Beware of ‘Energy Vampires’ Hiding in Your Home this Halloween

— Watch out for ‘energy vampires’ in your home this Halloween! BGE reminds customers to practice a few simple efficiency tips that can help them save energy and money and avoid falling victim to these vampires.

Vampire energy, also known as standby energy, is the energy drawn from outlets by plugged in equipment that is off. Many types of electronics and office equipment, including televisions, cell phones, computers, printers, game consoles, and more continue to draw electricity when they are plugged in and turned off.

Take a bite out of energy vampires by following these simple tips:

  • Use a power strip with an on/off switch to completely power down electronics around your home.
  • Unplug your mobile phone charger, portable music player or other electronics once they are fully charged.
  • Turn off all the lights when you leave the room.
  • When preparing for out-of-town travel, always unplug all nonessential devices.

Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances, electronics and other products. ENERGY STAR® products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Discover where energy vampires may be haunting your home by scheduling BGE’s Quick Home Energy Check-up. When you schedule a check-up, one of our energy efficiency professionals will come to your home and check the condition of its insulation, heating and air cooling system, lighting, appliances and more to identify simple ways to help you save energy and money!

Looking for customized solutions to help you save energy and money? BGE also offers rebates for home efficiency improvements through the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program®.

The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program is a suite of programs that enable customers to control energy use, leading to more efficient use of electricity and lowering energy bills. The programs have provided $537 million in rebates to BGE customers and have also helped nearly 2.2 million residential and business participants save nearly 3.6 million MWh of electricity. Collectively, the programs help contain the cost of energy and improve reliability by reducing peak demand and slowing the growth in energy consumption. Energy-saving solutions are available to renters, homeowners, large and small business customers, nonprofits and institutional customers. More information can be found at EmPOWER Maryland programs are funded by a charge on your energy bill. EmPOWER programs can help you reduce your energy consumption and save you money. To learn more about EmPOWER and how you can participate, go to

Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention Offers Halloween Safety Tips

— It’s the week of Halloween and you knew it had to happen. The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) has a list of Halloween safety tips to keep your little Fortnite character, Superman, unicorn, mermaid and dinosaur safe.

“We hate to be the ones to let the air out of the fun balloon, but there are things parents and children need to know before heading out for a fun evening of trick-or-treating,” said V. Glenn Fueston, Jr., Executive Director of GOCCP. “These are just a simple list of things to know before you go.”

Try your costume on before you go Trick-or-Treating; it should be light-colored and short enough that you don’t trip on it. You can decorate the costume with reflective tape or stickers so you can easily be seen at night.

  • Wear comfy shoes and make sure your laces are double-knotted to avoid tripping.
  • Avoid masks that make it hard to see your surroundings. Makeup is a good stand in for a mask.
  • Make a map of your trick-or-treating route before you head out. Have a copy handy and make sure your parents have a copy.
  • Only stop at well-lit houses. Never go inside a stranger’s house; only accept treats in the doorway.
  • Stay on the sidewalk. If there is not a sidewalk available, walk facing oncoming traffic and keep a safe distance between you and the cars.
  • Stay away from jack-o-lanterns and candles while you are wearing your costume.
  • Make sure that your costume is made of a flame-retardant material. Go over the “Stop, Drop and Roll” routine before going trick-or-treating just in case.
  • Never trick-or-treat alone! Make sure you have at least two buddies to go with you.
  • Only cross the street at corners after looking both ways.
  • Never run between parked cars or crisscross back and forth across the street.
  • Carry a watch, flashlight, glow stick and cell phone if possible.
  • Agree on a time when you will be home – if you are going to be late, call your parents.
  • Always have a parent check your candy before you eat it.

Finally, visit this site for important safety information.

Halloween tips are part of 31 days of tips GOCCP is using to mark National Crime Prevention Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Anti-bullying/Cyberbullying Awareness Month, and National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. All month long, the agency is using its social media channels to post daily tips to help keep Marylanders safe. The hashtags used are #ASaferMD, #TipADay, #CrimePrevention.

Baltimore Teacher Sets Sail on Pacific Northwest Research Cruise

Justin Garritt, a math teacher at KIPP Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore has returned from a journey that he believes will enhance his teaching experience and that of his students.

Garritt set sail to assist scientists on a 12-day Pacific Hake Survey in the Pacific Northwest where he participated as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea program that bridges science and education through real-world research experiences.

