Vote for Van and Shantell!

Two of our Champion in Life Grant Award winners, Van Brooks of Safe Alternative Foundation for Education and Shantell Roberts from Touching Young Lives are both semi-finalists for the 2019 Homecoming Hero Awards! We’d like to encourage our own community to vote for them.

In short, five winners will be selected to win a $3,000 cash prize, a chance to speak on stage in October, and the opportunity to participate in presenting sponsor T. Rowe Price Foundation’s capacity building program. You can vote now and every day until Aug 15 at www.baltimoresun.com/heroes2019.

Congratulations Van and Shantell for making the list of semi-finalists. You both are making a huge difference in our community. Get out there and vote!

 
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Champion in Life Partnership with SAFE Alternative Foundation for Education

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In a continued effort to positively impact charitable organizations in the Greater Baltimore area that are focused on creating change for those in need, Building for God Community Foundation announced that it will be partnering with SAFE Alternative Foundation for Education (SAFE) to create a new Workforce Development Center. Since 2012, SAFE has been assisting Baltimore City youth with academic resources and mentoring to expertly guide them through high school and beyond. The new Workforce Development Center will provide industry-relevant training and employment opportunities to SAFE students who wish to focus their career on a particular trade after high school. 

This joint venture comes as part of the Foundation’s Champion in Life Partnership Program. Select area non-profit organizations are chosen to receive professional leadership support and capital resources for the purpose of developing, implementing and growing a specific program. The capital resources come in the form of a recurring grant award that matches individual, corporate, and foundation gifts for a specific number of years.

SAFE founder, Van Brooks, was recently presented with the first installment of funds which will be used to hire staff, purchase equipment and begin the work necessary to refurbish the Workforce Development Center’s designated space. SAFE hopes to partner with companies in the construction industry to provide training and employment opportunities to its program participants. When asked about the endeavor, Van Brooks said, “This partnership provides the necessary capital and, more importantly, the expertise needed to build a facility capable of having a huge impact on the community.”

SAFE’s Workforce Development Center is currently set to open its doors in 2020 and plans to begin the program with twelve participants. “When I think of community development, I think of the people in need of resources and opportunities to better themselves and their careers, which, in turn, has a positive impact on the community. This partnership will allow us to provide those resources and opportunities,” shared Brooks.   

Additional fundraising efforts for the Workforce Development Center will soon be underway as well. To find out how you can support SAFE in their efforts to establish the Workforce Development Center, visit www.safealternative.org. For more information on Building for God Community Foundation, its programs and events, the Champion in Life Partnership Program, and the local nonprofit organizations the Foundation supports, visit www.buildingforgod.org.

About SAFE Alternative for Education

Founded 2012, SAFE helps Baltimore City students achieve their educational goals by providing them with the valuable resources and opportunities necessary for academic success. In addition to academic support, students are exposed to real-world experiences outside of their local community. SAFE programs are held after school, on weekends, and throughout the summer. Learn more at www.safealrenative.org.

 About Building for God Community Foundation 

Founded in 2007, Building for God Community Foundation’s mission is to affect a positive and determined impact in our local community in the areas of sheltering the homeless, feeding and caring for families, fostering the educational needs of our youth, and supporting those who protect our community. Since its founding, Building for God Community Foundation has supported many local nonprofits through its Champion in Life programs, which distribute grant funds to support deserving organizations in our community. For more information, visit www.buildingforgod.org.

 

Review the Results of the State of School Safety Report for 2019

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The Building for God Community Foundation has been working closely with Safe and Sound Schools as part of our Safe and Sound Maryland partnership to make our schools safer. Earlier this year, we asked for your help in launching the second annual national survey to measure perceptions of school safety among key stakeholders: parents, students, educators, public safety officials, and community members. We are so grateful for your support and are thrilled to share with you the results of the survey.

CLICK HERE to access the full State of School Safety Report for 2019. The full report includes perceptions about safety preparedness, resources, communication, threats, mental health support, and recovery. Some key implications found include:

  • A persistent disconnect in perceptions among educators and parents/students on many safety issues, as well as gaps in communication about school safety

  • Students do not feel as if they have a voice in school safety decision making, and they feel schools have a false sense of security

  • Educators, parents, and students have differing perceptions about mental health experts, access, and education

  • Parents and educators are optimistic about their expertise to improve school safety, yet, the perception of safety responsibility is still focused inward on the school, not involving external stakeholders

 Safe and Sound Maryland urges all of you to read and share this report with other school community members. It provides details on the research as well as concrete steps schools can take to make a difference. The results offer conversation starters to help measure perceptions in our local communities. We should be asking these questions of our own schools, and work to make positive changes to reduce the risks of safety threats and improve our abilities to respond and recover from safety incidents.

