CALIFORNIA, Md. (Aug. 24, 2008)—The United Way of St. Mary's County (UWSMC) Board of Directors last Wednesday announced its 2008 Merit Grant award recipients. A UWSMC spokesman said the grants are given to "support programs and services that provide solutions that strengthen our community."
"We are in the business of making our community a better place to live for those in need," said Robbie Loker, President of the Board of Directors. "We are excited to provide funds to these worthwhile programs."
Loker noted that the grants are funded via the general fund through which donors give their dollars.
Formal presentations of the awards will be made at the UWSMC 2008 Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast which is scheduled for September 5, at the J.T. Daugherty Conference Center in Lexington Park.
This 2008 Merit Grant recipients are:
-- The Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad (LPVRS) was awarded $10,000 toward the purchase of an Auto-Pulse Cardiac Support Pump. These devices are used to provide automated chest compressions to cardiac arrest victims—a situation LPVRS encounters several times a month.
-- Care Net Pregnancy Center was awarded $5,000 to expand their free medical services to include Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) testing services.
-- Special Olympics was awarded $5,000 to purchase bicycles with training wheels and three wheel bikes for their athletes to compete at the local, state, and international levels.
-- Walden Sierra was awarded $5,000 for Compass House—a Halfway House for young women with children and pregnant women in recovery—to replace 10 year old mattresses and cribs.
-- Care Net Pregnancy Center was awarded $1,000 to purchase educational materials for a new "Fatherhood" program designed to equip young men with the knowledge and skills to empower them to be actively involved with their children.
-- Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living was awarded $1,000 to purchase a laptop computer for mobile programs in the community regarding disability issues.
-- American Red Cross Southern Maryland Chapter was awarded $1,000 to outfit their newly donated fleet of emergency vehicles with reflective markings and signs making their arrival to a disaster more prominent and making transport safer for their volunteers.