More than 200 people came out to Grace Lutheran Church, in Westminster, Tuesday afternoon to meet with more than 40 agencies, nonprofits and other volunteers to learn about resources available in Carroll County and get free haircuts and school supplies.

This was one of the quarterly resource fairs organized by the Carroll County Circle of Caring Street Outreach Committee, according to Committee Chair Tasha Cramer, and also coincided with the church’s regular Tuesday soup kitchen service.


“They served lunch to 220 individuals,” Cramer said. “We were able to give 70 children back-to-school supplies and we gave about 20 haircuts.”

Agencies and organizations in attendance included Access Carroll, the Carroll County Healthy Department and the library and the Schapiro Training and Employment Program, among others. Many of them brought school supplies to donate to families struggling to provide them on the eve of the new school year, according to Rick Schoenfeld, vice chair of the street outreach committee.

“There are a lot of organizations in the area that give out school supplies, but you have to sign up for them well in advance,” he said. “Individuals who didn’t have the opportunity to sign up early were able to come here.”

Among them were Cheryl Fowlkes, of Hampstead, who brought her 10-year-old granddaughter Deja Wilson and found the resource fair extremely useful.

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What brought the family out Wednesday was the opportunity to pick up new backpacks freshly stocked with supplies, courtesy of the United Way of Central Maryland, as well as the chance to bring home 30 pounds of food — much of which was fresh produce — from the Maryland Food Bank.

“Got school supplies, haircuts. Got a lot of useful information for services that are offered in Carroll County,” Fowlkes said. “It’s extremely helpful for everyone who is not aware of the resources available to them. There are many resources available and helpful people in the community.”

Tami Buglsh, of Manchester, and her 7-year-old son Zachary came out after she learned of the fair from Potomac Case Management, which was one of the vendors at the fair.

“Potomac basically will come out and assist grownups get things done. I have anxiety so I have problems making phone calls and getting things done,” she said. “The fair was really very nice and there were a lot of resources here. Not just people who have kids in school, but this would have been very beneficial for other people.”

Having a child heading back to school, however, and one who wasn’t that ready for the school year, the fair was very helpful, Buglsh said.

“I think this helped get him ready to go back,” she said. “The haircut was really nice.”

The haircuts were courtesy of Donna Geiwitz, owner of Ultimate Image, in Hampstead, who said it was her first time volunteering her time to give free cuts at a resource fair.

“We had a great many kids and they were excited. A lot of happy faces,” she said. “I’m glad to help. I hear they have them quarterly, so I plan to do it again.”

The timing for the next resource fair?

“It will be a fall fair,” Cramer said, “so probably November-ish.”