“Through my two-week NOAA research cruise on the Pacific Ocean, my students will be able to learn first-hand about exciting projects being done to sustain our precious environment,” Garritt said of the journey that began on September 3, 2018. “Students will learn grade-level material by applying skills and concepts to real-life challenges from my trip. I am confident and excited that my student investment in my sixth grade statistics unit will be at an all-time high.”

Garritt boarded NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada in Seattle, Washington, and worked with scientists daily as they conducted an ongoing survey of Pacific Hake populations off the coast of Washington and Oregon. He also wrote a blog detailing his experience.

“Our students spend a significantly longer portion of their school year in math compared to science. Many of our world’s most important problems require amazing and informed scientists and our kids have to be a part of those solutions,” Garritt said. “As a mathematics teacher who has the privilege of having my students for double the time of our science team, it is crucial that I make cross-curricular connections to science in my classroom. As a lifelong learner, being aboard a NOAA ship allowed me the chance to investigate new and creative ways to infuse all the research I will be doing into my curriculum.”

Now in its 28th year, the Teacher at Sea program has provided nearly 750 teachers the opportunity to gain first-hand experience participating in science at sea, according to a news release.

This year, NOAA received applications from nearly 300 teachers and 35 were chosen to participate in research cruises. The educators live and work side-by-side with scientists studying the marine environment.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources, officials said.

Justin Garritt calibrating the research equipment in the Port of Seattle aboard NOAA Bell A.  Shimada.

Courtesy Photo

Justin Garritt calibrating the research equipment in the Port of Seattle aboard NOAA Bell A. Shimada.

“This experience was one of the best of my professional career. I felt so intellectually stimulated learning about something I knew so little about,” Garritt said.

“I felt like I went back to college and starting over learning a brand new subject. For twelve hours a day I was learning, reflecting, and writing my blog.”

Throughout the experience, Garritt said he learned how to use the acoustic transducers that analyze the fish patterns below the surface. He also learned the process for surveying the Pacific hake population and how scientists collect data and analyze it.

Further, Garritt learned how the NOAA makes decision on the number of fish that commercial fisherman are allowed to catch; how dissect hake; what life is like for the crew aboard the vessels; and what life was like for scientists who spend their lives working to protect natural resources.

“After two weeks learning on the research cruise I decided to begin rewriting many of my statistics lessons from the city’s math curriculum, Eureka Math, so they involve the same standards and types of rigorous questions but involve the application of the data from my experience,” Garritt said.

Justin Garritt analyzing a pile of krill that was caught outside of the Port of Newport

Courtesy Photo

Justin Garritt analyzing a pile of krill that was caught outside of the Port of Newport

“This will not only blend math and science knowledge, but will increase student investment. I can’t wait for students at my school to see me working among the most talented scientists in the world doing real life important science work.

“I can’t wait for them to picture themselves someday working as scientists with NOAA and solving our world’s most important problems that involve our precious environment. I can’t wait for my students to get excited when learning statistics, scaling and ratios— actual data I collected while sailing in the Pacific Northwest.”

Garritt’s blog about the program can be viewed at

Ackneil “Neil” Muldrow II Passes, Aged 80

— Mr. Ackneil “Neil” Muldrow II, a Baltimore Times consultant and contributor, has unfortunately passed away on Thursday, October 25th, 2018.

A man who reached many hearts beyond the borders of Baltimore with his newsletter platform, “Neil’s Nation”, Mr. Muldrow, was always caring, jovial, and determined to see those who were like him succeed. He spent years devoted to the advancement of small businesses and local initiatives in an effort to build up his people, and the city he called home. Mr. Muldrow knew everybody, and everybody knew him as kind, knowledgable, wise and incredibly able into his old age.

A relic of what it meant to grow up African-American in the United States during the civil rights era, a man who took it upon himself, personally, to fight for the rights of each and every person of color in our nation today.

Here at the Baltimore Times, where he spent some of his final days making us laugh, teaching us, and doing anything he could to further advance those around him, we can confidently say, the world has lost a treasure of a human being, and he will be sorely missed by all of us here, for a very long time.

In Memoriam, Mr. Ackneil “Neil” Muldrow, II.

Annapolis Hosts Annual 9/11 Heroes Run Honors Those Lost On September 11 And Wars Since

— The 2018 Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run in Annapolis has will be held on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 2 p.m. The annual 5K race and 1 mile Fun Run will unite the community to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost on 9/11, as well as to honor our veterans, military, and first responders who serve our country and our communities.

The 9/11 Heroes Run 5K series was inspired by Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion, who was killed by a sniper in Iraq in April 2007, as he selflessly protected his battalion.

