Category Archives: Volunteering

Jumpstart gets spruced up by BB&T

IMG_0220BB&T Bethesda employees volunteered for a day at Hearts & Homes for Youth’s Jumpstart Group Home. The volunteers repainted the front and back porches, and added mulch, removed weeds and planted a beautiful row of flowers in the yard.

“BB&T is extremely proud to support Hearts & Homes for Youth again this year through our annual Lighthouse Project,” said Thomas Ransom, BB&T Market President and Hearts & Homes Board Chair. “The organization’s mission of empowering our young population by providing them with a homelike environment, supportive services, and social, recreational, health and fitness, arts and learning activities should be applauded. Their mission to foster respect, independence and personal growth for each individual is vital to the community. We’re proud to team up with them and help in any way we can.”

Chloe Perez, Hearts & Homes for Youth CEO and President said the improvements were greatly appreciated.

“This is a big project  that requires a lot of supplies and time,” she said. “It is invaluable to have a group of volunteers help us spruce up the residence, so we that we can continue to be a warm and homelike environment for the youth in our care.”

Valerie Snogren, the agency’s Chief of Staff, agreed. “It’s a big help for us. The house looks refreshed and the porch is beautiful,” she said.

Caitlin Ward, the agency’s Director of Community Relations said she appreciated the new look. “I think the result of their efforts is incredible and will have an impact on the kids because they will understand that the volunteers were here to support them and make their home beautiful.”

BB&T Market President Thomas Ransom has led BB&T Lighthouse efforts with Hearts & Homes for Youth for a number of years. For example, last year, BB&T hosted a Summer Bash and Barbecue for youth from all of the Hearts & Homes for Youth programs at a park in Montgomery County. In addition to great lunch and games, BB&T provided the youth with sports equipment and school supplies.  In previous years, BB&T Lighthouse Project has also come to our Harriet Tubman Emergency Shelter and Helen Smith Group Home for Girls to paint the homes, spruce up the yard, and donate household items.

“BB&T is always glad to support great organizations like Hearts & Homes for Youth” he said. “It feels good to be out in the community making a difference.”

BB&T Hunt Valley paints an impact at Hearts & Homes for Youth!

group 2Volunteers from BB&T Hunt Valley Branch teamed up with Hearts and Homes for Youth earlier this month to paint housing units for young mothers (age 14-20) in the Damamli Mother-Baby Independent Living program. Associates from BB&T Maryland Commercial Real Estate and Appraisal divisions volunteered on June 3rd to help prep new housing units for move in.

BB&T will be joining Hearts & Homes for Youth again on June 24th to throw an end of school year picnic for the youth in the Therapeutic Foster Care program to kick off the summer and celebrate the accomplishments of the school year for those in the program. The picnic will include food, crafts and games all sponsored and administered by the volunteers from BB&T.

“We are grateful to BB&T for repainting our young mother units,” said Hearts & Homes CEO and President Chloe Perez. “We were elated when they reached out to us! BB&T embraced the idea of doing something special for the young mothers and foster youth in our care. The results so far have been incredible and we can’t wait for the picnic later this month!”

Hearts and Homes for Youth and BB&T invite other members of the community to join them as they work to provide unique opportunities and experiences for the youth in the organization’s care, to help them build brighter futures. To volunteer or for more information, contact Jessica McKinnie, at

“We wanted to work with Hearts and Homes for Youth because of the great work they do for foster youth and young mothers in Baltimore,” said Candace Zang, Commercial Credit Underwriter. “We’re proud to team up with them and help in any way we can.”

The BB&T volunteers are taking part in the company’s eighth annual Lighthouse Project. The teams have each selected a project to assist a nonprofit agency to complete between April and June to make a positive impact on the lives of people in need. BB&T hopes their efforts encourage others in the community to volunteer their time and support organizations such as Hearts and Homes for Youth.

Since the inception of the BB&T Lighthouse Project in 2009, BB&T associates have completed more than 7,700 community service projects, donated more than 385,000 hours in volunteer service and touched the lives of more than 11 million people. Associates overwhelmingly voted to bring back the initiative this year. For more information about the Lighthouse Project, go to

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for opportunities to volunteer and get involved in the community this summer? Is your church, group or organization looking to plan something for the coming months or the next school year? If you said yes to either question, we want to hear from you!

There are a number of ways you can volunteer with Hearts & Homes and we’d love to help you find the opportunity that appeals to you and capitalizes on your strengths! Write to us at to set up a meeting in person or over the phone and we will discuss how we can collaborate!

We are also building our vocational training program! We encourage the youth in our care to apply for work experiences to develop career readiness skills that will help them build their resumes, learn specific occupational skills, build connections with employers who support their growth, and to learn more about their career interests. Work experiences for young people help them acquire jobs at higher wages after they graduate and are a critical part of the healing process. If your workplace offers job or internship opportunities, or if you would like to provide vocational training such as a resume workshop or mock interviews, please contact us at!

