A Day in the Life of COIPP

Ever wonder what our actual day to day work is about? Since the beginning of June, we have:

  • Given out gift cards to caregivers who needed basic supplies;                                                     
  • Sent resources to women who contacted us from across the nation who needed to know more about child development and the effect of parent incarceration;                                                   
  • Met with a woman who was just released from the Detention Center, attended our parenting classes while an inmate, and wants to now volunteer with us;                                                      
  • Held a resource fair, one of three for the year, at the Frederick County Detention Center;
  • Completed an old group and started a new one on Parenting for female inmates at the jail;  
  • Began to plan for the purchases of books for children with an incarcerated parent who have caregivers attending our workshops, thanks in part to the receipt of a grant from the United Way; 
  • Accepted a check from the Frederick Women's Giving Circle and met with FCC scholarship and community service division who put together the scholarship applications we offer to caregivers;
  • Had female inmates create water color paintings for the Lend A Hand fundraiser we are having at The Muse in downtown Frederick;                                                                                                
  • Began looking for and speaking with sponsors for the Unity Campaign fundraiser that is just beginning and will take off in mid September;                                                                              
  • Asked for and received stuffed animals and handmade blankets for children;                            
  • Held a Bowling/Pizza party for children and caregivers. 


This is only a partial list and the month is barely half over. The work never stops, we are a completely volunteer organization--but we are empowered by our mission and our passion.

We are so happy to help so many!

At a recent child/caregiver bowling and pizza event the following testimonials were shared with us:

The reason why we're bowling is to let loose of sadness. - Cait, age 8

I like how this was neat and organized and you provided us with food. It was a very fun day.-Samara, age 13

The environment for the children was great. The had a blast. The children could let loose.-Shantelle, Mom 

All I ever wanted was to be a better Mother than the one I got.  Briefly I am the product of a ‘make love, not war’ party on November 1969 at Frostburg.  She was on the pill and an unwanted child in 1970 was the last thing wanted by anyone but my grandfather (God bless his sweet heart). I waited till I was 28 to have children so that I was more mature. Having taken absolutely every parenting class I could (about 5) and regardless of my drug addiction/mental illness I believe myself to be a loving, caring, honest, realistic, protective Momma. Unfortunately, my coping skills have been limited and mostly illegal, but never abusive. Although not being there is certainly neglect, I loved, planned, and wanted all three of my precious children.  Without these parenting classes, I would have not one clue what I was or am doing. I will take any and all classes in this jail or any other facility has to offer so as to guide my children and any other people God blesses me with.  This couldn’t be more important.   How many of us have been misguided and/or abused before we put some real effort into parenting classes and mental health?

-Anonymous (Requested to keep name private).

Kind words of women we have helped!

Here are two testimonials received about the scholarships for FCC that were offered to two caregivers in year 2015. We are very proud of them and what they have accomplished! 

The purpose of this letter is to express my gratitude for your generous financial assistance during my Fall semester at Frederick Community college. The Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership scholarship will benefit me greatly by helping me hire a tutor for my math class, and takes some of the burden off my shoulders financially. I will be able to focus more on school and work less hours this semester because of this contribution. I appreciate the needs of parents with children who have incarcerated parents, being recognized by your foundation, as young women like myself are often forgotten about and left to struggle without our children's father doing their part. I hope to complete my education and show my child that adversity does not create failure, and that she can look at me as an inspiration.

Thank you for your time, consideration and charity.

Mollie S.


Dear Donors,

I was very pleased and appreciative to learn that I was a recipient of your scholarship.  I am writing you to deeply thank you for your generous gift.

I am currently a nursing student at Frederick Community College.  My career plans are to obtain my associates degree from FCC and eventually my Bachelors in Nursing.  I currently dedicate some time at Frederick Memorial Hospital as a patient care companion.  I plan on seeking a nursing job upon graduation.

Also, I believe the COIPP scholarship has impacted my life tremendously and is changing my world by lightening my financial burden which allows me to focus on achieving my educational goals. Your immense generosity has inspired me especially on the importance of giving back. I hope to one day help other students achieve their educational and career goals just as you have helped me.

Lina A.

May Update!