Before his final deployment, Travis visited Rescue One in NYC— famous for losing almost all of their men on 9/11— and returned home with deeper passion about why he was fighting in Iraq. At its heart, the 9/11 Heroes Run is a tribute to a personal commitment to never forget the heroes of that day. Now in its 11th year, the 9/11 Heroes Run national race series will be held in more than 50 locations across the country and around the world, and is expected to draw over 60,000 participants.

For the 2018 race series, Travis Manion Foundation has partnered with GORUCK to launch a new division where participants can ruck the 9/11 Heroes Run. Rucking is simply moving with weight on your back and is the foundation of Special Forces training. It combines strength and cardio, is adaptable to anyone’s goals based on the amount of weight carried, and is a popular, empowering activity for those who hate to run or find it boring. As part of the marketing campaign for 9/11 Heroes Run series, TMF has released a video to inspire runners and walkers of all ages to participate.

During this divisive time in our country, I’m in awe at how so many communities across the country and around the world will put differences aside and coming together to honor all those touched by the events of September 11, 2001,” said Ryan Manion, President of Travis Manion Foundation. “We challenge all Americans to join us this September, to ensure our future generations never forget the sacrifices of our veterans, active duty military, first responders, and civilians who were affected by the attacks on 9/11 and in the wars since.”

For more information about the 9/11 Heroes Run or to register, visit:

Breast Health 101

Breast Cancer Awareness month provides a prime opportunity to begin a dialogue about breast health. Breast cancer remains one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in American women with studies showing that one in eight women has a chance of developing breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2018, 268,670 women will be diagnosed with a new breast cancer with 13 percent of these new diagnoses in the state of Maryland. With more screening and improved imaging techniques, breast cancers are being detected at an earlier stage, allowing patients to live longer, disease-free lives.

Even with these advances in the treatment of breast cancer, there still remains disparities in survival outcomes between racial groups. While the incidence of a breast cancer is growing increasingly similar between white and black women, black women continue to be diagnosed with a later stage of disease and have a higher rate of breast cancer-related death. This stark difference is even more present here in Baltimore where, in 2014, African- American women had a mortality rate 1.5 times that of the national average, placing us seventh in the nation in breast cancer mortality. It is more important than ever to ensure that all groups have the same access to education and treatment for what is now a survivable disease. Here are some ways that you can become an advocate for your breast health:

Healthy Living— Studies have shown that certain lifestyle choices may influence your risk for developing breast cancer. Reducing your alcohol intake, stopping smoking and maintaining an active lifestyle are examples of ways you can help reduce your risk for developing breast cancer.

Know Your Risk— It is important that individuals know their personal risk of developing breast cancer. Certain risk factors such as age, African- American race, breast-feeding history and hormone exposure may increase your risk. Take the time to determine if close family members have a history of specific cancers that may qualify you for genetic testing or screening mammograms before the age of 40. Ten percent of all breast cancers can be attributed to a genetic mutation. Cancers of this sort often present at an earlier age and with more aggressive features. Recognizing these patterns in your family may help to detect cancers at an earlier stage or even highlight the need for measures to reduce your risk.

Know Your Breasts— While studies have shown that self-breast exams do not increase the ability to detect a new breast cancer, there is still some benefit to regular self-breast exams. You may experience fibrocystic changes to the breast around your menstrual cycle. Having a baseline assessment of your breasts will allow you to better inform your doctor of any new findings that arise.

Get Screened— Consensus guidelines from the American Society of Breast Surgeons and other organizations recommend that all women begin yearly screening mammograms at the age of 40. While there are varying recommendations as to when to start having mammograms as well as how often to have them, it is important you and your doctor develop a clear plan based on your individual risk. Depending on the individual case, additional types of screening such as ultrasound or MRI may be considered.

Breast cancer in the modern era has become a treatable disease with excellent survival outcomes when discovered at an early stage. You need to know your personal risk so you and your doctor can determine the best screening practices for you. Remember, early detection is key!

For more information about the breast team at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, visit our website at

Community Organizations Launch ‘One Book Baltimore’ Initiative Citywide

— More than 10 local organizations have come together to collaborate on “One Book Baltimore,” a new citywide initiative designed to provide opportunities for students, families and community members to connect through literature by reading the same book.

This year’s book is “Dear Martin” by Nic Stone. Launched at the Baltimore Book Festival last month, discussions and programming will be held across the city focused on the initiative’s themes of peace and anti-violence. Baltimore City Public Schools 7th and 8th-grade students will receive free copies of the book, and additional copies are available for check-out at all Enoch Pratt Free Library locations.