Together, Building for God Community Foundation and Safe and Sound Schools are making a difference in our Maryland communities. Our partnership allows us to bring these national resources to our local families and school communities, and for Safe and Sound Schools to extend local work beyond our state. We are so proud of this partnership and for your support in helping make our Maryland schools safe and sound. 

BFGCF Welcomes It's Second Year of Partnership Supporting Safe and Sound Maryland

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Towson, Md. – April, 2019 – Building for God Community Foundation has announced the start of its second year of partnership with Safe and Sound Schools.   This comes as part of the Foundation’s Champion in Life Partnership Program, in which select non-profit organizations are selected to receive professional leadership support and capital resources for the purpose of developing, implementing and growing a specific program, which in this case is Safe and Sound Maryland.  The capital resources come in the form of a $20,000 recurring grant award that matches individual, corporate, and foundation gifts for five years. 

During the first year of the partnership, Safe and Sound Maryland provided dedicated trainings, workshops, and education programs exclusively for Maryland school districts. In a recent State of School Safety report, Safe and Sound Schools found that nearly all parents and educators surveyed want their school to take extra steps in school security, but don’t necessarily have the expertise, resources, or training available. The Safe and Sound Maryland program, primarily funded by the Building for God Community Foundation, directly addresses this need for all the families in Maryland. 

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 “Partnering with the experts from the Safe and Sound Schools team has allowed us to strengthen our schools’ abilities to guard against a wide variety of threats,” said Michael O. Brooks, Founder and Chairman of the Building for God Community Foundation. “With a recurring grant, we can be true collaborators, working together, year over year, to positively and measurably change the lives of students, teachers, staff, parents, and administrators in our schools in our local community and throughout our entire state.” 

 In 2018, Safe and Sound Maryland reached 12 districts, covering 600 elementary, middle and high schools, with the power to impact 400,000 students. For 2019, Safe and Sound Maryland will focus on recruiting parents and students to implement local school safety initiatives to meet the unique needs of each community.

 “Building for God Community Foundation is a true leader in the community, giving its resources to selflessly support Maryland schools,” said Michele Gay, executive director and co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools. “We are grateful to be entering into the second year of our partnership with the Building for God Community Foundation and look forward to not only furthering the initiatives begun in Maryland, but positioning the state as an example for other school districts to follow, nationwide. 

 The $20,000 grant award will match individual donations, as well as corporate and foundation gifts. To make a donation, visit www.safeandsoundschools.org/support/donate/. For more information about Safe and Sound Schools, including free assessment tools, tool kits and resources, visit www.safeandsoundschools.org

 For more information on Building for God Community Foundation, its programs and events, the Champion in Life Partnership Program, and the local nonprofit organizations the Foundation supports, visit www.buildingforgod.org.  

 About Safe and Sound Schools 

Michele Gay and Alissa Parker founded Safe and Sound Schools in 2013, following the tragic deaths of their children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Safe and Sound Schools works with school communities and mental health, law enforcement, and safety professionals to create and ensure the safest possible learning environment for all youth. The non-profit organization delivers crisis-prevention, response, and recovery programs, tools, and resources, backed by national experts, to educate all members of the school community, from students and parents, to teachers and administrators, to law enforcement and local leaders. Winner of the 2015 New England Business Association Innovation Award for nonprofits, Safe and Sound Schools continues to answer the growing needs of school communities with custom programs, assessments, and training, reaching schools in every state in the country. For more information, visit www.safeandsoundschools.org.

