New year brings new opportunities to help make a difference

Happy New Year! I hope 2012 brings all of you wonderful joys and happiness. So what is everyone's New Year's Resolutions? Of course the most popular ones are lose weight and spend less money. What about ways to improve your life or others? Please share yours with me.

Jeannette Kendall wanted to make a difference. She was a fashion designer and consultant who decided to start a nonprofit to help those applying for jobs by making them look more successful and called it Success in Style.

Its services start from the moment you enter its facilities at the North Laurel Multi-Service Center on Route 1. Each client gets a fashion consultation, a small wardrobe of working clothes, makeup and a haircut, all for free. They have also worked to find free dental assistance for those missing teeth and even helped get plastic surgery for those who have been abused and scarred. Clients are also coached on tips on interviewing for a job.

To help with costs, Success in Style runs a thrift store called Charity's Closet. It is run by volunteers and they specialize in clothes that are too dressy or casual to be work clothes. The store's volunteers include teenage girls who get training so they can get paying jobs. Several of the girls are now trained to help consult on fashion.

The store is open on Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Savage Mill. For more information go to or call 410-750-6475. For more information on Charity's Closet, call 410-880-5917.

Jeannette is up for a $2,500 grant for her charity. If you are interested in voting, go to Voting ends on Dec. 31.

Ruth Utz is very proud of the girls in Girl Scout Troop 1220 and of the community that supports them. They were able to donate more than 100 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the Wounded Warrior Project at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, thanks to the generous donations of our community. The girls are fourth-graders at Hammond Elementary.

We really do have some amazing students in this area. Many show great potential to be leaders in our future. For those that are sophomores, we have some help in training for a leadership role. Leadership U is now recruiting for their 2012 class.

All High School Sophomores that live in Howard County can apply. They can attend public or private school or even be home schooled. To apply, students must complete a written application and have a personal interview.

Materials are in all high school guidance offices. There will be 3 informational sessions: Jan. 25 at the Central Library, Jan. 31 at the Miller Branch Library and Feb. 9 at Hammond High School. All sessions will be 7 to 8 p.m.

For more information go to and then go to "Programs."

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