Harford County government employees gathered on April 6 at the McFaul Center in Bel Air to celebrate a productive Day of Service program authorized earlier this year by County Executive Barry Glassman. The program initiated in January encourages county employees to give back to the community in honor of the life and service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
At the early morning celebration, County Executive Glassman thanked county employees for assisting the Harford County community over the three month period from January to March. Employees in the voluntary program gave 808 service hours to local nonprofit organizations including Harford Family House, Mason Dixon Community Services, Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, the Harford County Humane Society, United Way, the Harford Community Action Agency, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County, the Harford Center, the ARC Northern Chesapeake, the Homecoming Project, Family and Children’s Services, and the Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center (SARC).
Benefits to the community from the Day of Service program included help for 440 citizens who attended the United Way’s Harford County Homeless Connect event in January. Homeless Connect assembles essential services in one location for individuals who are experiencing, or are on the verge of experiencing, homelessness in Harford County. County volunteers also helped build one complete Habitat for Humanity home and gave the Habitat’s ReStore building much needed renovations. Volunteers also packaged over 5,536 pounds of food for 130 families in need, and read to 490 elementary school students. Children at the Boys & Girls Club in Edgewood took home 150 bag lunches and 128 educational STEM kits, and played St. Patrick’s Day games with county employees. The children will also enjoy beautiful new landscaping on their club grounds, thanks to Day of Service activities. Volunteers also repaired and repainted the headquarters of Mason Dixon Community Services, and animals were well cared for while Humane Society staff prepared for their move into a new facility.
Among the highlights of the Day of Service celebration Wednesday, Cecilia Helmstetter, assistant director of development for United Way, presented Len Parrish, Harford County’s director of Housing and Community Development, with a thank you award for his department’s partnership with United Way on Harford Homeless Connect’s successful inaugural event.
The Day of Service appreciation breakfast was generously sponsored by Wegman’s. The celebration culminated in a group photo of volunteers showing how good it feels to give back to the community.