 About Building for God Community Foundation 

Founded in 2007, Building for God Community Foundation’s mission is to affect a positive and determined impact in our local community in the areas of sheltering the homeless, feeding and caring for families, fostering the educational needs of our youth, and supporting those who protect our community. Since its founding, Building for God Community Foundation has supported many local nonprofits through its Champion in Life Grant Award, which distributes grant funds to support deserving organizations in our community. For more information, visit www.buildingforgod.org   

 

2019 Champion in Life Recipient, Touching Young Lives, Featured at DesignFest on Saturday, March 2nd

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On Saturday March 2, 2019 Touching Young Lives will be participating in the annual T. Rowe Price Foundation’s Grassroots DesignFest at MICA. The event brings together designers and non-profit organization in order to solve design problems. Several months ago, the DesignFest organizers put out a call for local nonprofit organizations to submit proposals of their design challenges and those with potentially significant impact would be considered. Touching Young Lives Founder & Executive Director, Shantell Roberts, submitted a proposal to collaborate with designers on an updated outer design for future Portable Alternative Cribs. They were selected and will collaborate with a team of volunteer designers throughout the day to leave with usable designs. Several other local nonprofits participating as well. The event is open to the public and more information about the event is available at www.designfest.weebly.com. To learn more about the great work being done by Shantell and her organization, visit www.touchingyounglives.com.

 

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A Great Visit with Sisters Circle

Building for God Community Foundation Board Members, Craig Hayward and Paul DiBari had a chance to visit with Sisters Circle, a 2018 Champion in Life Grant Award Winner. Sisters Circle provides long-term mentoring to foster meaningful and sustainable change in the lives of girls and young women in Baltimore.   Craig and Paul met with Stephanie Raddy, pictured here, as well as some of the young ladies who are part of the wonderful work being done at Sisters Circle. As Craig Hayward said, “The need for our Foundation to invest in the great work being done at Sisters Circle is great…and the ultimate benefit to these young women and their community is even greater.”

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Safe and Sound Schools is Hard at Work Keeping Our Children Safe

           

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When it comes to Building for God Community Foundation Partner, Safe and Sound Schools, 2018 has proven to be another successful year! In the past few months their events have reached thousands of people, delivering their unique message of safety in our schools. Some of these events include:

  • Ivymount School for students with special needs – site visit and consultation

  • Marriotts Ridge High School, Howard County – Safe and Sound Youth Council presentation and a community night

  • DHI Security Conference, Baltimore

  • Baltimore County Public Schools School Safety Conference

  • Federal Emergency Management Association PrepTalk, available online

  • School Safety webinar, hosted by Raptor Technologies

  • Axis School Safety Symposium

  • National Association of School Resource Officers

Curious about what some of what Safe and Sound Schools is sharing? They recently released the State of School Safety Report (www.safeandsoundschools.org/research) and published Parents for Safe Schools web page (www.safeandsoundschools.org/resources/parent-resources/).

If you’d like to read more about the wonderful things Safe and Sound Schools is doing for our community, you may enjoy these two great reads:

The Building for God Community Foundation is obviously very proud of the work being done by Safe and Sound Schools and looks forward to sharing more of their successes in the month ahead.

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

Help Support Empower4Life on Saturday, April 8, 2018!

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2018 Champion in Life Grant Award Recipient, Empower4Life, is hosting a fundraising yard sale on April 8th.  "Sip & Shop" is being held from 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at their office located at 3224 Joppa Road in Carney.  More than 1,000 quality/name brand items are available for purchase in an effort to fund their educational programs. Items range from housewares, to clothing for all ages/sizes, to handbags to baby items!  Stop by...Sip, Shop, and Support!

Empower4Life is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves to teach children to develop the skills needed to be healthy and productive in school, feel empowered to overcome challenges they face, and inspired to learn, grow and succeed the rest of their lives.  

Congrats, Van! (We're so proud!)

We're excited to know of Van's latest accomplishment!  Here is a blurb from one of SAFE's earlier announcements...  

"On this 13th anniversary of his injury, we are proud to tell you that Van has been selected to serve as Director of The Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism. It is a richly deserved honor as well as an incredible opportunity for Van to develop new skills that will allow him to serve SAFE in the years to come. While serving the Governor’s Office, he will still remain at the helm of SAFE, overseeing its continued growth.  He will be joined in that effort by Deonta Sweets, who will direct day-to-day operations as SAFE’s new Assistant Director."

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Support Our Foundation Through Amazon Smile

If you're not familiar with Amazon Smile, it's a great way to give to the Foundation.  Instead of purchasing through Amazon.com, log into smile.Amazon.com.  It's the same website but a percentage of your purchase dollars will be donated back to the Building for God Community Foundation! Try the link below.  It's sure to make us SMILE!