Nonprofit View: Carroll organizations express gratitude to community

Working quietly and often in the background, myriad volunteers make a daily impact within our communities, and 2017 was no exception.

“Every day, we … see the results of providing the opportunity to learn to read, improve one’s skills, learn to speak English or become citizens,” said Sam Greenholtz, executive director of the Literacy Council of Carroll County.


Like others who work for nonprofits, Greenholtz attributes the council’s success to volunteers and donors.

“All the nonprofits work well together and support a lot of the same individuals and families,” said Ed Leister, executive director at Carroll County Food Sunday, crediting volunteers with helping them provide emergency supplemental groceries while preserving the dignity of any Carroll resident needing food assistance.

Lynn Davis, executive director of the Carroll County Youth Service Bureau summed it up: “Our Carroll County population footprint may be less than other Maryland counties, but I assure you its generous heart is beyond comparison.”

Nonprofits approached repeatedly shared their gratitude for volunteers and donors.

“We are overwhelmed by the support of the donors and volunteers who roll up their sleeves to help us,” said Marriage and Relationship Education Center Executive Director Amy Gilford. “One couple who attended multiple MREC programs wrote, ‘Thank you for helping pave the way for our love story. We can’t express enough gratitude for what you’ve done for our relationship and our blended family.’ That says it all.”

Brenda Meadows, executive director at The Shepherd’s Staff shared a note they received.

“I came to Shepherd’s Staff years ago when I was down on my luck,” the note read. “They were able to give me food and clothing. But, more importantly, they gave me HOPE! They showed me how people really care about you. I was not judged or looked down on. I’m employed now and in a much better place in my life today.”

Those who give become the fuel that keeps the engine going for Carroll nonprofits.

“Our donors are just as important as the artists that grace our gallery walls and the musicians, dancers and actors that perform on our stage,” said Carroll County Arts Council Executive Director Sandy Oxx. “We would not exist without them.”

Gainor Davis, executive director at the Historical Society of Carroll County, expressed how community “givers” safeguard the past.

“Without community support in the form of time, talent, and treasure, HSCC could not preserve the collective memories and stories of the Carroll’s unique past for future generations,” she said.

Human Services Programs Executive Director Angela Gustus shared how more than 700 volunteers gave more than 12,000 hours of time in 2017 to help them serve more than 10,000 individuals in need.

“It takes a village, and in this case, a cadre of nonprofits to support a community,” Mission of Mercy Executive Director Linda Ryan said. “Carroll County has always been a caring, loving, generous community that supports individuals and families with myriad needs.”

Don Rowe, executive director of the Arc of Carroll County, agreed.


“Our community breathes life into our mission every day,” he said.

Each nonprofit organization asked laid the sum of their success at the feet of their donors and volunteers, asking that this end of the year column express their gratitude.

“In a place like Carroll County, community is everything,” said Michael F. Shriver, CEO of Change, Inc. “It’s not just a group of people we live near. It is not just a place where we decided to live or make our home base.”

So thank you Carroll County. You are the thread that binds our communities and keeps us whole.