Highlights of the Change Matters Campaign for 2015-16.
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2015-2016 Student Campaign
Raises Over $55,000 for Grassroots

Change Matters, the Howard County student community service and philanthropy initiative, has raised over $55,000 for Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center during the 2015-2016 school year.  The funds will be directed at services for families and individuals in crisis, including those in need of shelter.  Highlighted below are some of the imaginative fundraising events held by students.

Change Matters was launched 9 years ago as a vehicle to inform young people about poverty and homelessness in Howard County, share information about the services Grassroots provides, and engage them in philanthropic opportunities as a response to social issues.  Howard County students have raised almost $234,000 since the first campaign.

There are over 600 school-age children who are identified as “homeless” by the school system’s Pupil Personnel Office.  One in five students is eligible for the school system’s free/reduced price lunch program based on family income.

In the past year, the Change Matter elementary school campaign has focused on homelessness and poverty.  The middle school focus has been on both homelessness and crisis services, and participating students have been provided quality service learning opportunities supported with relevant curriculum and lesson plans written by school system staff.  The high school focus has been on crisis services and the “Don’t Do Nothing” suicide prevention program.

This year’s Change Matters contributions have come from 37 participating elementary, middle and high schools, which have collected change and hosted a variety of fundraising events, from concerts to zumbathons, from Penny Wars to Empty Bowls dinners. Students also collected food, clothing and other items for the shelter.  Imagination and effort distinguish the response to Change Matters by local school personnel and students.

Howard High School vs. Long Reach High School “Don’t Do Nothing” Football Challenge  For the past three years during this competition, Howard has dominated on the football field and Long Reach has won the change collection challenge, but Grassroots is the big winner. The students raised $2,210.20 for suicide prevention services this year.

Ellicott Mills Middle School 8th Annual Campaign Students kicked off a school-wide Change Matters with a mock tent city set up outside the school. Students held signs with thought-provoking facts about homelessness. Later in the year, as its Student Service Learning action activity, the school held its annual year-end walkathon to promote understanding about Grassroots services. This year, students and staff raised $5,859.56 for Grassroots.

Elkridge Landing Middle School First Campaign The school’s 8th grade implemented Change Matters for the first time as its Student Service Learning initiative. They hosted a walkathon, and students and staff raised $2,494.00 for Grassroots.

Contributions Welcomed Grassroots depends upon private philanthropy to support its free services.  Please consider making a contribution today.

participation by
local schools:

Elementary Schools: Atholton • Centennial Lane • Clemens Crossing • Deep Run • Hollifield Station • Ilchester • Jeffers Hill • Laurel Woods • Manor Woods • Northfield • Pointers Run • Running Brook • St. John’s Lane • Talbot Springs • Waterloo
Middle Schools: Burleigh Manor • Elkridge Landing • Ellicott Mills • Folly Quarter • Glenwood • Hammond • Harper’s Choice • Lime Kiln • Mayfield Woods • Murray Hill • Oakland Mills • Patapsco • Wilde Lake
High Schools: Atholton • Centennial • Hammond • Howard • Long Reach • Marriotts Ridge • Mt. Hebron • River Hill • Wilde Lake • ARL
Other donors: Bob’s BMW • Raymond and Linda Byrne • Cub Scout Pack 333 • St. John Baptist Church • St. Louis School • The Mall in Columbia • Tyler Steffens • Joyce Tapper

For information about your school's participation in Change Matters, contact Cathy Smith, 410-302-4662,
About Grassroots Grassroots provides the county’s only emergency shelter and 24-hour crisis intervention services. Professional crisis counselors staff Grassroots’ 24-hour hotline; see walk-in clients in need of immediate counseling; and operate the Mobile Crisis Team, which responds to community emergencies, and manage the county's emergency shelter for homeless men, women and families.  Grassroots also manages the Cold Weather Shelter during winter months and the Grassroots Day Resource Center which serves people who are chronically homeless.  For information, call 410-531-6006, or visit

Copyright © 2016 Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, All rights reserved.

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