R Us etc. to assist us in purchasing emergency supplies for incoming youth
  • Gift cards to restaurants, Dave and Busters, Movies, etc.
  • Diapers and Wipes
  • Hair accesories

Thank you Leadership Montgomery 2017 Core Class!

15977211_10154012210867294_8502586346358554220_nThis morning Leadership Montgomery 2017 Core Class came to Hearts & Homes for Youth Avis Birely Group Home to spruce it up with a new coat of paint!

The boys will be surprised and overjoyed when they get home from school and see the beautiful colors! Thank you Leadership Montgomery 2017 Core Class for choosing Hearts & Homes for Youth for your Nonprofit Project!

Aronson LLC hosts vocational workshops for youth

240_f_96266867_qstweekpzmno31jqqlmrsn4pke9zpgyvEmployees from Aronson LLC came this twice last week to provide vocational workshops for the youth in our care! On Tuesday, the volunteers spent time with youth from our three group homes for girls, helping the girls write their resumes, practice interviewing, and gave them guidance on job searching! On Wednesday, the team from Aronson LLC came to one of our boys’ group homes and provided a vocational workshop to boys from two group homes!

We are so grateful to Aronson LLC employees for giving their time and sharing their talents and skills with the youth in our care, especially during the holiday season! The vocational workshops are an incredible way to help the youth in our care learn about what careers are available, what their interests are, and what skills they have or need to develop.

Aronson LLC shows support to Hearts & Homes throughout the year through donations, fundraising events, and activities. Thank you so much to Hearts & Homes board member Melissa Tarkett for organizing this workshop!

An incredible gift from a dedicated volunteer!

imagejpeg_0All of us at Hearts & Homes for Youth are immensely grateful to one of our loyal and dedicated volunteers! Ben, a U.S. Marine stationed at Fort Meade recently refinished picnic tables from our group homes!

As you can see, the freshly painted tables are a brilliant and cheerful red color and contrast nicely with the colors outside!

The result of his generous and considerate efforts will complement the warm, homelike atmosphere we strive to maintain, to support the youth in our care as they heal, grow, and build brighter futures.

Thank you Ben!

Real Estate Agents host gift card collection drive!

14938323_10155508960132516_6563102661769437233_nReal Estate agents Danielle Mannix of RE/MAX Realty Group, Josh Greene of Eastern Title and Settlement, and Chong Yi of APEX Home Loans are hosting a gift card collection drive for Hearts & Homes for Youth! From November 15-30, the agents will be collecting gift cards to Target, Giant, Walmart, local restaurants, recreational activities (movies, rock climbing, etc.), as well as Visa/Mastercard gift cards in the amounts of $20, $25, $50, and $100! Their goal is to collect 50 gift cards!

Danielle, Josh, and Chong  will be collecting gift cards at Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge on 11/15 and 11/29 from 5-8pm. Please contact them to arrange for other pickup.

Danielle Mannix of RE/MAX Realty Group – – 301-370-6505
Josh Greene of Eastern Title and Settlement – – 240-876-0642
Chong Yi of APEX Home Loans – – 301-332-1810

The gift cards will directly benefit the youth in the care of Hearts & Homes for Youth, many of whom are foster youth and have, for much of their lives, received donations. While they are grateful for the items, gift cards give them the opportunity to pick something out for themselves, that they want or need. Please help us brighten the day of a child in need! Your donation is tax deductible.


Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Montgomery Chapter shows support!

20161112_142749On Saturday three social workers from Hearts & Homes for Youth Damamli/TFC programs met with kids involved in the Montgomery County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and spoke with them about the different types of homelessness and the different people affected by homelessness.

Following the discussion, the youth broke into groups and developed short skits to demonstrate particular problems faced by individuals experiencing homelessness. They reflected on the feelings and struggles facing these individuals on a daily basis, and brainstormed ways to demonstrate compassion for people in such situations.

The youth donated cookies they had decorated along with over 500 diapers, over 1000 wipes, over 30 pairs of socks, and over 35 under garments for youth in Hearts & Homes for Youth’s Damamli/TFC program.  The donations are greatly appreciated and will benefit many young mothers and foster youth in our care!

Prince George’s County DJS hosts flag football tournament for youth

IMG_4022Earlier this summer the Prince George’s County Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) invited Hearts & Homes’ youth to attend the 3rd Annual Flag Football Game they hosted at a school in Upper Marlboro, MD. DJS provided food, beverages, enlightening speakers, and a fun day for the youth!

Young men from our Harriet Tubman Shelter and young women from our John C Tracey Group Home participated in the event and had a great time!

Hearts & Homes for Youth looks forward to collaborating with Prince George’s County Department of Juvenile Services and is grateful for putting on this wonderful event for young people!