Wrapping up at Kemp Mill

For the past five months, our incredible volunteers from Coakley Williams Construction, Fort Meade, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and UPS in Burtonsville have helped us renovate our Kemp Mill Group Home in Silver Spring. The project began in the fall when Coakley Williams came and remodeled our kitchen, including new appliances and a fresh paint job. The difference is incredible! Weeks later, Coakley Williams came again and helped us collect branches, sticks, and leaves in the front and back yard and brought new shrubs and flowers to plant.

For the following few months, we spent countless weekends with our friends from Fort Meade, ripping up the old carpet, removing nails and staples from the floor, and then sanding, staining, and finishing the floor. This involved moving a lot of furniture!

Our volunteers from Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and UPS in Burtonsville teamed up with our volunteers from Fort Meade and helped us repaint the interior. Every space in the house has a fresh coat of paint and all together, the house looks completely transformed! It was a large undertaking and the results speak for themselves. Thank you so much to all of the volunteers who came together and made this possible!

We are also grateful to Bob’s Furniture for the beautiful new furniture they donated to us last summer and to one of our supporters for the stunning new curtains!

JWCCC Unearthing GEMS at Helen Smith Group Home

1AA9897112The Junior Women’s Club of Chevy Chase (JWCCC) has had an incredible impact on the girls in our care at Helen Smith Group Home! In particular, Hearts & Homes for Youth would like to recognize one of the JWCCC members who has been tutoring one of youth for Algebra 2 and helped her raise her grade from a D to a B in a week!

The tutoring sessions are one of many ways the JWCCC has engaged with our girls at Helen Smith. Through their GEMS mentoring program, the JWCCC has been extraordinarily dedicated to the personal well-being and development of the girls at the Home. The JWCCC spends time with our girls once a month, each time hosting a different activity and teaching a different lesson. In February, the JWCCC taught the girls how to make jewelry. In previous visits, JWCCC has also baked with the girls and done other arts and crafts projects.

On March 16, the Junior Women’s Club of Chevy Chase will be hosting a self-defense class for our young ladies at Helen Smith Group Home for Girls. The goal is to teach the girls about self awareness and personal safety.

Hearts & Homes Helen Smith Group Home has been part of JWCCC’s GEMS program for a number of a number of years and the women continue to have a positive influence on the work that we do and the lives of the girls in our care.

There’s no place like home

Presentation2This week we are getting together with our friends from UPS in Burtonsville and our friends from Fort Meade, to repaint our Mary’s Mount Therapeutic Group Home for Girls in Harwood, MD. We are grateful for their support and excited to beautify the home! We are also grateful to Home Depot in Bowie for donating paint supplies for the project!

We are grateful to many companies, organizations, and individuals who have helped us transform our group homes and program facilities over the past year. We are grateful to our friends at Sherwin Williams for giving us great prices for great paint! We are grateful to Bob’s Furniture for the incredible donation of 98 pieces of new, top quality beds, dressers, couches, and dining room sets that have transformed our homes. We are grateful to Coakley Williams Construction and their team – IBS Millwork, Capital City Flooring, American Capital Contracting, Appliance Distributors Unlimited, Potomac Mechanical Services, Phoenix Electric Technologies and Ruppert Landscape – for the extreme makeover of the kitchen and yard at our Kemp Mill Group Home. We are grateful to the Swan Corporation and Ferguson Enterprises for donating new shower panels to our John C. Tracey Group Home for Boys, which was recently renovated by Metropolitan Industries, Inc.

We are also grateful to our friends from Fort Meade who have been volunteering with us since we met last spring, helping us beauty our homes and helping our kids feel special. We would especially like to thank Sudeep Behera (Civilian), Leslie Boulden (USMC), Roshunda Brooks (USMC), David Ceja (USMC), Christopher Chan (USMC) Malcolm Curtis (Air Force), Nicholas Depriest (USMC), Katherine Emert (USMC), Aisling Feaser (USMC), Zachary Foster (USMC), Matthew Freeze (USMC), Audrey Goulenko (USMC), David Hall (Air Force), Richard Hopkins (Air Force), Brian Hylander (USMC), David Jenks (USMC), Amanda Jenks (USMC), Shuandrina Jones (USMC), Sean Lawrence (USMC), Matthew Leahy (USMC), Matthew Lookfong (USMC), Eric Lorenze (USMC), Courtney Lorenze (USMC), Christi Madrid (USMC), Malana Maher (Army), Samuel McCoy (USMC), Benjamin Moreland (USMC), Jefferey Mueller (USMC), Megan Niemer (USMC), Jameson Parr (USMC), Daniel Patterson (USMC), Helena Perez (Civilian), Joseph Quinn (USMC), Derek Regan (USMC), Jennifer Ridley (USMC), David Robeck (Civlian), Davey Rogner (Civilian) Adrian Rosales (USMC), Aquiles Ruiz (USMC), Stefan Sakowkski (USMC), John Steward (USMC), Paul Ward (Army), Larry Williamson (USMC), and Ashley Williamson (Civilian).

