Growing happy, healthy families is important to all of us here at UWCC. That's why we strategically invest in programs that are proven to improve Calvert residents' education, income, and health through Community Impact Grants.
Learning starts at home and HIPPY/Healthy Families shows parents how to become their children's first teachers through the Expanded Home Visitation Program. Through this partnership, parents are ensuring that their children are entering kindergarten ready to learn and setting them up for a lifetime of success. We all know that a well-rounded education takes more than just ABCs and 123s. Understanding what it takes to keep your body strong is a key component to living a happy, healthy life and the Nutrition Program at Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry is providing its clients with just that. Every week, volunteers and staff help clients identify strategies to stretch their food dollar and provide healthy, kid-friendly recipes that they can make with the pantry food they receive. Funding programs like these, through our Community Impact Grants, is just one way that UWCC is supporting the success of Calvert kids.
While raising kids isn't always easy, can you imagine raising seven? John and Gladys Park were blessed with just that-one set of quadruplets, one set of twins, and baby Ava. With two working parents, had it not been for East John Youth Center, the Park children would have become latchkey kids. East John welcomed all seven children into their after school homework center, where they received a healthy snack and tutoring assistance in all subjects, all free of charge. The Parks also participated in weekly sit-down meals at the center and More Tasty Blessings, a food distribution partnership between East John, Solomons United Methodist Church, and Saint John's United Methodist Church. To keep the four school-agers busy during the summer months, the quadruplets attend East John's six-week youth camp. Even though this program helps to raise funds for the center, East John has been able to provide a 50% discount to the family through camp scholarships. While at camp, the Park kids learn about nutrition and wellness through visitors from 4H, Girl Scouts, and Calvert County Health Department. They also get to cool down at Cove Point Pool. One major obstacle in the way of clients receiving services throughout our county is transportation. However, through collaboration with a local bus service, East John can now pick up and drop off those in the area who need it. Having East John Youth Center there to support them while John and Gladys work to provide for their full house has been invaluable. East John has helped to relieve the strain on this local family to not only provide basic necessities like food, but also activities for their children that will benefit them educationally, recreationally, and socially.
UWCC is joining forces with these Partner Agencies and many more throughout the region to ensure that Calvert County residents are able to have the quality of life they deserve. When you give to our Community Impact Fund, 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to supporting these powerful programs.
*names and photos changed to protect anonymity