How to Set the Foundation for a Successful Year

GivingTuesday was great and the end of the year donations came in pretty steady so now

Online Giving

Online Giving

your nonprofit organization is beginning to move through 2015.  We already have one month almost down!  How is your organization building it’s foundation?  Are you focusing on strengthening your fundraising message or investing in your volunteer coordination and retention?

What about these 24 hour, 48 hour fundraising events that sneak up on you and a few weeks before the big day your organization is scrambling around trying to scream your message the loudest.  Do you wantCOVAAC Workshop January 2015 to learn how to gear up for an effective and successful fundraising campaign?  COVAAC and Center for Learning Through Service at AACC has a workshop that will help you get focused on the important aspects of online giving.   This FREE workshop is offered January 29th 11:30am at AACC in the  CADE building Room 219.  RSVP to Evette Watson by Monday, January 26, 2015 via e-mail at please place “COVAAC Workshop” in the subject line.

Volunteers are most likely the backbone of your organization.  Without volunteers many of the projects, tasks and events wouldn’t happen.  So how much time are you investing on creating a sustainable volunteer program?  In the  publication,  A Guide to Investing in Volunteer Resources Management: Improve Your Philanthropic Portfolio, they state, volunteers augment an organization’s financial and in-kind resources, producing greater value for each dollar invested”.  This collaborative publication written in by the UPS Foundation,  Association for Volunteer Administration and the Points of Light Foundation looks into the importance of effective volunteer management.

It is time to start investing in your volunteers and AACVC can help!  Executive Director Fay Mauro will be sharing her knowledge and experience with volunteer management in two very useful courses offered at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold.  The two Volunteer Coordinationcourses are: Planning a Volunteer Program offered February 24th 6pm-9:30pm and  Recruiting & Placing Volunteer offered March 10 6pm – 9:30pm.

You will learn the steps to create, maintain and improve a volunteer program.  As an added benefit, AACVC will reimburse the course fee for any of our Premier Partners up to the cost of the Premier Partnership payment.  Questions about signing up? Please contact Fay Mauro at the Volunteer Center, 410-897-9207 or email

Make 2015 the year of investing in volunteers.  The returns will payoff and your organization will be stronger for it.


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AACVC – What We Do For Your Community

As the Volunteer Center reflects 0n 2014, we want to share some of our accomplishments, but first…

We are excited to announce our new name and new logo…Anne Arundel County AACVC LogoVolunteer Center or AACVC.  We made this change with the awareness that our previous name was just too long to type.  So instead of trying to remember our name, you can focus on the task-at-hand, volunteering and your mission!  You only have to remember 5 letters — AACVC!  We want you to Tweet, Facebook and Instagram #AACVC during your volunteer service, events or projects!  What are you waiting for?  Follow and share #AACVC right now…go to and click on the social media links.

Now, here is a recap of 2014

  • 4000+ volunteers helped our partner community organizations.
  • New “Spotlight program” for the Military and their families introducing volunteering as a great way to transition to the community, increase social and professional
    Fort Meade Spotlight on the Military

    Fort Meade Spotlight on the Military

    connections, and gain new skills and experience.

  • AACVC organized seven Days of Service to mobilize hundreds of volunteers of all ages and abilities to make a real difference in Anne Arundel County.
  • Strengthened nonprofits with training, and consulting to better use skilled volunteers so that the nonprofits can concentrate on their missions.
  • AACVC staff so believe in our nonprofits that they volunteered with some of our partner agencies to solve hardware, software and other “back-office” problems.
  • AACVC encouraged and engaged youth in Anne Arundel County to serve and learn while applying their time and talents in our community.
  • AACVC “Notes in Coats” project collected more than 200 coats to keep men, women and children throughout the County warm this winter.

AACVC is razor focused on supporting our partners to meet their volunteer needs.  We focus on the volunteers so our partners can stay focused on their mission.  All partners benefit from the large reach that AACVC has in the county, but there are added benefits for our Premier Partners.

Another priority for AACVC is to motivate students throughout the county to serve in their communities.  AACVC actively recruits students from middle schools, high schools

Congress Woman Donna Edwards and President of AACVC, Bruce Morgenstern at Annapolis High School during the Congresswomen's College Fair.

Congresswoman Donna Edwards and the President of AACVC, Bruce Morgenstern at Annapolis High School during the Congresswoman’s       College & Career Fair.

and colleges by visiting their schools, attending outreach fairs and offering a student focused webpage on the AACVC website.

