When the St. Michaels Community Center began serving at the heart of the Bay Hundred community in 1990, no one could have imagined the impact the neighborhood organization would have 30 years later, especially while the organization serves as the Bay Hundred’s food hub during the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic. Nor would they have ever imagined the great kindness gathered during the pandemic through the organization’s role as the community’s helpers.
SMCC Executive Director Trish Payne says SMCC has helped provide 1,941 bags of groceries and 3,830 take-out and delivery meals to people from throughout the Bay Hundred area—which stretches from St. Michaels to Tilghman Island—in the weeks between April 6, 2020 and June 19, 2020.
The center continues to provide food support at its Railroad Ave. location on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and has recently re-opened its Treasure Cove Thrift Store with limited guests, required masks, and adherence to social distancing practices.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps around the globe, uncertainty and apprehension travel right along with it,” says Payne. “But humanity rises to the challenge in so many ways big and small, as I have been lucky enough to witness in St. Michaels through my role as the community center’s Executive Director.”
“In addition to all the selfless health care workers, law enforcement agencies, grocery workers, food manufacturers, truck drivers, churches, social service groups, soup kitchens and more, there are also many unseen heroes among us,” said Payne. “Neighbors, friends, and strangers are stepping up to support each other and the folks on the front lines helping to keep our communities safe, heal the sick, and feed the hungry.”
The St. Michaels Community Center is part of a community of food support organizations operating under the Talbot County Emergency Services Task Force. SMCC works as the Bay Hundred food hub, keeping food on the tables and bags of groceries in the homes of those in need. The center works in partnership with other food banks, churches, Meals on Wheels, and many local businesses and volunteers pulling together.
The St. Michaels Community Center—with a mission to serve, empower, and connect our community—is committed to combating discrimination and racism through its actions, partnerships, and programs. The Center’s programs of food distribution, neighborhood engagement, family activities, and more aim to bring neighbors together and reduce inequality.
Donations supporting SMCC can be made at paypal.me/smccmd, with non-perishable food, household supplies, and dry goods received by drop-off at the St. Michaels Community Center. More information is at stmichaelscc.org.
From the St. Michaels Community Center's Trustees and Executive Committee:
The St. Michaels Community Center, whose mission is to serve, empower, and connect our community, is committed to combating discrimination and racism through its actions, partnerships and programs. We stand with St. Michaels Town and its Police Department in condemning the senseless killing of George Floyd, whose death was a stark symbol of how much more work we all have to do to achieve a just society.
The Center’s programs of food distribution, neighborhood engagement, family activities, and more, aim to bring our neighbors together and reduce inequality. Our partnership with the police department’s SMYLE program helps introduce youths to community law enforcement. And our work with churches in the Bay Hundred area tries to foster greater understanding.
As the Center begins to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, SMCC renews its pledge to be the expression of the heart of the community.
The Treasure Cove Thrift Shop is hosting a jewelry and art sale on Fri. and Sat., July 3 & 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with proceeds from all sales benefiting the people served by the programs and services of the St. Michaels Community Center.
The Treasure Cove Thrift Shop is located on the corner of Railroad Ave. and Fremont St., with ample parking and an outdoor area for shopping the sale. The sale includes one-of-a-kind estate, gemstone, and costume jewelry, along with artwork ranging from framed and matted photographs, prints, and other wall art.
The shop also offers in-season clothing, gently used furniture, and usable household goods from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with tax-deductible donations of gently used items accepted before 1:30 p.m. Social distancing measures are required, with masks worn while inside.
Treasure Cove is run in part by volunteers and partners with other local non-profits and Talbot County’s Department of Social Services to provide emergency assistance to people in need, including those suffering from the effects of fire, flood, eviction, job loss, or other special circumstances.
The St. Michaels Community Center is serving as the Bay Hundred Area's food hub during the COVID-19 pandemic, with bags of groceries and take-out and delivery meals provided to those in need. SMCC’s mission is to promote and provide quality services contributing to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of the community’s residents, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or economic status.
Donations to SMCC and proceeds from the Treasure Cove Thrift Shop help the community center provide year-round food-support programs and other community services for people from throughout the Bay Hundred area, with more at stmichaelscc.org.
From the June 3, 2020 issue of the Star Democrat:. Special to the Star Democrat by Tracey F. Johns
EASTON — Fred Rogers—also known as Mister Rogers of television fame—said that when he was a boy and saw scary things in the news, his mother would say to him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Finding the helpers is just what many people and organizations are doing to support Talbot County nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals volunteer to help with efforts and generous donors step up to support essential programs and services.
Talbot County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kelly Griffith said the school system has seen great support, including a student making N95 masks for local hospitals. She says the schools are grateful for volunteers Emily Moody and Megan Cook for their work with CarePacks, along with Easton Utilities for their outreach to help with hot spots, and the Academy Art Museum for providing art supplies for students.
“The St. Michaels Community Center is serving as the food hub for the Bay Hundred community during the coronavirus pandemic, which brought unexpected large, unbudgeted expenses to the nonprofit, including a $10,000 freezer,” said St. Michaels Community Center Director Trish Payne.
“My heart is warmed by our Board members and other donors and volunteers helping us serve community members in need,” Payne said. “From a bond bill match that will help make our building more usable and sound, along with the food hub donations, each of these acts of kindness will help make someone’s life better. On behalf of SMCC’s Advisory Board and staff, we are extremely grateful to our volunteers, donors, and friends whose generous and continuous support inspires us to serve the community whenever we are needed.”
Talbot Hospice Board Member Liz Freedlander said Talbot Hospice board members are paying for patient meals, and providing the meals through local caterers and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative began through the leadership of Talbot Hospice Board Secretary Pat Roche and helps staff focus on patient care while supporting local businesses.
“We’ve had a couple of folks buy lunch for our Y staff, which has been really great,” said YMCA of the Chesapeake Group Executive Derek White. “We also had someone make masks for staff and the children enrolled in the program. Our (recent) food drive ... filled about 12 barrels worth of food for the Maryland Food Bank from community members.”
Neighborhood Service Center Executive Director Marilyn Neal said NSC received an overwhelming community response during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Donations have increased through our faith-based community and both regular and new supporters,” Neal said. “Individuals are also having food shipped to our food pantry. These donations are critical to sustaining the households of low-income families, as well as those that have suffered job loss during this very difficult time.”
“We’ve had so many great people wrapping their arms around us,” said Talbot Interfaith Shelter Marketing and Development Director Jayme Dingler. “One person, in particular, is Jen McCrea of Hill’s Cafe and Juice Bar, who, while trying to keep her own business afloat, has been providing weekly grocery boxes for the guests in our transitional housing program,” Dingler said.
“The other one is Tommy Cassidy at Subway on Marlboro Road,” she said. “He had to lay off his whole staff, and is running the store by himself, but didn’t let that deter him from donating his monthly dinner for the guests in our shelter facility.”
Rotary International District 7630 Governor Nominee and Rotary Club of Easton member Hugh Dawkins says Rotary clubs in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore raised $35,000 over 10 days to provide personal protection equipment and food bank donations through the coordination of Disaster Aid USA. The funds provided more than 24,000 meals through local food banks and thousands of N95 and other PPE masks to area hospitals.
The Talbot Local Care Team, in partnership with Talbot County Emergency Management, recruited a volunteer pool to help with many different tasks throughout Talbot County.
All tasks have been conducted in a way to safeguard the health of volunteers, with more information and sign-ups at talbotcovid19.org/volunteer/.
The St. Michaels Community Garden is kicking off its 8th season of providing community members with space to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits, and more for personal consumption or for donation, as chosen by the gardeners themselves.
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