Heather Iliff, CEO of Maryland Nonprofits, was recently interviewed on 98 Rock Baltimore's segment, Maryland Perspectives with Amelia.
Journey to Happiness Movement
Journey to Happiness Movement, Inc. (J2HM) educates society on urgent health concerns for sickle cell trait carriers. The organization began after 13-year-old Journey Butler passed away from a rare form of cancer, Renal Medullary Carcinoma, which is associated with the sickle cell trait. Until this point, Journey lived a normal childhood. Her battle was aggressive and quick; a 5-month period. J2HM was founded for the purposes of keeping Journey’s legacy alive and to inform society that the sickle cell trait can be extremely problematic. J2HM's mission is to get as many people as possible screened for the sickle cell trait.
Journey to Happiness Movement hosts an annual health fair that enables participants to be screened for the sickle cell trait. J2HM also hosts annual 5K races to promote fitness and awareness, with proceeds going to RMC Support and the only research lab for Renal Medullary Carcinoma at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Additionally, Journey to Happiness Movement presents a "Journey on Art Expo" annually, which continues Journey's legacy as a multi-talented girl who aspired to be on stage.
Springboard to Opportunities
Springboard To Opportunities (STO) connects families living in affordable housing with resources and programs that help them advance in school, work, and life. By working directly with families and establishing strategic partnerships with other organizations, STO helps residents achieve their goals. The organization was formed with the understanding that affordable housing alone is not enough to create thriving communities where all residents can succeed. Our model is guided by a radically resident-driven approach and provides direct programming across three strategies: Springboard To Learning, Springboard To Success, and Springboard To Community. All programs and services are provided free to residents.
The devoted members of the STO Social Seniors group (55+) meets weekly creating care packages for members of the community who need some TLC. Each gift is filled with handmade crafts as well as baked goods. A care package was recently delivered to a single mother of three who had been terminated from her job recently and was struggling; the kindness brought tears to her eyes. The Social Seniors Group supports each other in a myriad of ways: Two Russian members practice their English-speaking skills each week. Another shows improvement in her self-confidence as she learns to make the crafts. Members of the group share resources and tips on saving money and health. Four even signed up for Springboard's beginner computer class together. Even though these individuals have lived in the same community for many years, they didn’t even know each other's names until joining Social Seniors. Now they not only have a social outlet where they feel good about helping others, they also have a supportive network.
Standards for Excellence
The Standards for Excellence is a set of best practices that helps nonprofits of all sizes and types be more successful in achieving their mission.