These individuals, who are currently stationed at Fort Meade, have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the community and have delivered a powerful message through  their volunteerism and service that encourages others to take action. These service members have embraced our organization and mission, repainted our group homes and apartments, volunteered with our staff at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club, helped at the Kings of Style Party and Princess Party, and helped at the scholarship ceremony luncheon. We are grateful for their exceptional work ethic, positive energy, leadership, and dedication to the community and we are humbled that in addition to serving our country, they have devoted his time to serving our community and specifically the youth in our care.

We are elated to be partnered and building relationships with all of these amazing companies and individuals that are working to make a difference in the community! One person can change a life, together we are changing homes.

Giving back to the Laurel Boys and Girls Club!

12046983_10153692660372112_2424682647731365211_nOn Friday, Hearts & Homes staff members joined forces with U.S. Marines from Fort Meade to repaint rooms and hallways at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club.

Volunteers met at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club early in the morning and worked through the early evening. Laurel Boys and Girls Club Representative Adrian Rousseau provided food and refreshments for the volunteers and Home Depot provided the paint and supplies. It was a great community effort!

“The fresh paint has made an incredible difference and we are excited for the kids to see the new look at their club!” said Hearts & Homes CEO Chloe Perez.

Opportunities to get engaged with Hearts & Homes!

Are you interested in getting involved with Hearts & Homes for Youth and supporting our services? We have listed below a variety of ways you can engage with us! We look forward to hearing from you!


Volunteering is a great way to make a positive difference in your community. Hearts & Homes for Youth is looking for volunteers to help us with landscaping, painting, house renovations, and other needs at our facilities. We are also grateful for individuals who donate their time, skills, and services to the children at activities for our youth such as the Princess Party! We welcome individuals to volunteer as mentors but require a commitment, a background check, and a security clearance.

Sponsor an Event

Hearts & Homes for Youth is looking for sponsors for our annual HONORS gala in October and golf tournament in May. The success of our events is a result of the contributions of our sponsors! At every event, the money we raise goes directly to the programs that serve the children in our care. As a sponsor, your organization will receive exposure from media campaigns and event promotions. You will also have exposure at the event.

Host an Event

Become a volunteer event organizer by hosting a fundraising or awareness raising event to benefit Hearts & Homes for Youth! Events are opportunities to raise awareness of our mission and bring the community together to support the children and teens of Maryland who we serve.

Examples of events include dinners, brunches, parties, foster parent information nights, and so much more!


Support Hearts & Homes for Youth by holding a fundraiser! Fundraisers are fun opportunities to support our mission by fundraising as a company, individual, or group on behalf of Hearts & Homes. As a company, you can donate a percentage of sales, start a workplace giving & matching campaign, or hold creative events to raise money such as office dress down days and softball tournaments! As an individual, group, or school, you can raise money on behalf of Hearts & Homes with a fundraiser or sale, by creating a fundraising page online, or auctioning an item.

Support Our Foster Parent Recruitment

Hearts & Homes for Youth is looking for individuals and families who are willing to offer the gifts of love and sacrifice to youth in need by opening their hearts and homes to a foster child. Foster Parents Receive intensive training, 24 hour support, and the opportunity to provide a teen mom or adolescent youth with love, nurturing, guidance and the chance to heal from past hurts. You can support our campaign by hosting an event, referring friends who are interested in fostering, and helping spread the word about our program.

  • If you are interested in being a foster parent or helping us recruit foster parents, please contact Maureen Rodgers and

Host a Youth for a Day

Invite a young person to your place of work, to shadow you and learn more about your business. Show them how to conduct operations in your place of work and develop their vocational skills.


Hearts & Homes for Youth is grateful for your support and appreciates your donations! We greatly appreciate in In-kind donations such as office and school supplies, household items, recreational equipment, and clothes (socks, sweatpants, winter coats, underwear, t-shirts, etc.) You can also make a tax-deductible donation to support our programs, by mail or online.

We will be sharing our kids’ Christmas wish lists soon! This is a great way to give back at a very special time!  More details will be coming soon!

Suit up and get involved!

SidneyHarrisonPhotoOp1It’s not too late to donate or sign up to volunteer at Kings of Style is on Friday, August 21! The confidence-building event for the young men in our care will take place at 5pm at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club. If you would like to get involved, send an email to Vicki Valle at

We have received support and suits from a number of our board members, Alex Adler from HGA Financial in Howard County, Prince George’s County Clerk of Circuit Court Sydney Harrison, and many more. We are looking forward to a number of volunteers joining us for this special event including Clerk Sydney Harrison and City of Laurel Mayor Craig A. Moe!

Let us know if you would like to get involved in this special event or be notified of other volunteer opportunities. Your time can change a young person’s life!