Addressing hunger among individuals and families—from the Royal Oak Bridge down to Tilghman Island—is made possible through the generous support of our donors, whose small and large acts of kindness help to transform the lives of the children and adults many of our programs serve.
Through the continued support of our donors, the St. Michaels Community Center provides year-round community programs and activities, including providing up to 250 meals and pantry bags to individuals and families in need, three times a week.
At the core of our work lightening the burden of hardship and hunger is the dedication of volunteers and drivers to help prepare and deliver meals and pantry items, especially for homebound individuals in need.
Oftentimes, the connections our volunteers make are a lifeline to the individuals we serve.
One of our volunteers regularly delivers meals to a 90-year-old woman that is blind and cannot cook for herself. Our client has no local family, so our volunteer stays a little while longer at each delivery to spend time and talk with her.
“I asked God to send someone to see me,” commented our client about our volunteer, before continuing with a wry smile. “When I ‘saw’ you, I knew we would get along!”
Our volunteer is very humble and wishes to remain anonymous from our readers. Our clients, however, know her from her work in our culinary program, where she also serves clients from the steam table, helps to prepare meals for deliveries, and even helps clean up to prepare for our next Community Café. She also helps at our community block parties and holiday meals.
“Volunteering is simply good for the soul,” she says. “Our Community Center really contributes to enriching people’s lives, whether you give or receive—I think it is a win-win situation.”
She said she decided to become a volunteer after hearing about SMCC’s dedication to assisting people in need.
“So now that I’m retired and have the time, I decided to become a volunteer and see what was needed.
When you donate to the St. Michaels Community Center, you are helping to improve lives, while sustaining the Community Center’s financial stability for a bright future. We simply can’t do this meaningful work without your help.
You can support the strength of our community by making a charitable donation to the St. Michaels Community Center. You can mail your check or donate online at paypal.me/smccmd.
Your donation will ensure Bay Hundred individuals and families have the resources and connections needed to address hunger and provide hope, especially to those who need our help the most. You can make that difference.
With deepest gratitude,
P.S. Please consider making a gift of stocks or bonds and including the St. Michaels Community Center in your legacy planning. Your financial advisor can be of help.
St. Michaels Community Center is a 501(c)(3) organization – donations to which are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. A copy of our current financial statement is available upon request by contacting SMCC, PO Box 354, St. Michaels, MD 21663, or by calling 410-745-6073. Documents and information submitted to the State of Maryland under the Maryland Charitable Contributions Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State for the cost of copying and postage.
After a highly-competitive process, the St. Michaels Community Center has selected Harper & Sons, of Easton, Md. as the general contractor for the renovation of the nonprofit’s WWII-era building at 103 Railroad Ave., with the project kicking off Mon., Nov. 21.
“We are extremely pleased with how Harper & Sons has approached this project so far, and we can’t wait to get started on construction,” said SMCC Board of Directors President Langley Shook. “They have an impressive track record with successful commercial projects in St. Michaels and throughout the Eastern Shore,” adding “we have been very impressed with their work and what we have heard from their other clients.”
Harper & Sons, Inc. was founded in 1968 by Howard G. Harper in Easton, Md. after his work as a general manager for the ES Adkins Company Lumberyard in Easton. He started the business as a way for him and his sons to meet the construction needs of the rapidly developing Eastern Shore.
Today, Harper & Sons is managed by the third generation of family members, with project experience that includes working with the Town of St. Michaels, Caroline County, Easton Utilities Commission, Choptank Community Health System, University of Maryland Medical System, Salisbury University, Compass Hospice, and more.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work on this meaningful project for St. Michaels and the entire Bay Hundred region,” says Harper & Sons Vice President Benson Harper. “We look forward to overseeing the project—as our top management does on all of our projects—to ensure a high level of responsibility and personal attention to critical details throughout the renovation process.”
The Community Center’s renovated building will be an adaptive redesign of its current structure, meaning some parts of the World War II-era building will remain. The architect for the project is McInturff Architects of Bethesda and Neavitt, Md.
Founded in 1990, SMCC purchased its current building in 2015 and has since made do with the converted lumber storage warehouse’s crudely constructed interior that lacks windows, heat or air conditioning in most of the building. Disability access also has been a major issue.
“Our building’s primary asset is its location in the commercial district, near the people we serve,” says St. Michaels Community Center Executive Director Patrick Rofe. “This long-awaited renovation will make the St. Michaels Community Center the only fully-equipped resource center for social services on the Bay Hundred peninsula,” he added.
The new building will include a modern, well-equipped commercial kitchen, where SMCC will train people for jobs in restaurants and hotels, and from which the Center can continue to serve and deliver prepared meals and tens of thousands of bags of groceries to those in need.
The new Community Center also will include a Technology Center where students can do their homework and space for after-school programs and community gatherings. Rofe says the Center is working with Chesapeake College and other partners to provide high-level instruction right in the middle of town.
Support for the renovation is both broad and deep, reflecting the urgency of the need. Charitable contributions from individuals have been the largest source of funding, with more than $1M from the State of Maryland, and other government and foundation support. Shook says most of the necessary funding already has been raised, and there is a 100% donor match for additional tax-deductible gifts to the capital campaign before year-end, 2022.
Architectural renderings of the new building and more about SMCC’s planned capital improvements, including updates and information about how to support the campaign are at www.stmichaelscc.org/future.
“The excitement is really growing,” says Rofe, adding that “We’ve packed up our programs and administrative operations to prepare for the renovations, thanks in part to a number of volunteers who assisted with the efforts.”
