The "Rise to the Challenge" Impact

Downtown Columbia Arts & Culture Commission - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding for community & cultural programming for Howard County constituents.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball's Rise to the Challenge grant program has been a critical lifeline for the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission in the face of significant reductions in earned and contributed income in 2020. This funding has allowed us to weather this economic storm and turn our attention to planning a return to community and cultural programming at Merriweather Post Pavilion and throughout Downtown Columbia in 2021.

FIRN - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding for emergency services and the critical work that ensures access to resources.

FIRN - $50,000

"The pandemic has slashed the number and volume of donations at a time when demands have exponentially increased. This is especially difficult as those we serve tend to lack access to emergency support and capital to ensure their protection and stability. The Rise to the Challenge Grant could not have come at a more critical time in helping FIRN to be more responsive to them while also retaining the infrastructure and staffing to do the critical work. Thank you!"

Community Action Council - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to enable a seamless transition into virtual classrooms & online learning for Head Start student.

Community Action Council - $50,000

"CAC is grateful to be awarded the Rise to the Challenge funding. The onset of COVID-19 quickly forced us to rethink how we could effectively serve our Head Start students both in the class and virtually at home without having to increase staffing levels or scramble to find a parallel online curriculum. This funding allows CAC to seamlessly integrate classroom learning and virtual learning via a unified tech platform, ensuring the children of our low-income residents have access to high quality education regardless of their physical location. With this generous support, CAC's Head Start program is in a position to provide synchronous teaching in a blended learning environment for our present students in the current COVID-19 environment and will allow for expanded flexibility to our future students."

Kindness Pantry (Partnership with Bright Minds)

We are so grateful to receive the Rise to the Challenge grant from Howard County. It has been our mission to ensure that all of our students in Howard County public schools have school supplies. With this grant, we will be able to purchase the most needed school supplies for students at 25 schools. Students will need a replenishment of composition notebooks, pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, among other supplies as we continue virtual learning through mid-April. This money will make a great impact on so many students so they can succeed this school year.

Community Ecology Institute - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to enable Freetown Farm to cultivate community understanding in agriculture and creating a sustainable food supply.

The Community Ecology Institute is deeply grateful for the county's support via a Rise to the Challenge grant. CEI's mission is to cultivate communities in which people and nature thrive together. This grant will support us in making critical investments into the Freetown Farm property that we are stewarding for the community, including creating a unique farm-based education center from which we are able to run our operations and community programming. This investment will allow us to support more community members in 2021 and beyond, with a focus on enhancing personal and community resilience as we grapple with the challenges and disparities highlighted by COVID-19.

The Pearl Foundation (Partnership with Bright Minds)

For 48 years we have supported students who are challenged by a lack of the necessary resources needed to support their learning and achievement. The Rise to the Challenge grant enables us to continue supporting students in Title I schools through increased reading books and supplies as well as cultural arts enrichment programming. In addition, in partnership with BSAP, we are implementing the Promise Scholars initiative for 25 students at Thomas Viaduct Middle School, supplying them with technology and organization resources to increase classroom engagement. Finally, we have initiated virtually, our signature afterschool program-Emerging Young Leaders, at Lake Elkhorn Middle School.

The Arc of Howard County - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to maintain a safe and healthy environment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Arc of Howard County - $50,000

The Arc of Howard County is grateful for the funds awarded to us through the Rise to the Challenge grant. As we navigate these challenging times, this additional funding helps us maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Korean American Senior Association - $16,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to maintain resources and education for Howard County’s Korean American Senior residents.

Korean American Senior Association - $16,000

One thing for sure to use this fund is that we didn’t have to dissolve our nonprofit organization to serve the Korean Community, specifically Senior community.

By having this fund, we didn’t have to disband our organization and help more than 680 Korean senior who have language barriers and had a difficulty to navigate the services.

We were able to maintain Korean food suppliers, sanitizers, and mask.

Furthermore, we were able to connect each other two times a week by using technology which they never had.

Oakland Mills Online (Partnership with Bright Minds)

Oakland Mills Online (OMO) will use the Rise to the Challenge Grant funds to grow our digital social learning capabilities by updating much needed hardware and software. Future volunteer-led virtual programming will continue with improved Zoom sessions on everything from holiday cooking to diverse voices book clubs.

