Maryland Nonprofit

COIPP Celebrations!

Every Wednesday night you can find us at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center. We work with females to teach Parenting From Afar classes, a curriculum we created. Each session has 8-10 women, but many who have ‘graduated’ return to join in the conversation. We keep getting rave reviews, and even stay in touch with many of the women as they leave the facility. We get many testimonials.

Thanks, in part, to our grant from the Frederick Women’s Giving Circle, scholarships were once again awarded by Frederick Community College. Last year we were able to offer 4 such scholarships- and the thank you letters we got from the recipients let us know the importance of these offerings. We could not do this alone- and the grant is fantastic.

The Unity Campaign is now over and we did better than ever expected. Thanks to the generous donations of old friends and new friends, we raised over $16,100, well over our personal goal of $14,500. This money will allow us to continue all of our present initiatives, and look into extending what we do. We are all volunteers, so we know that this money goes directly to services.

We applied for and have been given a Rotary Club of Frederick grant of $6,000. We are using this money to assist those parents who are reentering the world after spending time in jail or prison and need support. We will be using the money for workshops and meetings, to purchase books for the children, and to extend our present scholarship offers at Frederick Community College to reentering parents. The Rotary is just a great organization!

Every few months we receive a check from the present and retired Maryland Charity Campaign. We are are lucky enough to once again be one of the many non-profits
 they support. It is great to know that government workers reach out to support so many
 great organizations- including our own.

We are working hard with our partner, the Mental Health Association, on our Governor’s Grant. We have been spending time rewriting our Parenting From Afar curriculum, the work we do with the women inmates, and on Anger Management Workshops we do at the Housing Authority and Head Start, and soon at the Mental Health Association. Our curriculum writing team is made up of all educators from a variety of school levels, and we have created some fabulous resources.

We once again had a Read A Thon at Curious Iguana Book Store. Thanks to the Helen J Serini Foundation, we were able to raise lots of money for COIPP. Who could not love this opportunity, and the chance to sit in the window of Curious Iguana Book Store, coffee in hand, spending time reading- and earning money for COIPP? This is our second Read A Thon fund raiser this year; here’s hoping we can do it again.

We have been selected by the Women’s Democratic League to receive an award which was presented in October. It is being given for outstanding work that helps the underserved. We are extremely proud to receive this award from such a prestigious group!

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