4 Dedicated Organizations Improving Lives In Maryland

Maryland is home to many organizations that provide quality of life assistance and other services to residents who need them most. From centers that care for trauma survivors, to nonprofits helping families achieve stability, volunteers and donors dedicate time and resources to improving the lives of their neighbors. In no particular order, here are just a few of the groups advancing social welfare within the state.

Entering the list at #1 is the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. This federally recognized coalition's core membership consists of rape crisis and recovery centers throughout Maryland. MCASA works to provide accessible and compassionate care for survivors, offering information and resources for both recovery and investigation. In addition, the organization advocates for prevention and takes action to hold offenders accountable.

MCASA is responsible for certifying comprehensive rape crisis and sexual assault programs to ensure services are survivor-centered. The Coalition includes the Sexual Assault Legal Institute, which provides direct legal services to survivors of all ages across the state of Maryland. Educational activities include raising public awareness of relevant issues and recovery centers; training counselors and other professionals; and sponsoring statewide conferences.

Aat #2 is Shepherd's Table. The organization's mission is to improve quality of life, create a pathway toward self-sufficiency, and inspire hope for those who experience food insecurity, homelessness, and poverty. Shepherd's Table offers daily meals, as well as a weekly clothing program, eye exams, and access to social services with a focus on compassion and respect.

Located in Downtown Silver Spring, Shepherd’s Table serves individuals from all walks of life, including those facing homelessness, unemployment, mental health challenges, substance abuse, physical disabilities, and more. The organization is largely supported by private donations from individuals, businesses, foundations, and religious groups.

Coming in at #3, the MPT Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that receives donations and grants on behalf of Maryland Public Television. The television network comprises six stations that broadcast throughout the entire state, as well as in the District of Columbia and parts of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Support is provided by corporations, foundations, and individuals, with all funds going toward diverse programming.

MPT's broadcast schedule covers educational, informational, and cultural television programs. About 25% of the schedule is devoted to commercial-free child learning shows. The network also broadcasts original productions, including Outdoors Maryland, which highlights the region's ecosystems and places, and Chesapeake Collectibles, an educational program that explores the area's history through its antiques and treasures.

Lastly, at #4 is United Way of Central Maryland. UWCM strives to advance the basic building blocks of education, housing, employment, and health, in order to help low-income families achieve self-sufficiency. Drawing support from all sectors of society, including individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and government, United Way raises the resources needed to create long-term social change that produces healthy, educated, and financially-stable individuals and families.

One of the organization's special programs is the Access of Healthy Food Initiative. It's a collaboration focused on growing more locally, improving distribution, and increasing access and affordability of healthy ingredients for food-insecure central Marylanders. Project Homeless Connect, meanwhile, is a day-long resource fair providing services for housing, healthcare, employment, legal assistance, and haircuts to local people experiencing homelessness.