Candlelight Concert Society - $24,700

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to provide virtual music concerts for all of Howard County constituents at no cost.

Candlelight Concert Society - $24,700

Rise to the Challenge Grant Supports Candlelight Concerts’ Online Arts Programming for Howard County Residents

Candlelight Concert Society Brings the World’s Best Music Home to Howard County

Candlelight Concert Society was selected in a competitive process by Howard County to receive funding through the County's Rise to the Challenge Grant Program.

For more than 48 years, Howard County students, residents, and music lovers have enjoyed exciting concerts at the Candlelight Concert Society, the County’s premier presenter of classical and contemporary chamber music, featuring the best musical artists from around the world, and from all around Maryland

In response to the unprecedented shutdown of in-person concerts due to the COVID-19 emergency, Candlelight has created a new Digital Arts Infrastructure Platform, designed to offer simple and convenient online access to Candlelight’s digital arts and educational outreach programming via the Society’s website.

“Thanks to Howard County’s leadership, through programs like the Rise to the Challenge grant, and the generosity of our audiences, Candlelight is now able to offer virtual concert programming online for free,” says Candlelight Concert Society's Board President, Bryan Young.

Candlelight will use funds from Howard County’s Rise to the Challenge Grant to offset the increases in technology, training, and production expenses needed to provide high quality online concerts, arts education, and outreach events for K-12 students, citizens, and underserved populations throughout the County.

Candlelight expects to reach up to 31,000 Maryland residents with virtual and broadcast arts programming during its fiscal 2021 season, a substantial increase in innovative arts access that will help keep Howard County residents healthy, happy and thriving during challenging times.

“We hope everyone in Howard County will visit our website and watch a free concert,” says Candlelight Artistic Director Irina Kaplan Lande. Adds Kaplan Lande, who is responsible for Candlelight’s diverse artistic programming, “We are so excited to bring the world’s best music home, for free, to our Howard County neighbors.”

Candlelight Concerts’ season of free concert events, including a two week online festival of performances and events celebrating Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary, are available to all Howard County residents online athttps://candlelightconcerts.org.

Sobar

The Rise to the Challenge Grant funding enables the non-profit to provide a non-alcoholic delivery option to individuals working to overcome their addictions.

Sobar

With the Rise to the Challenge grant, Sobar has been able to move forward with our sober New Year’s Eve virtual event planning and execution. In addition, we’ve developed our Sobar in a Box product offering non-drinkers an alternative to alcohol and employed several Howard County residents and involve HCPS student interns.

Rebuilding Together Howard County - $16,929

The Rise to the Challenge Grant funding will enable the non-profit to streamline their inspection process and maintain the safety of their volunteers and clients.

Rebuilding Together Howard County - $16,929

The Rise to the Challenge Grant enabled Rebuilding Together Howard County to streamline our client house inspection process given new pandemic requirements. This new process will replace a paper-based system that required a lot of time to execute and was not compliant with pandemic guidelines.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz Maryland - $36,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to enable the non-profit to safely meet the significant need for children’s bikes and purchases the many needed supplies to meet demand.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz Maryland - $36,000

The grant funding has been used to expand our ability to safely meet the significantly increased demand for bicycles for children in need that has been driven by the pandemic. It has enabled us to expand our operations to collect and refurbish bicycles, acquire the additional tools and supplies required to keep our volunteers safe, cover the higher costs of bicycle parts, and provide transportation, materials, and supplies for safer distribution of bicycles to children in need. Despite the pandemic, Free Bikes 4 Kidz Maryland expects to nearly double the number of bicycles given to local children compared to last year.

Howard EcoWorks - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to provide efficiency in operations creating a Gateway to Green jobs training program.

"Howard EcoWorks was very grateful to receive a Rise to the Challenge grant this year. Funds will be used to improve efficiencies in business operations, enhance the social enterprise that we have ramped up due to the pandemic and launch a pilot Gateway to Green jobs paid 30-hour training opportunity for individuals that have lost their jobs or are having trouble getting re-employed due to coronavirus."

Grassroots - $25,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant funding will enable additional staffing, especially for the cold weather shelter in the coming winter months.