“Dear Martin’ follows its protagonist, Justyce McAllister, a young black teen, through his senior year of high school as he grapples with issues of race and identity through a series of journal entries addressed to Dr. Martin Luther King. The book was selected with input from students, teachers, librarians, and other Baltimore community members. By choosing a gritty narrative that explicitly deals with peace, anti-violence, and racial equity, One Book Baltimore’s collaborators hope that individuals may engage in meaningful open dialogue about their experiences and the challenges facing our communities, and that they may ultimately see a new path for themselves.

“To know that children— and adults— across the City of Baltimore will be reading and engaging with Dear Martin is an honor beyond measure, said author Nic Stone, about her book being a part of the One Book Baltimore initiative. “It is my deepest hope that slipping into Justyce’s shoes will open eyes and minds in a way that will move the world we inhabit a bit closer to that of Dr. King’s Dream.”

The idea for this initiative emerged from conversations among several local leaders in the wake of the social unrest in Baltimore that followed the death of Freddie Gray.

“We saw that other cities had used family literacy efforts to bring communities together and foster meaningful conversation,” said John Brothers, president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation.

Special programs tied to the book and themes of peace and anti-violence are scheduled through out the fall at Pratt Library locations across the city, including: community discussions about Dear Martin led by the Pratt’s Community Youth Corps, and a collaboration with the Media Rhythm Institute. There will be series of One Book Baltimore activities at every Pratt Library location during the Baltimore Ceasefire weekend scheduled for November 2-4, 2018.

Stone return to Baltimore to talk with City School’s students and for a discussion at the Pratt’s Northwood branch on Wednesday, December 12. Additional details on One Book Baltimore programming will be posted at

One Book Baltimore, is a collaboration among the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore Ceasefire 365, Maryland Humanities, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Maryland Book Bank, First Book, CityLit Project, WBAL-TV, the T. Rowe Price Foundation and others.

Dance Company Takes Debates About Inequality To The Stage

Workplace harassment, immigration, racial profiling, the wealth gap and gay marriage are among the hot-button topics, which often serve as the subject matter for newspaper stories, radio talk show programs, television newscasts, Podcasts and other forms of media communication. However, these controversial issues will soon be presented through another medium— dance.

On Saturday, November 3, 2018, Baltimore’s Full Circle Dance Company presents “Same/Difference: Inside Inequality” at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, MD. The new show centers on questions of sameness and difference, equality and inequality. Now in its 18th year, Full Circle Dance Company is one of Baltimore’s most visible professional ensembles, performing frequently throughout the region and beyond.

“Inside Equality has an amazing array of artists both as choreographers and dancers,” said Artistic Director Donna L. Jacobs who founded Full Circle Dance Company in 2000.

“They bring their own diverse set of experiences to this show. Little did we know when we selected equality as a topic how current it would be. We have a very current backdrop of issues surrounding The Supreme Court, Washington, D.C., and families with multi-religions in them. When we think about inequality in a broad way, there are so many issues touched on in this work. It is a jackpot there.

“While some people find these issues hard to talk about, we find that through the visual aspect, it brings about dialogue. This allows people who were hesitant, to now feel safe and comfortable discussing topics they found uneasy to discuss. Opening up dialogue is something that is incredibly rewarding for us and satisfying for our audience.”

The show’s gripping performances include the following pieces: The Ceiling; …skinned-deep; Dispositioned; My Story…; On Our Shoulders; Vows; and Healing the Broken System.

“The titles are glimpses into what you are about to see,” said Nicole Tucker Smith, a dancer with Full Circle Dance Company. “What I really hope is that the audience sees the humanity aspects we are exploring. We want them to become a part of the experience. We want people to come to their own conclusions, as we explore issues and concepts through dance. As a dancer, the goal is not just to do steps, but bring life and movement, so people can feel they are a part of what is happing on stage.”

Tucker Smith is the choreographer for On Our Shoulders.

“On Our Shoulders goes back to the 1800s,” said Tucker Smith. “It looks at race and religion and fighting against injustice.”

She added, “I have been dancing for 38 years, and have been dancing with this company for two years. I dance because I love it, and it is an essential part of who I am. It is very therapeutic and has helped us to explore some very challenging issues, while finding new ways towards hope.”

Hope B. Byers is a leading dancer and veteran choreographer with Full Circle Dance Company. She is the creator of…skinned deep, an exploration of colorism and its origins in slavery and white supremacy.

