FREDERICK, MD -The Frederick Keys are excited to announce their Frederick Keys Care grant recipients for 2019-20. Keys Care supports local non-profit organizations in Frederick County who provide direct aid to disadvantaged youth and young adults. The Keys Care Fund is part of the Community Foundation of Frederick County's Universal Grant Application funding program. Grants are awarded each fall for the next calendar year, while any Frederick County 501 (c) (3) organization which provides direct aid to county youth is eligible to apply for a grant.
Started in 1999 as the Joel A. Stephens Memorial Fund, Keys Care was created to honor the memory of Stephens, a former Orioles farmhand. Passing away at only 22 years old due to colon cancer, Joel's commitment to community service and helping young people set him apart as a player.
Since Keys Care was founded, over $90,000 in grants has been awarded to local youth-based organizations. For the 2019-20 grant period, over $11,000 will be given out to five different organizations.
Advocates for Homeless Families: Strives to achieve permanent solutions to homelessness by providing access to housing, education, employment and supportive services to Frederick County families who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. This year's grant supports enriching after-school and summer activities for approximately 20 children, ages 3-14 who participate with their families in transitional and rapid rehousing programs. Funding would support activities such as karate, tennis, dance, cooking, athletics, church and day camp as well as pool passes for all participating children ($1,500).
Blessings in a Backpack: Provides weekend backpacks of food to children from Pre-K through eighth grade who depend on school meals as their primary source of nutrition Monday-Friday. Starting in 2015-16, a special request was made to assist special needs young adults. These 18-21-year-olds Success Program students have recently received high school certificates and deal with the stresses of food insecurity over weekends and school breaks as they learn life skills in order to live independent and productive lives. This year's grant will help provide food to 15 low-income Success Program students for a fifth straight year ($1,500).
Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP): Provides urgent resources and critical services to the hundreds of Frederick County youth experiencing homelessness each year. Funding benefits the New Horizons Academy which provides academic and life skills that will help homeless students get back on track or remain on track for a successful high school graduation. For five weeks each summer, Frederick County youth who experience homelessness can participate in morning instruction from one of four courses mandatory for graduation. After lunch, each student participates in one hour of life skills instruction ($2,000).
YMCA of Frederick County: The Kids Unlimited program provides summer camps for children with autism and other special needs. This program was founded to give these children a safe, nurturing and enriching summer program. Prior to Kids Unlimited, there was no summer program to serve children with special needs. Grant funds will be used to support this program, which will give participants a chance to have fun with arts and crafts, sensory activities, cooking, sports and group games. Field trips will be planned, while integration with other camp programs will help campers develop social skills and enjoy other fun opportunities ($2,200).
Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley: A program aimed at youth between 14-24 years old, who may have a disability and who has a parent that is a veteran, deceased or may have a serious illness. This program is designed to work with 2-3 youth in empowerment in all areas of their lives under a holistic framework. A GIMV Youth Coordinator would work directly with each individual to design a personal development plan specifically designed to empower and promote growth ($3,829.56).
All fund recipients will be recognized prior to a 2020 Keys game and are invited to the annual Frederick Keys Care Charity Golf Classic. Fans who want to learn ways to donate to Frederick Keys Care can visit fredererickkeys.com and click on the "Community" tab.
A link to the entire schedule for the Keys 2020 season is available here while fireworks shows are scheduled for Fridays and Saturday night games and other select games during the season. To stay tuned for the latest team news and for ticket information fans can visit frederickkeys.com and follow the team on Twitter (@frederickkeys), Facebook and Instagram (@frederickkeys.com).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.