Grassroots - $25,000

Grassroots is thrilled to use the Rise to the Challenge grant to cover daytime staffing for the Cold Weather Shelter program that is scheduled to open on November 30. Cold Weather Shelter program will follow CDC guidelines in providing emergency shelter to families and individuals experiencing homelessness in a non-congregate setting. Staff will assist CWS guests with creating a housing plan and accessing other resources with the goal of helping clients achieve stable housing.

Bridges of Housing Stability - $26,232

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to provide the necessary safety measure to insure staff’s wellbeing enabling services to be provided to clients.

Bridges of Housing Stability - $26,232

The Rise to the Challenge grant has helped our organization scale up in response to the pandemic. We’re using grant funds to better equip staff members with safe workspaces, storage solutions, and technology resulting in provision of essential and safe housing services to an expanded number of clients.

Neighbor Ride - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to expand programming to including providing food access to aging residents of Howard County during the pandemic.

Neighbor Ride - $50,000

Neighbor Ride has been providing volunteer-based transportation directly to older adult residents of Howard County for sixteen plus years. With the onset of the pandemic, older adults were among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and their needs expanded. Additionally, the challenges facing local government and other non-profits in serving their needs grew substantially as well. Neighbor Ride was quickly able to pivot and provide new services like food delivery for partner organizations to their older adult clients. With this Rise to the Challenge grant, Neighbor Ride is in the process of expanding and scaling these new services by building and offering Neighbor Ride ASSIST. The funds are being used to make enhancements to our existing Ride Match Database (the county provided a portion of funding for initial development of the database back in FY2017 through a CSP One-Time Grant) to create the new service. Neighbor Ride ASSIST is a ‘business to business’ transportation and delivery service that we will provide to our fellow non-profits as well as local government to ‘ASSIST’ them in providing their services to the older adult population in Howard County.

Howard County Chinese School - $26,554

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to enable the school to provide support and programming to its students in a virtual setting.

Howard County Chinese School - $26,554

Howard County Chinese School (HCCS, www.hccs-md.org) is the largest Chinese-American educational organization in Howard County with 22 years of history, and the home of 1700 students and their families. Since COVID-19 pandemic, HCCS is in need of sufficient funding to ensure the effective delivery of high-quality courses to students, continue students’ team project practices, and maintain students’ positive engagement with the community. Through this “Rise to the Challenge Business Interruption Grant” funding support, HCCS will be able to carry out a series of student’s activities (effective teens workshop, PPE making and donation, homework club project, etc.), rigorous trainings to teachers, and educational and informational seminars to parents. All these grant-supported projects will not only help students and their families face challenges, adapt to the rapidly changing situation, and become well-prepared under current pandemic, they will also positively impact students’ stronger enthusiasm in academic learning, stimulate a desire to render community service, and develop leadership skills and sense of responsibility and care that will benefit the students for lifetime.

Health Tech Alley - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to provide digital health literacy education to the healthcare community.

Health Tech Alley - $50,000

This grant was a real catalyst for Health Tech Alley. It enabled us to adapt prior mission-driven activities into a complementary COVID-focused Digital Health literacy educational offering in December for those in the healthcare community. We look forward to further adapting our program and extending our work in underserved communities in 2021. Much appreciated..!

Columbia Community Care - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to support local minority owned business while making food accessible to community members.

Columbia Community Care - $50,000

“First, we are extremely grateful for the funds awarded to our organization. This grant helps us to continue our Small Business Initiative, a program created to support local minority owned businesses while feeding our community members healthy and organic hot meals. With these funds, we are able to make a much larger impact on our economy than we would have relying on donations. These funds are especially important during this holiday season. Again, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Howard County and the CARES Act for this amazing opportunity to continue to serve our community members.”

Voices for Children - $10,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to support educational services to youth in foster care.

Voices for Children - $10,000

Voices for Children is using grant funding to support the educational needs of youth in foster care in Howard County. We have been able to provide tutoring for youth who need additional support, due to virtual school, and appreciate the opportunity to provide these additional services.

Howard County Autism Society - $25,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to enable increased support to individuals and families within the autism community.

Howard County Autism Society - $25,000

“The greatest gift of this grant is that we were able to get funds out immediately that address the growing need in the autism community during COVID-19. We are connecting families with respite grants, better serving families in our Latino community, and providing increase social/emotional supports for our adults with autism and caregivers and providing critical information and supports on special education and virtual learning. It’s exactly what was needed, and the injection of this funding is having an immediate, positive impact. Thank you!”

