Maryland law firms help expunge criminal records for Giving Tuesday

Maryland law firms help expunge criminal records for Giving Tuesday
WMAR Staff

BALTIMORE (WMAR) – Law firms in Maryland teamed up for Giving Tuesday to help people expunge their criminal records.

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and Venable, a Baltimore law firm, set out to help 40 clients expunge 250 criminal record convictions so they can have easier access to jobs, houses, and time with their children.

Both firms worked with the Helping Up Mission, which aims to help people who are overcoming poverty, homelessness, and addiction.


Choir from St. John in Westminster heads to Carnegie Hall

Check out this great article about Helping Up Staff member and CFO Michael Burns:

By Emily Rosenthal of the Catholic Review


WESTMINSTER – Fifteen choirs will participate in the world premiere of “Rhapsody in Bluegrass” at Carnegie Hall in New York City Nov. 27.

Only one has a Catholic connection: the adult choir from St. John Parish in Westminster.

“We’re a little parish choir in Westminster, invited to perform at Carnegie Hall,” said Regina McCurdy, director of liturgical music for the largest parish in Carroll County. “This is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity.”


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Maryland nonprofits join ‘Giving Tuesday’ movement, solicit donations, volunteerism

A coalition of young people is searching for 614,000 pledges of time, money or acts of kindness as part of a local #GivingTuesday campaign to secure one charitable action in honor of every Baltimore resident.

The global fundraising movement has raised tens of millions of dollars locally and generated creative outpourings in Maryland since it was established in 2012, such as a dance crew posting step-by-step video tutorials on social media to raise money for after-school programs, a proceeds giveaway by a local coal-fired pizza shop and the adornment of the Edgar Allan Poe statue at the University of Baltimore in bright blue bows to broadcast every donation received.

The goal of #GivingTuesday is to generate philanthropic contributions following the start of the holiday season after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Jeremy Rosendale is helping run the campaign — #WhatisyourpasHON — by the United Way of Central Maryland to round up enough commitments to represent each person who lives in the city. A dozen groups for young professionals are deploying their resources to find donors to give volunteer hours, money or other actions to whatever cause they are passionate about, whether it’s the United Way; Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, known as BARCs; Moveable Feast, a meals program for people with life-threatening illnesses; or any other charitable group.

“We wanted to harness that energy and passion of young professionals,” said Rosendale, director of the United Way’s young professionals Emerging Leaders United group. “So many inspiring things are happening, despite the negative news Baltimore has been garnering. Many of us love our city, our state and our region. Let’s bring together the hours, the dollars and the acts of kindness. It’s an audacious goal, and we’re hoping it gets people to thinking broader: ‘I can do more. I should give more.’ ”

More than $168 million was reportedly raised across the world on the last #GivingTuesday using telephone banks, email blitzes and Twitter campaigns. The totals have grown each year from the estimated $12 million raised in 2012. The concept was created by a New York City nonprofit, the 92nd Street Y, to counter the commercialism at the start of the holiday season.

Among the efforts in Baltimore was the “Bmore Gives More” campaign in 2013 that raised more than $5 million, a total that is believed to have grown each year since.

The kits — which offer personal hygiene items important for their clients’ dignity but can be too expensive for the city’s poorest residents — will be distributed throughout the holiday season. As part of the #GivingTuesday effort, the center is challenging the community to donate another $4,500 through its website to match the Bank of America gift to purchase supplies for another 1,000 kits that can be given out in January and February.

“Toiletry items are something most of us take for granted,” said Meg Ducey, the center’s development and marketing director. “For somebody who is struggling to fill their belly every day, they can often be out of reach. Bank of America generously donated 1,000 kits, but we’ll go through them in a month, and the need continues throughout the winter.”

Organizations across Maryland will also be participating in a variety of ways, including an expungement clinic that will be held by Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and Venable LLP for the clients of Helping Up Mission to scrub their public records of charges that block them from accessing jobs, housing and visitation with their children.

The Associated’s website links to gifts at various prices, from $100 to “foster a diverse, respectful Jewish community” to $1,000 for “life-long Jewish learning and experiences.” The Open Society Institute’s Baltimore office is looking to raise $60,000 to pay for one of their future fellows.

Baltimore Shelters Take on Veteran Homelessness

Baltimore Shelters Take on Veteran Homelessness

Brendan McNamara

BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) – Homelessness is a problem that still impacts tens of thousands of veterans across the country. In Baltimore, traditional shelters are teaming with veteran organizations dedicated to helping those who have served. One of those shelters is the Helping Up Mission.

“It gave me hope at a time when I was really hopeless,” says Kris Sharrar, a former airman and current Helping Up Director of Philanthropy.

Sharrar says the transition from the Air Force to civilian life was a tough one.

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Ben Carson visits Baltimore for tour of addiction recovery facility

Dr. Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, toured a Baltimore addiction recovery treatment center Friday to amplify the Trump administration’s efforts to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Visiting the 132-year-old Helping Up Mission in East Baltimore, the retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon praised the organization for its work to fight addiction and provide stable housing without being a “big government program.”

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Helping Up Mission awarded grant from Maryland Community Health Resource Commission to Expand Dental Services to Substance Users in Baltimore City

Baltimore City, MARYLAND – Helping Up Mission (HUM) was recently named as one of 19 grant recipients by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), receiving a grant of $150,000 to expand Dental Services to residents of the one-year residential Spiritual Recovery Program over the next three years.

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Press Release