Friday, September 6, 2019

One last chance to be a "changemaker" in Howard County


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      People with good ideas to create change in Howard County have only 10 more days until the Sept. 16th deadline to submit a proposal in the Changemaker Challenge that is being sponsored jointly by the Horizon Foundation and Central Maryland United Way.  Individuals, teams and nonprofit organizations are invited to pitch a big idea and have a chance to potentially receive up to $25,000 in prize money. Ideas are not limited to specific categories and could focus on people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, health, the environment, social justice, children, teens, older adults or a host of other issue areas.  The Changemaker Challenge helps uncover unexpected leaders who are continuously committed to bringing positive change to Howard County and to spark new ways of thinking throughout the community. We are looking for applicants who have creative, innovative ideas about ways to improve the lives of Howard County residents. 
     Applicants do not need to be attached to a non-profit organization. The Changemaker Challenge celebrates all types of leaders – people from a variety of organizations, walks of life, affiliations, and more. We welcome anyone who has a good idea to improve their community  To give you an idea of the projects that were funded in the first Challenge here are the winner's projects:

o       Beth Sandbower Harbinson was awarded one of three $10,000 Changemaker Challenge grants to help create SOBAR, a nonprofit organization which coordinates alcohol-free social gatherings, and creates healthy, creative non-alcoholic drinks for community social events in Howard County.
o       After noticing more than two dozen bus stops without shelters along Route 1 in Elkridge, Erin Cassell worked closely with county transportation authorities and property owners in the area to refurbish an old bus shelter in a visible Route 1 location – complete with colorful mosaic tiles, a free little library, a painted rock and gnome garden, and a bench composed of recycled materials, all made by local artists or schoolchildren.
o       As the recipient of the third $10,000 grant, Danielle Staton’s program, College Readiness Communities, assisted eight seniors from low-income backgrounds to overcome various social and economic challenges to become the first in their families to attend college. Danielle provided comprehensive and ongoing guidance and support to the seniors for more than a year prior to their acceptance to college, focusing on issues such as financial aid, course selection, and SAT preparation.
o       Tim Ryerson, executive director of the Ellicott City Soccer Club created “Get on the Bus” to remove the social and economic barriers that prevent some children from low-income families from participating in cost prohibitive youth soccer. The program provides transportation from selected Title 1 elementary schools to soccer fields, pays for all fees, provides uniforms and equipment, and healthy snacks for every child. Although he did not win one of the three grants, a video of Tim’s presentation at the event garnered more than $12,000 in funding online.
 If you are interested in submitting your proposal go to this link to apply.


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