tiger lily logo
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-changing occurrence that often comes with a great financial burden for the family of those affected. This week’s Friday Focus organization, Tiger Lily Charities, works to ease this burden by providing financial support to patients and their families. The charity was founded by Tiffany Kuhn, a leukemia survivor, in 2010. We caught up with Tiffany to learn about her organization’s work and their upcoming golf tournament in Lusby.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: Tiger Lily Charities is an organization that is dedicated to leukemia patients. We provide financial support to our clients who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of their diagnosis. We are able to provide grants for transportation costs, household bills, medical co-pays, etc. We can also provide referrals for additional support services. We have hopes that in the future we will be able to provide free transportation services for cancer patients who do not have reliable means of transport to and from cancer-related services.

Continuity in care is extremely important during cancer treatment, and our research shows that transportation can be a barrier to care for many cancer patients. 

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: Every opportunity that we have to help is a great moment for us, and we feel very blessed to have the opportunity to become a part of the solution when times are tough for our clients. It is imperative that they are able to concentrate on recovery rather than dwelling on financial burdens. One moment that we are very proud of is that with the cooperation of a local car dealership, we were able to help a family get a reliable vehicle to transport their son to and from cancer treatment visits at the hospital. We also paid for their car insurance for six months so that they could focus on more important things. 

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: One of our biggest hurdles is actually getting our organization’s name out there. We would like to reach out and help more families affected by leukemia. We are in the process of setting up referral services with local cancer treatment centers.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: Our Annual Golf Tournament is coming up, May 3, 2015 at the Chesapeake Hills Golf Club in Lusby, MD. We are recruiting golfers and sponsors at this time. At the end of summer we host an Annual Luau for Leukemia in New Oxford, PA. All of the funds raised at our events are distributed as grants to our clients in need or used to further our mission.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: Please visit our website at http://www.tlcfund.org. From our home page, you can keep up with events, make a donation or provide us with a referral for services.

ACCOKEEK logo
Along the Potomac River just across from the historic Mount Vernon plantation sits Piscataway Park, a 5,000-acre span of natural landscape. The park is a product of a large-scale conservation effort begun in the 1950s, when rapid development threatened to destroy the land. Today, the stewardship of the park is a joint effort between the National Park Service and the Accokeek Foundation, an organization dedicated to sharing the land and its heritage with visitors. This week’s Friday Focus is a conversation with Anjela Barnes, the Foundation’s Marketing Director.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: The Accokeek Foundation’s mission is to cultivate passion for the natural and cultural heritage of Piscataway Park and commitment to stewardship and sustainability. We were founded in 1957 to protect the view from George Washington’s Mount Vernon as one of the nation’s first land trusts, and we continue land conservation efforts today to ensure continued protection of the viewshed and the working landscapes in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Through a partnership with the National Park Service, the Foundation uses Piscataway Park to interpret agriculture and environmental stewardship to its 20,000 annual visitors, including school youth, local residents, recreational enthusiasts and D.C. area tourists. The National Colonial Farm, a well known historic farm museum established in 1958, demonstrates Maryland agriculture during the 18th century, and has been the backdrop for hundreds of school tours each year. The Ecosystem Farm, a certified organic 8-acre farm, teaches visitors about sustainable food production using innovative growing techniques. It is the goal of the farm to demonstrate a compelling variety of possibilities that inspire people to want to grow while creating a thriving, engaged community.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: There are so many favorite moments that it’s hard to choose just one, but I would say that the best moments come by way of the school tours offered to kids aged 13 or younger. Last fall, the organic farm we operate was host to a group of kids from D.C.’s Mundo Verde Public Charter School. The kids learned about what it’s like to be a farmer, where their food comes from and even helped to harvest carrots--a lot of carrots! For many of the kids, it is their first time visiting a farm, an experience quoted by one teacher as, “one they’ll never forget.”

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Because of recent federal budget cuts, including sequestration and the October shutdown, the Accokeek Foundation has been impacted by a decrease in federal funding. Support from private foundations and individuals help to provide the funds needed so we can maintain and provide an open space that is available daily and free for all to enjoy its beauty.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: There are many ways to get involved with the organization. Volunteering on a recurring basis is often the most rewarding way to get involved and give back by helping with the gardens, caring for heritage breed livestock, working the on-farm market or lending a hand during special events. Individuals and families can also join and become members of the Accokeek Foundation to support the natural and cultural heritage programs offered. Or simply visit, bring your family and friends, and enjoy the natural beauty of Piscataway Park, preserved and protected for generations to come.


The St. Mary's Animal Welfare League helps cats, dogs and horses by providing veterinary, fostering and adoption services. We spoke with Katie Werner, President of SMAWL, who shared a favorite story about a particularly special dog and gave us the inside scoop on how you can help a local animal find a “furr-ever” home.

 

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: The St. Mary's Animal Welfare League (SMAWL) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1990 that works to help the homeless, abused and neglected animals in our local community and — in times of extreme need — in our larger national rescue community. Immediate goals include aggressive campaigns to find homes for homeless cats and dogs and to curb pet overpopulation through spay/neuter programs. Future goals include the building of a no-kill shelter in St. Mary's County. Services provided include pet adoptions, discount spay/neuter vouchers, monthly low-cost rabies clinics, humane education and the Pet Food Pantry. SMAWL is an all-volunteer organization and welcomes new members and volunteers. SMAWL offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, including fostering animals waiting for adoption. To contact SMAWL, call 301-373-5659, send an e-mail to smawl@yahoo.com, or visit www.smawl.org.