Power 52 - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to supply food and supplies to families effected by COVID-19.

Power 52 - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge grant has provided Power52 with the ability to service over 500 families in Howard County through our Pull Up and Pick Up Food and Supplies Giveaway. During this event we were able to provide 700 boxes of food including fresh produce, 500 emergency kits over 200 turkeys accompanied by holiday fixings, and 350 Power52 Power packs which included toiletries and necessities.

Way Station/Sheppard Pratt - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to cover operational needs allowing for attention on greater access to mental and behavioral health during this time of need.

Way Station/Sheppard Pratt - $50,000

“The Rise to the Challenge grant enables us to better serve the community and provide greater access to mental and behavioral health care in Howard County and the surrounding area, provide vital resources quickly including PPE kits, and connect those in crisis to outpatient care,” said Cortina Darden, Clinic Director, Sheppard Pratt at Howard County, A Program of Way Station, Inc.

Howard County Conservancy - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge funding enabled improvements to the nature center for safety and wellbeing allowing more families to visit.

Howard County Conservancy - $50,000

This grant will help the Howard County Conservancy make essential touchless safety improvements in our nature center. These improvements will help ensure safety for the childcare programs we have been providing to the community since June, and help us re-open our buildings to the public to serve the huge increase in visitors to our trails and gardens during the pandemic.

Howard County Arts Council - $23,284

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to create virtual programming and increased safety measures for the Howard County Arts Center.

Howard County Arts Council - $23,284

"Amid a world-wide pandemic that has had a profound effect on all of us, the Rise to the Challenge Grant from Howard County Government provided the Arts Council with the means to develop virtual programming and upgrade safety measures at the Howard County Center for the Arts so that we can continue to foster the arts and keep our community engaged in the arts." Coleen West

JustLiving Advocacy - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant funding will enable client assistance and access to needed resources for families.

The HoCo Rise to the Challenge grant has impacted our nonprofit significantly.

  • JLA is able to increase our consumer assistance to parents so they can get back to work.
  • JLA is able to build on its organizational capacity to serve the community in our COVID response.
  • JLA is able to continue to collaborate with HoCo, other community businesses and nonprofits providing relief from this pandemic.

Elllicott City Partnership - $50,000

The Rise to the Challenge Grant provided funding to support operations and Ellicott City’s small businesses.

The Ellicott City Partnership is grateful for the funding provided to help us continue the work we do for Old Ellicott City. The grant has provided support to continue staffing our operations and for special projects within the district. Within our operations, we have been working hard to facilitate in assisting small businesses with special events, including the Ho-Ho-Holiday Preview, Small Business Saturday, and Midnight Madness. Additionally, we have been able to open a new round of grants, to assist those businesses who did not apply in the first round, to improve their operations. The work we've been doing is important, and as we continue to navigate the pandemic, we know what we are here to support our entrepreneurs and the economy of Old Ellicott City.

The National Society of Black Engineers Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter (NSBE-BMAC)- $10,000

The Rise to the Challenge grant provided funding to assist with operations and continue programming supporting entrepreneurship and innovation that served the community.

The National Society of Black Engineers Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter (NSBE-BMAC)- $10,000

The National Society of Black Engineers Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter (NSBE-BMAC) thanks Howard County for being selected as a recipient of a Rise to the Challenge Grant.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, NSBE-BMAC has had to move programming for its Minority Innovation Entrepreneurship Program (MIEP) completely online. We have had to modify our operations and enroll in various online infrastructure in order to continue serving our community. Our biggest program, Minority Innovation Weekend (MIW), is designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation among people of color. Typically we would have held this event at a local venue in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area; however, this year we held our summit online and also started offering year-round virtual entrepreneurship and innovation events and content.

This grant money is supporting Minority Innovation Weekend's transition to a robust, online presence. Instead of having to cancel or postpone MIW, we have been able to take advantage of the online environment, and our attendance at MIW has almost quadrupled over the previous year. Additionally, we will be able to make the talks from MIW 2020 available online as a ongoing community resource.

Thank you again to Howard County for supporting our organization.