AACVC helps people to see volunteering as an opportunity to learn new skills, to network and to take a leadership role in their community.  According to the Corporation for National and Community Service “volunteering is associated with an increased likelihood of finding employment for all volunteers regardless of a person’s gender, age, ethnicity, geographical area, or the job market conditions.” In essence, volunteering is a pathway to employment (source).

We are thankful to have your active support this year by volunteering, fundraising and raising awareness for AACVC.  For one last chance to donate to AACVC, please click here and your donation will go toward one of the many programs AACVC offers the community of Anne Arundel County!

Happy New Year!!!



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15 Stories For 15 Years: HOPE FOR ALL– Shares Its Story

hope3This is the third feature in a series of celebratory articles marking the 15th Anniversary of AACVC. The Volunteer Center was established in 2001 to build bridges throughout Anne Arundel County by collaborating and partnering with individuals and organizations that desire to give their time, talent and treasure to improve the quality of life for all our citizens.

Looks can be deceiving, as one approaches the non-descript red brick entrance at 122 Roesler Road in Glen Burnie located off Route 2 North; yet upon entering the impact is tangible and immediate. Humming with activity, people are busily going about sorting, categorizing, packing and moving everything and anything one might need to furnish and equip a home in addition to clothing themselves head to toe.

As your eyes sweep over the scene you quickly realize the enormity of the effort that has gone into taming and organizing this very large space into efficient work and storage areas to make each volunteer’s job a bit easier. Welcome to the ‘new’ home of HOPE FOR ALL (HFA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit , established in 2004 by Leo and Diane Zerhusen, retired County educators and long-time residents of Glen Burnie.

Over the past twelve years, what started, from the Zerhusens‘ desire to demonstrate Christian compassion by helping and sharing with those less fortunate, has grown into a volunteer workforce of 100 people, many referred to HFA by the Volunteer Center. Just in the past year alone, these volunteers have put in nearly 10,000 hours along with only three (3) paid staff. “It’s all been possible with the help of an amazing group of volunteers who regularly give their time so selflessly”, states Leo.

According to 2013 US Census Bureau estimates, poverty in Anne Arundel County is at 6.3% which translates to 33,352 residents including all ages, races and ethnicities.
There are 200,000 family households in the county, of which 15,000 are led by a single female parents.

Many families face a constant economic struggle just to keep a roof over their heads and that is where Hope for All steps in providing assistance to turn those households into homes. Over the years, HFA has established a vast network of public and private agencies and organizations that refer clients to them for assistance. It’s all about partnerships and collaboration to assist in big and small ways to help the most vulnerable County residents.

Prior to March 2016, HFA operated out of four small, separate sites which strained their capacity and capabilities. With the new centralized location the future is looking bright. Yet, with growth comes challenge. It will take approximately $165,000 annually to operate the facility and pay for rent, electric, heat, water, phone, maintain a fleet of delivery vehicles, insurance, office supplies and building maintenance etc. The organization’s Board of Directors is actively working to expand and cultivate its corporate and philanthropic donor base in Anne Arundel County. Prime examples of collaboration and support include Brown’s Toyota of Glen Burnie, Capital Network Solutions, Knott Foundation, Northrup Grumman, Merritt Properties, United Way and many individual donors.

Key to the success of HFA is their volunteer Board of Directors who also actively give their time and talent to the organization’s daily operations.

Persons interested in visiting the Hope for All facility are welcome to schedule an appointment by e-mailing a request to hopeforall72@gmail,com or calling 410-766-0372. Additionally, open to the public “garage sales” are held the 2nd Saturday of each month with proceeds helping to offset operational expenses. This is an excellent way to see this amazing organization in action, so mark your calendar and schedule a visit. You may find Hope For All has something meaningful to offer you as a volunteer, donor or supporter. It’s all for the greater good.

The Sarbanes Center for Public and Community Service at Anne Arundel Community College has just announced that HOPE For All has been selected as the Sarbanes Center Partner of the Year for the academic year of July 2016 – June 2017. Congratulations!

Submitted by Volunteer Anita H. Ramundo

Photos from HFA’s April 30th Open House at the new warehouse

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Celebrating 15 Years of Volunteers: Happy Helpers for the Homeless


As part of the AACVC Celebration of 15 Years of service in Anne Arundel County, we are pleased that the second story in our series features Happy Helpers for the Homeless. Thank you Amber and Bobbi Coffman and all your volunteers for making a difference in the lives of many individuals who are homeless or in need.

Happy Helpers has been working with the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center since the Volunteer Center’s inception in 2001. Many of our volunteers initially find out about Happy Helpers through the Volunteer Center.