“We are putting our whole heart into this,” said Byers, who is performing in the piece. “This is how we perceive these issues. We feel it is important in this climate to get these issues out on the stage. It gives a different perspective though dance by providing the audience another, and very different way of looking at things.”

…skinned deep delves into discrimination within communities of color against darker skinned people.

“In recent years, I have used my choreography as a voice of activism,” said Byers. “I feel when I have an audience sitting in front of me, I can give them some meat to take home, and something to dissect and think about. Colorism is something I have explored and dealt with all my life. It is an uncomfortable issue in the African American community and other communities of color. But uncomfortable things are the things that are required for us to dig into in order for us to grow and ultimately address the things we are afraid to discuss.”

She added, “I want people to walk away from this show with something to talk about. That is my hope for this piece, and for the entire performance. I want people to leave with something tangible other than the experience of just being entertained.”

For tickets or for more information about the show: visit

Discussing Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Disease And Suicide Prevention In Men

Anxiety. Chronic disease. Depression. Suicide. While these may not be fun topics for people to discuss, they are all vitally important to an individual’s health.

On November 28, 2018, the University of Maryland Medical System and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) are bringing together health experts, individuals with “lived experiences” and community members for the “Not All Wounds Are Visible – Community Conversations: Let’s Talk About Depression and Anxiety” event to discuss these issues.

Clinicians and other subject matter experts will be facilitating conversations about the impact of depression and anxiety on men, seniors and those managing chronic disease. The important topic of suicide prevention will be also be discussed.

This free event provides an opportunity to hear from and talk to health care professionals and community leaders, including Washington D.C. attorney and author Joshua Rogers and Bowie City Councilman Michael Esteve, about depression and anxiety and the road to recovery.

Retired Baltimore Ravens running back and Super Bowl XXXV champion Jamal Lewis is the event’s keynote speaker. He will share lessons learned along his journey from the bright light of stardom to the shadows of depression and thoughts of suicide, and as he redefined himself after the “cheerleaders” in his life disappeared.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and it’s common for someone with depression to also suffer from anxiety. While the causes of anxiety and depression are as different as people are, for men, social norms around masculinity can make these topics difficult to talk about.

A 2018 study in the journal, JAMA Psychiatry revealed that 30 percent of men have suffered from a period of depression in their lifetime. Nine percent of men in the United States have daily feelings of depression or anxiety according to data from the National Health Interview Survey, yet only one in four spoke to a mental health professional.

Older adults are at risk of misdiagnosis and lack of treatment because some of their symptoms can mimic normal age-related issues or be mistakenly attributed to other illnesses, medications, or life changes. Elderly patients might also be reluctant to talk about their feelings or fail to understand that physical symptoms can be a sign of depression. For elderly people living independently, isolation can make it difficult to reach out for help. According to the Mayo Clinic, men with depression often go undiagnosed. Symptoms may include feelings of sadness or hopelessness, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, irritability or inappropriate anger.

Downplaying signs and symptoms and a reluctance to discuss and seek treatment may contribute to the failure to recognize depression related symptoms.

Anxiety and depression do not decline with age. Excessive anxiety that causes distress or that interferes with daily activities is not a normal part of aging, and can lead to a variety of health problems and decreased functioning in everyday life. Contributing factors include increased stressful situations such as the loss of friends and family members and decreased mobility, which lead to greater isolation.

Additionally, older adults are often hesitant to report symptoms of depression or anxiety because they grew up at a time when mental illness was stigmatized. Anxiety affects as much as 10 to 20 percent of the older population, although it often remains undiagnosed, according to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation. A recent study from the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that more than 27 percent of older adults under the care of an aging service provider have symptoms of anxiety that may not amount to a diagnosed disorder, but significantly affect their functioning.

Managing chronic disease or pain at any age often causes a significant increase in symptoms of depression or anxiety. People with depression are three times more likely to develop chronic pain or pain that lasts beyond the typical time it takes for an illness or injury to heal. It is important for anyone with a chronic condition to discuss persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood feelings with their health care provider so that their physical and mental health can be managed together.

The United States saw a 25 percent increase in suicides across all ages and genders between 1999 and 2016. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the country. The highest suicide rate is among adults between 45 and 54 years of age, and the second highest rate is among those 85 years or older. Nearly 121 people commit suicide in the U.S. every day, with men being four times more likely than women to commit suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The World Health Organization reports that 75 percent of people with mental disorders remain untreated, with almost 1 million people turning to suicide each year.