Our first Resource Fair held during Women's Visitation at the Frederick County Detention Center took place on Saturday, May 7, and it was a great success. The visitors were so grateful for everything we shared- Resource Bags and handmade blankets for children, hygiene supplies for families, stuffed animals for little ones, and books, books, books. Many recipients wanted to talk, share their stories, and tell us how they hoped to pay forward our kindness. We were touched- and now know we are going to add a yearly resource fair during women visitations to our present list of fairs.

When we started over 14 years ago, we never thought we would grow as we have. Recently we decided to rent a storage unit to hold all of the resources we have for families.  Interestingly, we have almost outgrown our new large space.  We now have enough books, blankets, stuffed animals and resource bags to serve many children and caregivers. 

We get more and more interest in our work.  Recently, Shari Scher was asked by two Boston College Professors to write an essay for their book, Parental Incarceration: Personal Accounts and Developmental Impact.  Hot off the press, it has 30 essays and will be used in classrooms across the nation that are dealing with issues of justice.  Who ever thought COIPP would be part of a publication!

This year's Cupcake Run was a huge success.  Held in April, we had donors and supporters from all over.  We raised $1250 front he run- and a great time was had by all. Sadly, this was the last year the Cupcake Run will take place, but we are forever grateful for the money raised. We received a check for $1250 and we had $1600 in sponsorships. We exist thanks to grants, donations and the kindness of others; thank you to everyone who helped make this a beneficial fundraiser

A Great Start To Our Year!

We have had a great start to the year here at COIPP, but we could use more volunteers! Volunteers are needed!  We need people to assist on for the Cupcake Run on August 17 in the morning at Monocacy Village Park near East Street  . We need help with registration, cheering on the course, welcoming runners back and more.  Please let us know immediately if you can help.  Remember, it is the sweetest race in town!!!

The 8th Annual Cupcake Run is almost here. Make sure to register early.  All proceeds will go to COIPP and our dear friends at Blessings In a Backpack. This is a wonderful opportunity to support us, support them-and support your own physical fitness. Remember, this is the sweetest race in town!!!

We challenge all schools to put together a team of walkers and runners for the 8th annual Cupcake Run.  This year it will be held onSunday, April 17th, in the morning at Monocacy Village Park near East Street. Registration on site will begin at 6:30; the race begins at8:30. It could not be better-you get to exercise, raise money for us, and enjoy a cupcake when done. What a way to begin the day. This is the sweetest race in town!!!

Do we have a deal for you.  Join us on Sunday, April 17, in the morning at Monocacy Village Park.  You can participate as a walker or a runner in the 8th annual Cupcake Run. This year City Loaf Baked Goods will be selling egg and biscuit or egg, bacon and biscuit  breakfast sandwiches-with all proceeds benefitting COIPP and Blessings In A Backpack. What a way to start the day- a walk/run, a cupcake and a homemade biscuit sandwich. That is what I call a great morning!!!

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

So many things have happened for COIPP during the holiday season! This year's Silent Auction was a great success. We made over $8,250, and donations continue to come in. This is even more than last year. We thank everyone who donated items, attended the event, or sent us donations. We are already planning for next year and will publicize a "save the Date" as soon as we know when it is. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It truly did 'take the village.' 

Thanks to a Middletown, Md. man who made a generous donation to honor Laura Duncan, a Defense Attorney, and a donation from an wonderful, old friend, COIPP has $600 more in the bank.  We cannot wait to increase our offerings to families. 

Thank you Doug Zaruba, of Doug Zaruba's Jewelry. The beautiful feather necklace he designed for COIPP has brought in $1200 to our non-profit, for he donates half of the cost for each one sold right back to us.  Amazing!  If you have not been by his store at 35 North Market Street you are missing an opportunity to see exquisite, artistic, one of a kind jewelry. We just love to stop by!

Looking forward to next week when we will meet with a Mom who is struggling with the incarceration of a husband.  The good news is that we will be able to meet with her and chat, give her books that hopefully will help her children through this time, and recommend resources that may help her and the kids out. We are hoping that her kids will join us in some weekend fun activities during the new school year. It is great to have some ways to help this Mom out.  

We are always looking for new ideas.  If you have some thoughts on things we can do for the children, or how we can best reach out to this population, we would love to hear your thoughts.  Just message us and let us know your thinking. We are looking forward to growing in the new year.

Want to volunteer?  As we grow in what we do we need all hands on deck.  Let us know if you would like to be a part of COIPP!

We are ready to head into the holiday season!

