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Baker Donelson Announces 2018 Community Grants Program Recipients

$35,000 in Grants Awarded to Three Non-Profits

The law firm of Baker Donelson has selected the recipients of its annual Community Grants Program, which awards $35,000 in community grants to aid non-profit organizations serving at-risk youth living in Baltimore City and Washington, D.C.

The $35,000 in grants are awarded as two $10,000 grants and one $15,000 special grant that includes a volunteer supplement through which Baker Donelson employees volunteer time to the grant recipient.

  • Reach Incorporated, recipient of a $10,000 Baker Donelson Community Grant, recruits, trains, and hires teens experiencing social and academic challenges to serve as reading tutors for elementary school students facing challenges of their own. The $10,000 grant will help expand the organization's after-school community tutoring program, allowing Reach to train additional ninth and tenth grade tutors at up to eight program sites throughout Washington, D.C. Each trained tutor will then tutor a second and/or third grade student in reading and other skills weekly after school.
  • The Hope House, the recipient of the second $10,000 Baker Donelson Community Grant, offers programs to prisoners and their families aimed at decreasing recidivism and keeping incarcerated men connected to the community. The Hope House will use the grant to build on its award-winning Father to Child Reading Program by adding The Homework Project and The College Challenge to assist children of incarcerated fathers. The Homework Project allows youths to receive remote homework mentoring from their incarcerated fathers, which benefits the children, and also encourages the fathers to take on a continuing role in their children's lives. The College Challenge assists children of incarcerated parents with understanding and completing the college application process.
  • The recipient of the Baker Donelson Community Grants Program's $15,000 special grant with a volunteer component, Soccer Without Borders Baltimore (SWBB) uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change, helping under-served youth overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success. SWBB provides academic and mentoring support to students who have difficulty accessing the educational opportunities that are readily accessible to native English-speaking students. Using soccer as a common ground, SWBB's goal is to help increase the English language proficiency rate of refugees, immigrants, and asylum-seekers who are enrolled in Baltimore city public schools. The program offers after-school tutoring sessions, college SAT preparation classes, mentoring, and workshops. Baker Donelson employees will participate in a volunteer event with SWBB during the spring of 2019.

Established in 2003 on the occasion of Ober|Kaler's 100th anniversary, the Ober|Kaler Community Grants Program continues as the Baker Donelson Community Grants Program. Now in its 15th year, the Community Grants Program has distributed more than $535,000 to community organizations and has donated countless hours of community service to tax-exempt community organizations serving at-risk youth living in Baltimore City and Washington, D.C. A committee comprised of the Firm's staff members, associates, and principals chooses specific programs focused on enriching the lives of underprivileged children, improving living standards for lower income families with children, and creating educational opportunities for at-risk youth. The committee reviews each application thoroughly and bases its selections on perceived need, the community served, and the impact the grant would have on the youths who will be served by the selected organization.

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Johanna Burkett
T: 901.577.2201
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