How to Give Back in Baltimore

    How to Give Back in Baltimore

     

    Our city has done so much for us. Great sport teams, amazing local restaurants, cool people. If you’re like me, you might feel compelled to take some time to give back every once in a while.

    Whether you have a favorite local charity you make donations to, or a favorite way to physically get out there and give back, we as Baltimorians have a civic duty to, well, B more.

    It doesn’t have to be the holidays or Giving Tuesday to get involved. In fact, most charities and organizations will tell you that it is even better to do this in between those times, when most people don’t.

    Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do this.

    Local Charities and Volunteer Opportunities

    Second Chance

    A very cool cause, Second Chance deconstructs buildings and homes, salvages usable materials, and makes them available to the public through their 200,000 square foot retail space.

    Not only do they help revive old buildings, they use the money they earn to provide job training and workforce development for those with employment obstacles in the Baltimore region. Their overall mission is to actually retrain and create employment for displaced and unemployed workers.

    To help out, you can of course shop at their awesome store, or find out how to volunteer here.

    BARCS – Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter

    An all-time favorite charity is that of an animal shelter. These furry friends need us to help them as they can’t help themselves. You can adopt a homeless pet, make a monetary donation, or become part of their “BARCS family” by volunteering. BARCS has some volunteer open houses coming up at the following dates:

    • Saturday, April 13 @ 9:30 a.m.
    • Thursday, April 18 @ 6 p.m.
    • Saturday, April 20 @ 9:30 a.m.

    For questions about volunteer opportunities, please email volunteer.barcs@gmail.com.

    Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School

    If you haven’t heard of Outward Bound, it truly deserves a good look. Outward Bound is a non-profit “educational organization and expedition school that serves people of all ages and backgrounds through active learning expeditions that inspire character development, self-discovery and service both in and out of the classroom.”

    This local charity uses unfamiliar settings to help students discover their true potential.  They particularly help struggling teens, groups with specific health, social or educational needs and business and professional organizations. Outward Bound has many ways that you can donate.

    Live Baltimore

    You’ve probably seen them around, but did you know that Live Baltimore aims to increase the tax base by increasing the population? They pretty much let potential residents know just how awesome our city is and encourage the growth of the community.

    According to their website (linked above), here are five ways you can help out this hyper local organization

    1. Donate to support the work they are doing to grow our city’s population.
    2. Post what you love about Baltimore with the #iheartcitylife hashtag
    3. Designate “Live Baltimore Home Center Inc.” as your charity of choice and use the Amazon Smileshopping portal. For every eligible purchase you make, the Amazon Foundation will donate 0.5 percent of your total to us with no additional fees passed on to you!
    4. Purchase I Heart City Life merchandise for yourself and other City Lovers.
    5. Become a Neighborhood Know-It-All. Our Know-It-Alls are the heartbeat of the city. By creating a profile on our website, potential residents and people who are interested in your neighborhood can ask you what you love most about living there.

    Health Care for the Homeless

    Ending homelessness in Baltimore starts with HCHMD. According to their website (linked above), HCHMD “helps people move from crisis to stability.” This organization partners with caregivers, advocates, donors, and as they aptly put it, “our neighbors without homes” to provide necessary services.

    From providing comprehensive health care services to advocating for affordable housing, their mission is truly a great one. These guys not only take action to end homelessness, they also do a lot of work to educate the public on what causes homelessness and remind everyone that a homeless person is simply a person who is currently without a home.

    You can help by choosing to: donate, volunteer, advocate, work, and more.

    Maryland New Directions

    Maryland New Directions (MND) is a 45-year-old award winning non-profit organization offering free employment coaching and career training programs for the Baltimore area.

    This organization does a lot to help prepare our residents with industry-specific training and guidance to help get people on their feet and in the right direction. They focus not only on helping our neighbors get jobs, but making sure that they can keep a job as well.

    New Directions does just that, it takes someone who may be dealing with a barrier in life and turns them in a new direction where they can succeed and flourish.

    There are several ways you can help this wonderful organization:

    1. Donate
    2. Help conduct mock interviews
    3. Help clients with their resumes and in the application process
    4. Donate clothes
    5. Organize donated clothes

    And much more. Visit their website to see how you can get involved.

    Strong City Baltimore

    “Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People,” Strong City Baltimore does a LOT to help make our city great. Their 50 years of experience prove that they are dedicated to their goal!

    Strong City supports more than 130 initiatives aligned with their charitable mission, with areas of focus including Neighborhoods, Education, Youth Development, and Social Innovation.

    If you’re really set on getting out and volunteering, chances are Strong City has something for you. You can choose to become a regular volunteer or simply sign up for a one-time event. If you have any questions or need more detailed information, you can contact them at volunteer@strongcitybaltimore.org.

    Do you have a great opportunity to give back? Something you enjoy doing for volunteer work? Let us know in the comments.

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    Josh Mente

    Real Estate Leader Josh Mente, is a founding member and owner of The MD Home Team of Keller Williams Excellence, and is responsible for business administration and marketing for the firm. Josh’s career path began in 1998 as a loan officer for Eastern Savings Bank, where he managed national accounts. He later joined Option One Mortgage originating more than 500 transactions per year valued at $100M+ in sales. In 2006, Mente shifted his expertise to real estate sales, gained his license and focused on buy/fix/sell transactions. Josh is a member of Elite Real Estate Network (ERN), the 2009 Rookie of the Year for Long and Foster corporate, and in 2012 ranked 206 and 2013 ranked 234 in Real Trends of the Wall Street Journal, ranking in the top 250 agents nationwide for all brokerages. From any early age, Josh was introverted and worked hard to overcome a fears of sales - a business that doesn't lend itself well to introverted people. When challenged by a manager that he didn’t have what it took for a specific job, Josh pushed forward and won approval in his new position. That was a pivotal moment that set the pace for his success in real estate sales. Having earned an AA degree from Montgomery College in business administration in 1995 and a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Towson University in Mass Communications 1997, Josh married his college sweetheart Melinda and they now have three wonderful daughters that provide the opportunity to watch them grow up and experience things for the first time. A committed sports fanatic, Josh spends time on the golf course, and follows the Ravens and Orioles as a season ticket holder. He is a part owner of two restaurants in Manhattan, enjoys music and time away with the family at their beach house in Rehoboth, DE. He hopes to find time for his hobbies that include building furniture, playing guitar, learning Spanish and flying planes.

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