What a day we had at the library!  Thanks to Sprouting Melodies, we had a wonderful time making music and creating ice cream sundaes.  Here is to more weekend activities.  Thank you to Darcy for leading us in exploring the musical instruments.

Thank you Delaplaine Visual Arts Center for partnering with us and offering a free printmaking class for children and caregivers. Cannot wait until January 25 from 6-7:30 to join in the fun. Hope interested caregivers and children will get in touch and join in.

We were honored to present before the Frederick County Commission For Women. This is a great group that showed lots of interest in COIPP. Proud to be in a county that has such leadership!

A Successful Weekend For COIPP!

Two amazing COIPP days. Saturday was the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society Zumbathon and Sunday was our Resource Fair at the Detention Center. Each event was a tremendous success. The Zumbathon raised almost $800 and the many, many, many Resource Fair items were gone within hours. This is what we're all about. 

Thanks to Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society at Hood, under the guidance of advisor Marisel Torres Crespo, and the Zumba instructors Katie, Melissa, Amie, Megan, Sara, Tessa, Nicola, and Rachel, who all volunteered their time, we had a fabulous, successful Zumbathon. What a partnership.

Great Things are Happening with COIPP!

Great things are happening with COIPP! Here are some of our events coming up:

Great Stuff for a Great Cause!  Join our special event on Tuesday, December 8.  Our Second Annual Silent Auction will be at the Delaplaine Arts and Education Center from 5-8:00 PM. Tickets are $10 and include appetizers, a drink, and the opportunity to bid on fantastic items such as gift cards, jewelry, craft items, and much, much more! To get a ticket, message us at our Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership Facebook page, call us at 240 578 5662 or send us an email by contacting

Our second annual Resource Fair is Sunday, October 25, from 10-3:00, at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.  We will be giving away COIPP handmade blankets, children's resource bags, hygiene supplies, books and more.  Rain or shine, we are ready for a great day!

Music, goodies and more! Children and caregivers are invited to join us on Saturday, November 7, at the C Burr Arts Library, for an afternoon of musical instruments, ice cream sundaes- and simply a great day.  We are hoping that children of all ages will join us for a fantastic fun afternoon.

Early childhood matters. We will be inaugurating the new resource room at Lucas Village on Wednesday, October 21, at 2:00.  There will be puppets, reading books to preschoolers, and great introduction to COIPP.  

Great News! We just learned that for the second year we have been chosen for the Maryland Charity Campaign. Encourage all present and retired state employees to donate in our name.

Please contact us if you would like to get involved with COIPP! We are making a difference here in Frederick County!

Wonderful Events Happening With COIPP

So many wonderful things are happening with COIPP. If you have noticed, we have a new website! We are excited with how it turned out! We have so many weekly activities that keep us busy.

Wednesday nights at the Detention Center:

Nothing is more humbling that teaching Parenting Class at the Detention Center to women inmates. Though all who voluntarily attend have different backgrounds, experiences and stories, they attend to be the best parent they can be, even if it means parenting from afar.  This has been an ongoing project of our group and continues every week. Thanks to the women who join in with meaningful comments and great insights.

Stacey's Jewelry:

We are so very excited to share that Stacey Krantz, the wonderful owner and assigned of In Bloom jewelry, has so very generously chosen our founder, Shari Ostrow Scher, as her hero for the year and designed a beautiful necklace in honor of this award.  It is a Gingko Leaf, a piece of nature that, in part, stands for resilience.  Stacey is donating all proceeds from necklace sales, minus the cost of materials, to COIPP. These necklaces are simply exquisite!  If you know of someone who has been resilient, even if it is you, get in touch with Stacey at and read about the Heroes fundraiser that she has a started.  Stacey is our hero!

Book Bundles:

We have been very busy ordering Bundles of Books to go to caregivers who complete our workshops that are coming up in the Fall at Head Start and the Housing Authority at Lucas Village.  Thanks to a grant from the United way, and the help of The Curious Iguana Bookstore in downtown Frederick, the books are in and ready to be distributed. They will give each participant a beginning young children's library for the home. We have carefully chosen the titles and think they will be a gift to last a very long time.

Walmart Gift Cards:

We have finally distributed all of our Walmart gift cards to families that need our assistance- and it is time for us to get some more.  These are cards we give when a family with an incarcerated loved one needs school clothing, food, or basic essentials. So glad we could help out many with acute needs. No child should have to go without.