These are difficult, unsettling times. As parents, as neighbors, as friends, as co-workers, as citizens, we are having uncomfortable conversations and considering who we are as individuals and as a nation. The strife and pain of recent events, exacerbated by the changes caused by the pandemic, have rocked the ground beneath us. The phrases "new normal" and "next normal" are being tossed around at a time when many of us are not sure we know what the word "normal" means anymore.
But hope keeps us going. At MHP, one of the important commitments we make to our communities is to celebrate achievement. As such, we drew great comfort from the ritual of year-end graduation ceremonies for our Community Life enrichment students. Make no mistake: with parents and students participating from their homes via on-line platforms rather than filling the seats in our community centers, it was different.
It also was wonderful. Students sang joyously together. One proud little boy even tossed his graduation cap in the air at the end of the ceremony. A grateful parent said our programs have been "the backbone" of his family, making preschool accessible to his children and getting them off to a strong start as students. You can read more about this experience, made possible by our talented, dedicated Community Life staff and our partners at the Washington Conservatory of Music, in the story below.
And so we draw strength, from familiar rituals and from each other, looking forward to better days ahead.
Wishing you peace and hope,
Robert A. Goldman
The challenges of quarantined life have forced the elimination of many life rituals, but our Community Life staff improvised to make sure that our students and their families experienced culminating graduation ceremonies using technology. Great Hope Homes preschoolers reveled in the experience, which included musical performances guided by instruction from the Washington Conservatory of Music.
Congratulations to all graduates. You make us proud! See more here.
Supporting Strong Neighborhoods
We are proud to have collaborated with Flower Designs in the Long Branch community of Silver Spring to help win a $7,500 grant for manufacturing face masks. Business owner Edelsa Barrios is one of 25 small and medium-sized businesses to receive this Montgomery County Government grant from a newly created Local Production Fund managed by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corp.
Edelsa is using the money to purchase bulk fabric and other supplies she needs to make hand-sewn face masks, some of which will be donated to residents in need. Special thanks to Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Gabriel Albornoz for spearheading the effort! And thank you to Lisa Helfert Photography for the photo.
Youth Essay: 'If I Was Mayor'
Congratulations to Alirio Abaca, a 6th grader in MHP's Greenwood Terrace afterschool homework club. His essay exploring the theme "If I Was Mayor" was selected as a runner-up in a competition sponsored by the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND).
One of his bold ideas: “I will make a place where medicine and health care can be easily attained no matter how much money people make.” We are proud of all of the students who participated. Learn more here.
Golf Tournament: Tentative New Date
The 2020 Norman Christeller Golf Classic, an important source of support for MHP's Community Life student enrichment programs, has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday, Sept. 25. Stay tuned for more details.
In Memoriam: John Morgan
We mourn the passing of John Thomas Morgan, 91. He and his wife Rita were active advocates for fair and affordable housing in Montgomery County, and were among the first supporters of MHP.
John had an extensive career, including working as a journalist, in government, and as government relations representative with the Communications Workers of America.
In addition to supporting fair, affordable housing, he was an active volunteer and advocate for seniors and those dealing with poverty and disabilities. He and Rita were among the co-founders of Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC) in Montgomery County. In retirement, John served as a driver for Central Maryland Meals on Wheels, which selected him as 2015 Volunteer of the Year. He was a force for good in our community and will be missed.
For more than 30 years, MHP has created quality affordable homes in Montgomery County and the surrounding region. MHP has developed more than 2,100 affordable apartments, condos, and townhomes. We also work to enhance the vitality of the neighborhoods where affordable housing is located and offer Community Life Programs for the residents.