The Snowflake Society was created in 2006 as a division of St. Mary's Animal Welfare League (SMAWL) to help horses and other hoofed animals. The mission statement of the Snowflake Society reads: "To provide shelter, care, rehabilitation and adoption services for abused, neglected, and unwanted horses and other hoofed animals; and to promote humane treatment of hoofed animals through education, investigation, and legal intervention."

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: There are many favorite moments and all of our animal adoptions are reason to celebrate, but the most rewarding is when we are able to help those special animals that are considered “unadoptable.”  Once such recent rescue is Martha, a blind Beagle we pulled from Tri-County Animal Shelter.  We were fortunate enough to find a foster home that had a very special cat, Dutchess, who helped Martha adjust to her new home. The two became inseparable! Like so many of our foster family, Dutchess’ family became “failed” fosters and adopted Martha.  Having the ability to rescue animals such as Martha is why we do what we do.  We are able to continue our rescue mission because of the support we receive throughout the year from our friends, sponsors and the community at large.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Since we do not have a permanent shelter, our biggest problem is having foster homes for our animals.  We are limited in the animals we can take in due to the foster space we have available.  Foster homes are vitally important to help in the care and socialization of our animals.  SMAWL pays for the veterinary care and asks our foster families, in addition to providing a safe environment for them to live, to transport them to veterinary appointments and to adoption events so that they can find their “fur-ever” homes.

In addition, we do have many other volunteer opportunities such as working at our Rabies Clinics and Adoption Events.  We also need assistance in caring for some of our cats who reside at the Petco in California, Md. and at our “Cat Castle” in Callaway, Md.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: We have Adoption Events at the Petco in California on Saturdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and at our “Cat Castle” in Callaway on Saturdays and Sundays between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  In addition, we have Rabies Clinics on the second Monday of the month between March and November at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds in Leonardtown, MD between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  We also hold adoption events at other locations such as the Pet Valu in Leonardtown, the Tractor Supply Co in Hollywood and Pepper’s Pet Pantry in Solomon’s.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: There are several things people can do to get involved:

  • Become a member – membership fees help us continue our mission.
  • Volunteer – there are many volunteer opportunities, from helping at an adoption event to helping to organize our Animal Fair.
  • Foster – the more foster families we have, the more animals we can save!
  • Have a pet food drive to help keep our Pet Food Pantry stocked.

people cleaning up river
In 2001, a small group of Charles County citizens came together to form the Port Tobacco River Conservancy. Today, the organization works tirelessly to return the river and watershed to healthier conditions to protect native species and preserve the river for the next generation. We spoke with the PTRC’s Executive Director, Julie Simpson for this week’s Friday Focus.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: The Port Tobacco River Conservancy works to protect and restore the Port Tobacco River and its watershed. Our activities include advocating for a cleaner river and healthier watershed at the state and local level, as well as working with businesses, residents, local and state governments and other conservation groups on restoration projects like rain gardens and stream buffers.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: In December, PTRC volunteers planted the 10,000th tree to restore a wetland adjoining the Port Tobacco Creek. This project created a forested buffer that will protect the watershed by filtering pollutants, controlling erosion and providing habitat for wildlife. Volunteers included environmental students from local high schools, boy scouts and PTRC members.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Providing opportunities for young people to experience and appreciate the natural world. One of our priorities in the coming year will be developing programs to introduce people of all ages to the watershed and what it has to offer, through recreational activities, learning about wildlife, or other experiences.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A:

Celebrate La Plata – Saturday, April 25

Join PTRC at the Town of La Plata’s spring festival on the grounds of La Plata Town Hall, 305 Queen Anne St, La Plata MD 20646, from 12:00 to 4:00. We will have demonstrations of rain barrels and rain gardens, as well as activities for kids.

Port Tobacco Market Day – Saturday, May 2

Enjoy artists and vendors, food and drink, and tours of the historic site, from 9:00 to 2:00 at the Port Tobacco Historic Village, 8430 Commerce St., Port Tobacco MD 20677. Don’t forget to visit the PTRC booth!

Touch-A-Truck – Saturday, May 16

PTRC will be participating in the Center for Children’s Touch-a-Truck event from 10:00 to 3:00 at Regency Furniture Stadium, 11765 Saint Linus Dr, Waldorf MD 20602. Bring the kids to touch, learn about and explore trucks, construction vehicles, cars and public safety equipment, and to meet the people who operate them. PTRC will be sponsoring the Fishmobile, the meandering marine menagerie.

ArtsFest – Saturday, June 13

Look for the PTRC booth at this year’s Charles County Arts Alliance ArtsFest from 11:00 to 5:00 on the grounds of La Plata Town Hall, 305 Queen Anne St, La Plata MD 20646. Visual and literary artists will display and sell their works, and performing artists will entertain you. Sample the offerings of food and drink vendors and learn about local nonprofit cultural, historical, heritage and environmental organizations.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization? 

A: Most of our accomplishments are the result of a great group of volunteers. If you would like to help out, contact Julie at jsimpson@porttobaccoriver.org or Krupa at krupa@porttobaccoriver.org.