Last year in Maryland, 6,440 children under 18 years old were homeless. To help meet the needs of this growing problem, Sarah's House wasopened four years ago.
Located in Fort Meade, Sarah's House consists of five World War II barracks renovated for emergency shelter andtransitional housing.
Sarah's House is a joint venture between Anne Arundel County, theArmy and the Associated Catholic Charities. Although supported by local, state and federal money, private donations are greatly needed. Items such as infant and children's clothes, diapers, baby bottles, shampoo, deodorant, soap, towels, wash cloths and cleaning supplies, aswell as money, are being accepted.
The emergency shelter consistsof one building that will hold 30 men and one building that will hold 34 women and children. The maximum stay is 45 days.
Each of these shelters contains rooms, a lounge with a TV, washers and dryers. The residents are provided with three meals a day.
Two barracks are set aside for the transitional housing program, which accepts residents through the emergency shelter for stays of six to 24 months.
Residents pay 30 percent of their income and are given a one-bedroom unit that includes a kitchenette, private bath and open living space. Furniture, cookware and linens are provided.
The transitional program is designed to help the residents save money and learn living skills such as budgeting, nutrition and parenting. The staff includes a resident manager and social workers who assist the residents by networking with other agencies to provide professional counseling, job placement and training and assistance in obtaining private housing.
For more information about volunteering or donations, contact volunteercoordinator Jane Strong at 551-7722.
The Crofton Branch Library, at 1657 Crofton Centre, is offering a Drop-in Storytime at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 6-27, with a special Valentine's Day story time planned for Feb 13.
This special time is for children ages 2 to 5. Two-year-olds must be accompanied by a parent or care-giver. Other parents are asked to remain in the building during the program.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 6-27, a family story time session willbe conducted for children ages 2 to 6 and parents.
No registration is required for either event. For more information, call the library at 222-7915 or 261-3909.
The Fort Meade Retired Officers' Wives' Club is accepting reservations for a Sunday Feb. 10 dinner theater showing of "Shenandoah" at the Towsontowne Dinner theater.
This is an old-fashioned, tuneful charmer for the entire family. The trip's $35 cost includes bus, dinner, show and gratuity.
The bus willleave the Fort Meade Officers' Club at 3 p.m. For reservations, callBetty Juba at 721-2494 or Helen McCormack at 721-1736.
The O'Malley Senior Center is offering a workshop entitled "Introduction to PCs."
Taught by Carl I. Pogar, an office automation consultant, this three-session workshop will introduce you to the world of the personal computer, and help overcome your fear of them.
The class, which runs from 10 to 11 a.m. and begins Feb. 7, will cover DOS commands, keyboard functions and all aspects of the operation of a microcomputer.
The workshop is free, but registration is required. For more information, call the center at 222-6227 or 621-9515.
The Odenton Heritage Society, in response to a number of requests, will bescheduling evening meetings for every other month at the Odenton Library.
The next meeting will be at 7 tomorrow. Professor Barrett L.McKown from Anne Arundel Community College will discuss the history of the American Flag.
Membership in the organization is not required to attend meetings. The society has a number of standing committees and would welcome anyone interested in helping locate information about our community.
The Odenton Kiwanis Club sponsored a "Know To Say No" assembly last week at Waugh Chapel Elementary School, with over 250 children participating.
Master of Ceremony Bill Davis started out by having the children chant "Know to Say No." Richard Johnson, community resources specialist from the Anne Arundel County Drug and Alcohol Program, discussed the dangers of drugs. Officer Robert K. Moore Jr. of the county police department talked about differentways to say no to drugs.
"Stringbean" the clown was on hand to deliver a message about the dangers of drugs through magic, rap songs and humor. Ten students were selected to play a game similar to "Jeopardy!" in which the kids answered questions about drug and alcohol use, with contestants winning T-shirts for correct answers.
Every student at the assembly received a kit containing a pencil, coloring sheets, stickers, two pledge cards and a headband. The cards, which pledge a drug-free life, will be signed by the students, dropped into amailbox provided by the program and sent to President George Bush and Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
Robert Masters, principal of WaughChapel, and Joe McCartan, community relations chairman for the Odenton Kiwanis Club, were instrumental in pulling the program together.
The next assembly is scheduled for Feb. 21 at Odenton Elementary School.
The Odenton Kiwanis Club has spent over $3,000 to sponsor these assemblies for area elementary schools. To help with the cost of the assemblies and other programs that the Odenton club sponsors, members are selling raffle tickets for a seven-day, six-night all-expenses-paid Caribbean cruise for two.
Tickets are $3 or two for $5, and are being sold every weekend outside the Super Fresh in Odenton andon Saturday mornings at the Odenton branch of the Bank of Glen Burnie. They also can be purchased from any Kiwanian.
For more information about the raffle or other Kiwanis-sponsored events, call 672-3479.
Project D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is an education program designed to help elementary school children resist peer pressure to experiment with tobacco, drugs and alcohol.
D.A.R.E uses uniformed law enforcement officers to teach a formal curriculum and gives special attention to fifth-grade students, preparing them for junior high school, where they are most likely to encounter pressures to use drugs.
Fifth-graders at Odenton Elementary School have just completed the 16-week program and are graduating today. Officer Robert K. Moore Jr. was the D.A.R.E instructor from the county policedepartment. Along with the weekly lessons, each student had to writean essay titled "What D.A.R.E Has Done For Me."
The winning essays were written by Susan Lee, Jason Thompson, Diane Rau, Billy Morrell, Ruth Fisher and Erin Markish. Judging was by Officer Moore and Sergeant Pope, plus Vera Spink and Veronica Campbell, fifth-grade teachers at Odenton. These six students will read their essays at the graduation ceremony, which was planned by all the fifth-graders.
Along with receiving diplomas, the children will do cheers, sing rap songs, perform a skit and demonstrate the eight ways to say no to drugs. Thegraduation ceremony is set for 9 a.m. today at McArthur Middle School, on the grounds of Fort Meade.
For more information, call the school at 674-7093.