Angela Gustas, executive director of Human Services Programs of Carroll County, talks about Neighbors in Need Year Round. (Emily Chappell/Carroll County Times)
As the holidays approach, some are thinking of ways to give back. But at Neighbors in Need Year Round, giving back to those who need help is the goal all year long.
Neighbors in Need Year Round, administered through Human Services Programs of Carroll County, is one of five beneficiaries of Holiday Hope, an annual campaign with the Carroll County Times aimed at driving donations to organizations that help those in need in the Carroll County community. In addition to Neighbors in Need Year Round, the Times also partners with Access Carroll, Carroll Food Sunday, Carroll Hospice and The Shepherd's Staff. This year, the Holiday Hope campaign goal is to raise $100,000 for the four organizations. To participate in Holiday Hope, readers need only clip the advertisement that appears in the paper every day between now and Christmas, or go to www.carrollcountytimes.com/holidayhope and print out the form.
Angela Gustas, executive director of Human Services Programs of Carroll County, said HSP serves the community in four basic areas — the sheltered housing program, the workforce development program, the emergency and prevention program, and the family center. And within that, she said, HSP runs 17 programs, one of which is Neighbors in Need Year Round.
At HSP, they do everything from helping get shelter and housing, to GED and ESOL classes, to eviction prevention and utility assistance, Gustas said.
And what Neighbors in Need Year Round does, she said, is help people in a way those other resources don’t. They’ve helped pay for things like window air-conditioning units or books for someone trying to go back to school.
“It’s really an opportunity for us to be able to help people to meet some of those needs that other funding sources don’t necessarily meet for them,” she said. “Just random different things that don’t necessarily fit into the different pockets of funds that we have that are specific to individuals.”
The Neighbors in Need Year Round program is important, Gustas said, because every dollar goes back to the community.
The organization’s mission statement is to give hope, inspire change and provide opportunity by mobilizing the community in the fight against poverty, something Gustas said aligns with what Neighbors in Need Year Round is all about, which is to meet the needs of the community.
It’s a nonprofit, but also a community action organization, she added.