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Review for Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership Of Frederick County , Frederick, MD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

SHIP's work on behalf of vulnerable populations is what attracted my notice. At the moment, the best guess is that more than 900 k-12 students in this county have experienced homelessness in the past 12 months. That's a huge number of struggling students. (Some of them are unaccompanied minors.)

SHIP has developed an impressive portfolio of ways ANYONE can help. 1) They publicize efforts by other organizations (Stuff the Bus - to collect school supplies, for example). 2) They partner annually with many local retailers/service providers/government bodies to collect hygiene supplies, socks and underwear to have on hand. 3) They provide payment for temporary shelter. 4) An extensive network of ordinary folks watch for SHIP's notifications to provide specific clothing for specific children (as identified by public school personnel.) 5) SHIP posts info about medical needs in order to find appropriate providers who may be willing to reduce or waive some or all of their fees. 6) SHIP volunteers find sports equipment, art supplies, musical instruments, bicycles and other pricey items to help needy kids find their best selves. 7) SHIP recently sought advice/care for a pet belonging to a child in a shelter with a parent where the pet was not permitted (happy ending here, thanks to SHIP!) 8) The New Horizons Academy provides academic support, life skills training, self-care skills development to older students when school is out of session, 9) SHIP is about to implement a volunteer program for direct shelter for older homeless youth. I am sure there is more.

Fund raising for SHIP involves the entire community. From tip jar donations to Sunday School collections, SHIP funds come in creative ways. Public events (Walk-the-Plank, for example) have become annual fun events. I think SHIP staff are willing to go anywhere, any time to educate community groups and the general public about the scope of homelessness, the impacts on the future of Frederick County, and provide opportunities to help.

Role:  Donor