Happy Helpers for the Homeless, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in February 1993 by Amber Coffman, age 10, with the help of her mom, Bobbi Coffman. Happy Helpers makes sandwiches to serve approximately 250 – 300 homeless and low income clients in Glen Burnie and Baltimore City each week. Sandwiches are made and distributed on Saturdays in front of Harundale Presbyterian Church and Sundays at Our Daily Bread in Baltimore MD. The organization also distributes snacks, used and new clothing, toiletries, household items and canned goods.

Happy Helpers volunteers come from schools, businesses, churches, groups and are referred from the Volunteer Center. People from every race, background and ability are represented. And, young people are encouraged to take on leadership roles within the organization, leading various teams for preparation, delivery, etc.

Fay Mauro, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center, introduced Amber and Bobbi to producers of the Lifetime Show “Earth Angels” in 2005. As a result of that introduction, Happy Helpers received a prepaid one year lease for the headquarters they still utilize, $5,000 in shopping certificates, and pictures of clients to decorate the walls of headquarters when the organization was highlighted on the pilot of the show.

Happy Helpers’ clients are grateful for the aid provided by the organization and for the positive atmosphere that surrounds Happy Helpers distributions and events. The pictures below show a Weekly Distribution, Sandwich Making at the National Make a Difference Day Event and Amber passing out presents at Christmas. Learn more about this all-volunteer organization at

Thank you, Margie Englert, a Happy Helpers volunteer, for submitting this story.

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Celebrating 15 Years of Volunteering!


This feature marks AACVC’s 15th year of operations; a time to reflect on and celebrate all the positive results from a more engaged community.  Through collaboration and partnerships with individuals and organizations who give of their time, talent and treasures to improve the quality of life for all our citizens, the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center is pleased to continue its legacy for connecting volunteers to volunteer opportunities. A new organization or volunteer will be featured each month throughout our celebration.

Into a sturdy zippered backpack go the kind of items any child would need for an overnight journey: a pair of pjs, a change of clothes, grooming supplies, a plush toy, a game or activity book, etc.  Yet, this is not an ordinary backpack nor is the child’s journey. This assembled backpack is called a ‘Backpack of Love’, intended to give a sense of comfort to a scared and anxious child being taken into temporary custody by Child Protective Services (CPS). Far too often we hear or read a news story concerning children living in dangerous situations, leaving them victims of abuse, neglect or sexual assault and these occur anytime, day or night. Children removed by a CPS worker for their own safety with only the clothes they are wearing, nothing more. This is not a situation anyone would care to experience, least of all a child.

According to Maryland’s Children Electronic Social Services Information Exchange, an average of 385 children per month were reported as abused or neglected in Anne Arundel County from October 2014-September 2015. That is the fourth highest in the state.  (Poverty Amidst Plenty, 5th edition- 2015, a published report by the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, page 15.)

TPyles1Created to help children in the Foster Care system is The Blue Ribbon Project, a 100% volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Annapolis. The backpacks are just one of the services the fledging year-old organization provides under the leadership of Taylor Pyles, its founding Director, an Annapolis Police Detective and a survivor of the foster care system himself. While the initial concept came from his personal journey, his motivation led him to create a community organization… a tangible response to support children when they are most vulnerable. In the short time since its inception, the Backpacks of Love campaign of The Blue Ribbon Project has grown to incorporate all of Anne Arundel, Queen Anne’s, Charles, and Kent Counties.

The Organization’s mission has a three prong approach to addressing childhood abuse, neglect, and victimization.  First, providing direct assistance to children in the community through outreach; Second, raising and maintaining awareness of child abuse and neglect by speaking to and educating other community organizations that serve children and families; and Third, harnessing existing resources to help adult foster care survivors. Through the outreach and collaboration of the Blue Ribbon Project,  survivors, victims and professionals from the health and human service, education and legal systems, come together using a community-centered approach of help, healing, and guidance to overcome obstacles faced by 18-22 year olds as they ‘age up’ and out of the foster care system. While there have been improvements made in a system that was broken and unresponsive in the past, children in foster care remain vulunerable, and problems continue to surface due to growing social, legal and economic issues.

The momentum continues to grow through community churches and various other organizations that sign up to sponsor a Backpacks of Love campaign, and Taylor Pyles’ next goal is to find a more permanent home for the organization. Check out the organization’s web site .

Thank you Anita Ramundo, an AACVC volunteer, for submitting this article.


We wanted Taylor Pyles to launch this series because he was instrumental in starting our 15 years of “Volunteer Voice” segments broadcast weekly on WNAV Radio.  