According to research by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and potentially treatable illness including depression, anxiety, and alcohol or other substance use. Specific behaviors including increased use of alcohol or drugs, acting recklessly, sleeping too much or too little and conversations about feeling trapped or being a burden to others may be warning signs of suicide.

The November 28 event is designed for community members to hear from and ask questions of physicians and other health care professionals about mental health in men, seniors and those managing chronic illnesses. Visit: for a complete list of program speakers and to register for this important conversation.

High Schooler Leads Diaper Drive

These necessities are needed for infants an estimated 10 times per-day and cost an average $70 to $80 per month. For many poor or low-income families, this expense often poses a financial hardship. These items are diapers. But the efforts of high school student Lauren Eisele, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and the University of Maryland School of Social Work, has helped to lighten the load— financial load, that is.

Lauren, UMMC, and the University of Maryland School of Social Work all partnered to organize a drive that collected over 105,000 diapers, and 25,000 wipes. Proctor & Gamble also contributed to these efforts. The diapers and wipes were distributed to community partners on Friday, October 19, 2018 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Central Receiving Building located at 1000 Hilltop Circle in Baltimore, Maryland..

Reflecting on a conversation with Bronwyn Mayden, MSW, assistant dean at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, 15-year-old Lauren shared how it all began.

“I wanted to do some volunteer work over the summer and asked Ms. Mayden in the UMB School of Social Work how I could help, and she told me about the urgent need for diapers and explained why,” she said. “I was so sad to know that so many families can’t afford to buy diapers and can’t use food stamps to purchase them.”

She added, “After doing some research online, I found out that this is a need all over the world and there is even a Diaper Awareness Week that occurs every September. So I set a goal to collect over 50,000 diapers.”

Lauren said she realized more help would be needed.

“After about a month, I realized that I couldn’t collect 50,000 all by myself so I asked Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of UMMC if we could promote a Diaper Drive at UMMC and he agreed. UMMC does so much to help people in the Baltimore community and I hoped that this would be a project that people would care about.”

She continued, “Once the flyer went out, diapers started coming in everyday! Employees not only wanted to donate diapers but help in any way they could to help us reach the goal. An employee even asked Proctor and Gamble to donate diapers and got a ‘yes’. The company donated 16,000 diapers and 14,000 wipes. In five weeks we brought in over 105,000 diapers and 25,000 wipes. Imagine what we can do with more time!”

According to the University of Maryland School of Social Work, one in three families must make the difficult choice between food and diapers for their baby each day.

“It made me realize how many people need help and that in a small way I could make a difference to families,” said Lauren who started the project in June. “I am so grateful for all the support that this project received and hope that many families won’t have to worry about this issue for a long while.”

When asked if she plans to continue this endeavor, Lauren replied: “Yes, babies and children need diapers all the time and I plan to continue to raise awareness. My goal is to collect 500,000 diapers by next year and with UMMC’s help as well as others in the community, we will be successful!”

Mayden also serves as executive director of Promise Heights, which seeks to improve the lives of children and families in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Upton/Druid Heights. She talked about Lauren’s efforts.

“I can’t thank Lauren enough for wanting to do something to help somebody,” said Mayden. “She put the muscle behind the idea to collect diapers which was outstanding.”

Mayden highlighted that some families cut back on basics such as food, utilities or child care to purchase diapers, while others need to leave their infants in soiled diapers for longer periods of time, leading to potential health risks.

Bronwyn Mayden MSW, assistant dean at the University of Maryland School of Social Work admiring an infant.

Bronwyn Mayden MSW, assistant dean at the University of Maryland School of Social Work admiring an infant.

Sierra Mason with her baby Saniya, along with Za’Mari and Za’Vion Nipper. They were among those in attendance at a pamper drive distribution event held at the University of Maryland Baltimore County

Sierra Mason with her baby Saniya, along with Za’Mari and Za’Vion Nipper. They were among those in attendance at a pamper drive distribution event held at the University of Maryland Baltimore County

Troy Brown holding a box of diapers during the event.

Troy Brown holding a box of diapers during the event.

“You can’t take your baby to daycare and not have a supply of diapers for the child,” she said. “Wearing diapers for long periods of time also causes Urinary Tract Infection and bad rashes. We are reaching out to B’more for Healthy Babies and Head Start Centers. We also plan to approach schools. We want to be fair to everyone and help as many babies as we can.”

Mayden added, “Lauren, UMMC, and the University of Maryland School of Social Work have started a movement. They are making a commitment to babies in Baltimore. “

For more information or to donate diapers visit