Youth-led Nonprofit Collects Mittens for Vulnerable Babies, Toddlers


We Cancerve’s Mitten Drive 2022 to Benefit Homeless, Sick and Foster Children

The We Cancerve Movement, Inc., a Harford County-based nonprofit led by area youth, is kicking off its month-long drive to collect mittens for infants and toddlers from families who need extra help this season. Among them are children from families experiencing homelessness, kinship care and foster care families, and families with children undergoing medical treatment.

Haley Richardson, 17, who’s a member of the organization’s all-youth board of advisors, is leading the project. She said items should fit newborns to children who are early pre-K and pre-K ages, usually ages four or five.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to my community as God has blessed me with a life I am beyond grateful for,” said Richardson, a Bel Air High School senior and honor student.

The collected mittens, gloves and hat and scarf sets will be distributed to Judy Centers located inside Harford County Public School, as well as to Greenspring Pediatrics, a community hospital in Baltimore, and area homeless shelters and transitional housing programs including domestic violence safe houses.​

According to the Maryland Public Schools’ website, Judy Centers provide the physical health, mental health, academic, and other types of support needed to thrive for many Maryland children and families. As of fiscal year 2022, Maryland had 69 Judy Center sites throughout the state, serving children and families in every local school system.

We Cancerve, started in 2012 by then-seven-year-old Grace Callwood, an Edgewood High School senior enrolled in the Global Studies International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, recently established a partnership with the community hospital. As a community hospital, Greenspring’s role extends beyond direct care; staff focus on maintaining their connections with patients through the hospital’s role in the Northwest Baltimore economy as well. They also support children and family caregivers.

Donors are encouraged to connect with friends affiliated with any of the four collection sites: Rage Box Dance Center, Harford County Public Schools’ central office, Red Pump Elementary School and Bel Air High School. Those interested in starting a collection on We Cancerve’s behalf can reach out to Richardson at [email protected]. The collection begins November 1 and runs through December 1.

We Cancerve has reached more than 26,000 children from Ohio to Africa providing more than $25,000 in cash grants and more than $300,000 in in-kind donations to organizations that serve children the nonprofit serves.

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