Services Provided
  • Access to higher education and/or career training
  • Weekly life skills workshops
  • Monthly support groups
  • Intensive case management meetings, weekly, with Family Advocate
  • Network of community resources
  • Volunteer mentoring
Eligibility
  • Frederick County, MD resident
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Children who live with parent/guardian at minimum part-time (legal documentation may be required)
  • Clean from illegal drugs for the past six months and sober from alcohol use if history of alcohol abuse
  • Not currently on methadone
  • Willing to pursue an education and/or job training
  • Proof of all income to determine eligibility
  • Proof of working diligently to pursue employment
Advocates for Homeless Families Presents Awards at Annual Gala

Frederick, MD–August 24, 2007

Our top 2007 Sponsors

Advocates for Homeless Families, Inc. in Frederick, M.D. celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of its participants, volunteers and supporters at its annual Gala, held at Ceresville Mansion on August 22, 2007. Advocates honored the following: Board Emeritus status to recent past Board Chair Olivia White, Avanti Marble & Granite with the Award for Corporate Philanthropy, Beth Scott with the Volunteer Appreciation Award and program participant Brenda Dwyer with the Award for Outstanding Achievement. The event also included an art auction, with both silent auction and live auction items.

The night opened with the poem “Courage to,” read by poet Dan Schiffman. Advocates Board Chair Bunny O’Dell introduced the theme, “From Dream to Reality,” and it was inspiring to see how Advocates program participants “can take their dreams and work to achieve them.”

Olivia White, a dean at Hood College, served Advocates on the board for six years, with two terms as Board Chair. She received Emeritus status for her dedication to the organization, giving of her time even at her busiest. O’Dell called her “a treasure” and thanked her for being “an example of generosity for others.” White received a token of appreciation in the form of a jasper necklace created by jewelry designer Melanie Fay.

Former Board Member Kevin Jackson introduced Bill Werder of Avanti Marble and Granite. Jackson said, “Several years ago, Bill and Angela [Werder] came to me and asked, ‘Where can we make a contribution?” I suggested Advocates, they liked the idea, and within 24 hours, they had made a $6,000 gift.” Support from Avanti has continued even through this gala, where Avanti was the top sponsor at the “A Light in the Attic” level. Jackson described the Werders as philanthropic in their personal lives as well as professionally, teaching their young son generosity. “He even emptied his own piggy bank,” said Jackson. Werder was pleased that Avanti earned the award, vowing that “Avanti’s support for Advocates will continue.”

Volunteer Beth Scott was surprised and touched at receiving the Volunteer Appreciation Award. Scott was the project leader for the team at Christ Reformed United Church of Christ that refurbished a single family home for use in the Advocates Transitional Housing program. Scott coordinated the various contractors and volunteers, marshaled financial support and material donations for the project, and saw the whole renovation through to the even, right down to planning the ribbon cutting ceremony. “This renovation was nothing short of a miracle,” said Advocates Executive Director Greg Galaida, “and we owe a debt of gratitude to the miracle worker that made it happen.” Scott received a quilt from Needles and Pins as a token of “home, comfort and family.” Scott acknowledged that the renovation took a great number of other people as well, but thanked Advocates for recognizing her efforts.

Advocates Participant Brenda Dwyer gave a moving speech about her time in the programs. Dwyer is a graduate of the Transitional Housing program and now lives in her own housing and participates in the Families Forward program. Before coming to Advocates, she lived in emergency shelter for over a year and was struggling to move on. When she came to Advocates, she realized that, with help, she could do so much more. She is studying Accounting at Frederick Community College and earning A’s and B’s in her courses. She will complete her Accounting certificate in a few months. She has worked at Wal-Mart for seven years, she says, but “I’m looking forward to finding a new career” after she receives her certificate. She has overcome challenges in her health, her finances and personal life. She has two daughters. “I want to thank Advocates so, so much for all they’ve done for me,” she said. “I’m so very grateful.”

The art auction included five pieces that were auctioned live at the end of the program by volunteer auctioneer Alderman David “Kip” Koontz. They included the Spires project piece by Elizabeth Galaida, art by the children of Advocates participants, a painting in acrylics by participant Ruth Hague, a necklace by Dawn Arterburn-Cooney and an original watercolor by Rebecca Pearl. Hague was pleased that her painting did so well at the live auction, selling for $665. She has not painted for several years due to personal and financial crises, but was more than willing to donate her work to the gala auction. “This is one of my favorite works,” Hague said of her painting, “and I’m sad to see it go, but what Advocates has done for me is priceless.” Pearl donated the original and will also be offering prints of the work for sale, with proceeds benefiting Advocates.

The Gala is the organization’s largest fundraiser, and this year was no exception. “We had a full house,” said Executive Director Elizabeth Galaida. “It’s so wonderful to see all our friends turn out to show their support. And it’s great way for us to thank them for all they’ve done.” O’Dell, in her opening, quoted Carl Sandburg: “Nothing happens unless first we dream.”

California Guitar
Trio Concert


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