Back in 2001, Taylor worked at WNAV as a broadcast engineer and behind-the-scenes expert aiding us in developing a regular Wednesday morning feature on WNAV. Station General Manager, Steve Hopp and Program Director, Bill Lusby were also early supporters of the Volunteer Center. With their encouragement and Taylor’s assistance, the short weekly segment was born, featuring community volunteers and volunteer organizations that positively impact our community. Tune in each Wednesday morning after the 9 am news and catch the latest “Volunteer Voice” on your “Hometown Station” WNAV at 1430AM and in the City of Annapolis at 99.9FM. Thank you Taylor, Steve and Bill for your continuing support of the Volunteer Center!

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National Volunteer April 10-16

national volunteer week photo


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Upcoming Training and Recognition Opportunities for Non Profits


Grants Training for Maryland’s Faith-Based Organizations

The Governor’s Grants Office, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, and Maryland Nonprofits are hosing a free grants workshop on April 8th, in College Park, Maryland.

Get more information here


Introduction to Finding Grants

Are you new to the field of grant seeking? Discover what funders are looking for in nonprofits seeking grants and how to find potential funders. Join us April 8th.

Get more information here

Introduction to Proposal Writing and Project Budgets

Proposal writing and project budgeting are essential to the success of a non-profit organization.This class will provide you with an overview of how to write a standard project proposal, and the basic components of a project budget including income and expenses. Join us May 11th.

Get more information here

Governors Service Awards
The Governor’s Service Awards are presented by the Governor’s Office on Service & Volunteerism each year. These awards recognize Maryland citizens for their significant volunteer contributions to the state and its people, and for working to change Maryland for the better.

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15 Years for 15 Stories


vc1In celebration of 15 years of building a better community through service, the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center will proudly share stories about the people, events and special moments that have shaped the Volunteer Center.

So, take some time to think about where, what, and with whom you have volunteered; do some soul searching if necessary! Then, simply fill out the survey below,submit your picture and get back to volunteering!

Click Here to Share YOUR Story

***NOTE: Deadline for all stories and photos is March 18***


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Empire Beauty School Gives Back

beauty school

We would like to give a special thanks to Arundel Lodge for allowing us to share this very special story.  This is a perfect collaboration between the for and not for profit worlds.  Here they share their experience with us. We would love to hear about your collaborations or past experiences here at AAVC .

In April, one of our Residential Program managers asked us for help.

There was a resident in the MICA Program who needed a haircut, but could not afford one. This was also no ordinary haircut. “Sally” lives with severe depression and often stays in bed for days or even weeks at a time. As a result, her long hair had become tangled and matted. Our Development team got to work.


Arundel Lodge reached out to Staci Wyatt, Executive Director of Empire Beauty School in Glen Burnie. Staci eagerly agreed to help. Not only did she agree to work with “Sally,” but she invited Arundel Lodge to bring several residents to receive haircuts, manicures, shaves…the works. These visits have now become a monthly ritual. Empire Beauty School wrote about it in their Newsletter:

 “As part of the Empire Gives Back initiative, Arundel Lodge clients received complimentary services designed not only to provide basic needs, but also a lift in confidence as they work toward self-sufficiency.”

 “The students have taken this monthly visit to heart,” says Staci Wyatt, Executive Director at the Glen Burnie School. “The clients are overwhelmed to have someone just take time to care of them and the confidence they feel walking out our doors is immeasurable…”

 “Many of the Clients are shy of visiting the school, embarrassed with how they look. But if you can imagine how amazing they feel when they look at themselves in the mirror just after a basic wash, cut and blow-dry,” says Wyatt, “It brings them to tears as it does us.”


When asked about the benefits her students gained from our partnership, Staci explained, “Our students got a chance to give back. They need to learn the power of this industry. When someone does not have access to basic beauty and health needs and education, it is surprising to our future professionals. This was an amazing wake-up call for some of them. The students had no clue that mental health could affect a person’s physical health as much as it did some individuals’. This was an incredible eye opener for students [and it made for a] wonderful learning experience…I want to thank you for thinking of us and giving Empire the chance to learn from [Arundel Lodge] and your members.”

Arundel Lodge also asked a few Empire students how they felt about their experience. Tiffany, soon to be graduating from the program shared that, “It was neat to work with [Arundel Lodge] members. They are very open and like to communicate. It made me feel good that the client liked his haircut. He emphasized getting his hair shampooed, so I made sure I did that real good.” Lameka, an outgoing stylist, who clients seem to love, expressed that, “It was really nice just getting a chance to learn about [the client]. He was really funny and it felt good helping out even though it was just a haircut.”

The students and staff at Empire welcomed our persons served with open arms, making them feel comfortable and relaxed. We extend a warm thank you to Staci Wyatt and all of the Glen Burnie Empire Beauty School


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