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SU Social Work Students Raise Over $15,000 in Funds, In-Kind Services for Community Members in Need

Social WorkSALISBURY, MD---Students in Eileen Gilheany’s Macro Social Work Class Practice III Working with Communities and Organizations at Salisbury University spent countless hours on efforts to better the region during the spring semester.

Projects included:

• A “Bags for Babies” initiative to provide diaper bags filled with essential supplies for foster parents of infants born to parents with opioid addictions. Organizers Daniel Baker, Lindsay Barzanti, Christina Bowie and Kaley Campbell collected over $2,400 in supplies for the project while educating the community about these vulnerable children.

• Two initiatives to assist the 8 percent of Wicomico County Public Schools students who are identified as homeless, according to the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness. SU students Kristina Patterson, Erica Pierce, Brianne Pomerantz and Melissa Pond collected more than $3,200 in school supplies, toiletries, clothing and shoes to be donated to children in need, while Ashley Blake, Adrienne Burrell, Taylor Chester and Lindsey Crawford filled an additional 25 backpacks and drawstring bags with school supplies for homeless students.

• A field trip to SU for 10 local school students in hopes of introducing them to the possibility of attending college, coordinated by Dorothy Sexton, Torrey Shipman, Alyssa Steele and Christine Talas. On campus, the students participated in fun academic activities with faculty, and dined with members of SU fraternities, the University’s TRiO program and the Men of Distinction student organization.

• A “Garden of Hope” planted at the Sussex County Opportunity Program in Education’s (SCOPE’s) school grounds in Bridgeville, DE, by Mallory Lloyd, Kory Lowe, Jazmine Magdaleno and Maggie McMahon SCOPE students have kept the garden blooming and filled it with small rocks they painted with inspirational messages.

• Over 70 bags filled with supplies such as socks, toothbrushes and small toys for families and children at the Christian Shelter temporary emergency shelter in Salisbury. Kelsey McNutly, Aisha Moten, Awa Senghore and Rebecca Swift collected over 1,000 items for the project.

• The donation of some $2,000 worth of clothes to fill a school clothing closet in Salisbury by Megan Claro, Brooke Early, Victoria Isola and Grant McMichen to assist the nearly 40 percent of children in the city living below the poverty line according to

• Two projects that collected more than $1,300 in school supplies for local classrooms following a U.S. Department of Education survey showing teachers spend an average of $479 annually from their own pockets to address the needs of their students. Organizers included Alyssa Finley, Diamond Fisher, Tinsley Foster, Tineka Harmon, Brittaney Geraghty, Dasch’e Hall and Sharonda Handy.

• The collection of some 1,375 books by Callie Hentz, Tyann Johnson, Karisa Kissinger and Valerie Krisa for a new book pantry at the Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Center (Judy Center) in Salisbury to better prepare young children for school.

• The collection of over $2,000 worth of hygiene products for patients being discharged from psychiatric hospitals. Mekayla Graham, Emily Kaufmann, Meghan Keenen and Taylor Smith began the project after learning that patients suffering from mental illness often have to wait up to two months after discharge before receiving supplemental security income, making it difficult for them to purchase basic items.

• The collection of more than $600 worth of hygiene products, socks and other items to fill 75 bags to be distributed by Help and Outreach Point of Entry (HOPE), a local organization providing services to the homeless. Organizers were Jennifer Thomas, Ciara Walters, Aleen Williams and Alexandra Williams.

In all, SU students participating in these projects raised more than $15,000 in funds and in-kind services, impacting hundreds of individuals throughout the Lower Eastern Shore.

“More importantly, our students educated and inspired community members to keep many of these much needed projects going,” Gilheany said. “Together we can make a difference.”

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at