By Andrea Frazier Staff Writer
A budding Calvert nonprofit dedicated to assisting the neediest members of the community through fundraising and programming received an anonymous $25,000 donation, 100 percent of which will go to Calvert County residents.
Boasting nearly zero overhead costs, the all-volunteer Calvert Family Advocates organization works closely with the Calvert County Department of Social Services to help local families with necessities like dodging homelessness and acquiring job training, according to a press release.
And it seems their work correlates with the donors’ desires for how their money be used.
“They’re definitely concerned citizens. … They want to give back to the community that’s given to them,” said CFA chair Lori Barbee. “They really don’t want attention and want to stay anonymous. I’d love to be shouting out who they are.”
But instead of publicly naming the donors, the organization has opted to praise their generosity and pump the $25,000 back into the community, strengthening and expanding programs, such as assisting those in economic need with paying rent, utility bills and security deposits, said CFA treasurer Chris Cummings.
The Calvert Family Advocates Board of Directors — which also serves as the Executive Advisory Board to Calvert’s social services department — also is developing a program to assist students in college and those enrolled in job-skill training programs with child care expenses, the release states. In addition, it has donated to End Hunger in Calvert County to cover the expenses for a student to attend its culinary program.
Many families CFA assists have been plagued by serious illness or unemployment, Cummings said.
“We work with families who have everything in place to be sufficient and just need a helping hand,” she added.
CFA started in June 2013, according to the press release. It has garnered about $5,000 in the past 18 months, prior to the donation.
“I think it’s a huge boost to them and their ability to establish themselves,” said Calvert social services director Amye Scrivener, whose organization suggested CFA as the recipient of the donation. “With the economy and the different crises families go through, there’s not enough support. They will be a reliable resource to go to when people are really in need. … We’re going to be able to give them a helping hand and help them move forward.”
She said when the donors approached her seeking an organization to receive their money, their criteria were to avoid overhead costs and help the neediest members of the community.
When CFA representatives met with them, the donors were uninterested in the tax break. The donors, she said, simply wanted to share their success with the community.