Christ Church, St. Michaels generously has donated office space in its Parish Hall, located at the intersection of Church Street and Willow Street. The Center’s food services and other programs will be moved throughout the renovation to 207 N. Talbot St., next door to The Wildset Hotel.
Both temporary locations are close to SMCC’s building, and there will be only minimal disruptions to client services during the building renovation. The Center anticipates operating from its two temporary locations until the end of next year when the renovation project is expected to be completed.
The renovation will not impact SMCC’s Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Avenue, which will be open throughout the project.
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community, with year-round essential human services programs and activities for children, families, and adults. Tax-deductible donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for people in St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred’s communities.
New, unwrapped toys are being sought to benefit Bay Hundred area children this holiday season, with drop-off locations including the St. Michaels Community Center, The LumberYard in St. Michaels, Perkins Family YMCA, and Fairbank Tackle. The toy drive is organized by St. Michaels Granite Lodge #177, with donated toys being accepted through Dec. 21.
SMCC additionally is seeking donations of non-perishables, toiletries, and household goods, which can also be dropped off or shipped directly to SMCC at its temporary program location of 207 N. Talbot St., next to The Wildset Hotel, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Donated toys and household goods with “for the holiday drive” noted can also be dropped off at Treasure Cove Thrift Shop at 200 Railroad Ave. Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Suggested donations include toys suited for children of all ages; personal hygiene items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, and shampoo; family homecare items like detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning products, and sponges; and food items like canned chicken, tuna, roast beef, ravioli, pasta, stew, peanut butter, rice, soup, crackers, pudding, and fruit cups.
SMCC also provides emergency clothing and household goods through its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels, which is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations to the Thrift Store of gently used clothing, toys, household goods, and furniture are gratefully accepted Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community, with year-round essential human services programs and activities for children, families, and adults. Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for people in St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred’s communities, with more at www.stmichaelscc.org.
The St. Michaels Community Center received news that SMCC Senior Programs and Office Aide Ange Oteri sadly passed away on November 1, 2022.
Ange joined the St. Michaels Community Center in 2005 and most recently coordinated our senior program and luncheons every Wednesday. She also helped in our office when not taking care of our seniors.
She started at SMCC as an office volunteer for Treasure Cove Thrift Shop. At that time, the office and Thrift Shop were in one location across from Sam’s Restaurant. She later went on to coordinate the Community Center’s seniors’ program and volunteer program for the Thrift Shop.
Prior to her time at SMCC, Ange worked as an administrative assistant for real estate and insurance companies while her children were growing up. Locals and visitors may also recall seeing Ange while working at Simpatico-Italy’s Finest for more than five years.
Her grandchildren lovingly referred to her as “Ya Ya” or “Mom- Mom.”
In a 2021 interview, Ange commented that her favorite activity was to connect with people, mostly through sitting, talking, and sharing a meal together at SMCC.
“Working with the seniors is rewarding because I feel like they enjoy coming here,” Ange said of her work at SMCC. “Some people live alone like I do, and for some, it’s the only place to have a conversation and be with other people.
Ange said one of the most challenging aspects of her work at SMCC included helping seniors navigate through broader problems.
“Some welcome the help, some don’t want help,” said Ange. “The key is to help seniors without them feeling like they are losing their independence. Maybe they’re like me and don’t always ask for help when help is needed.”
When asked why she thought the St. Michaels Community Center's work is important, Ange replied, “The Community Center is for the community. It’s here for the kids to come after school as a safe place. The meals offer a place for our seniors to connect and have a place to feel a warm welcome and love. They enjoy our activities because it’s a place for everybody and a safety net for our community.”
Ange lived in St. Michaels at the time of her passing and was born in Manhattan, New York before moving to Brooklyn and Long Island. She graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., living with her grandmother after her mother passed when Ange was 10 years old.
She went straight to work right after graduating high school, and later became a wife and mother of three children. For hobbies, Ange said that knitting was her calming tool whenever she became upset.
Ange’s volunteer service focused during her time living on Tilghman Island and includes Tilghman United Methodist Church, Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Company, and the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum.
“Ange was one of the longest-serving volunteers and employees at SMCC,” said SMCC Executive Director Patrick Rofe in a memo to staff and supporters. “Most recently she led the Senior Program and was actively involved in all SMCC events. She will be deeply missed at SMCC and in St. Michaels.”
Ange Oteri is dearly missed.
Please Note: You can find Ange's obituary and service arrangements at Frampton Funeral Home.
The St. Michaels Community Center recently received grant funding in support of feeding people in need through the nonprofit’s food distribution program. The St. Michaels Community Center offers freshly cooked, nutritious meals and pantry bags each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, providing for up to 250 people for each meal.
A $2,945 matching grant has been awarded by the Maryland Department of Human Services Statewide Nutrition Assistance Equipment Program (SNAEP) for the purchase of pantry and kitchen equipment for the St. Michaels Community Center.
A $10,700 American Rescue Plan Act grant has also been awarded by Talbot County for the purchase of food and equipment supporting the St. Michaels Community Center’s food distribution program. The program provides meals and pantry items for people in need from throughout Talbot County’s Bay Hundred area, which spans from the Royal Oak bridge to Tilghman Island.
Other recent grants and gifts in support of SMCC’s general operations and food distribution program have come from The Qlarant Foundation, the Maryland Food Bank, and the local Hell’s Crossing neighborhood group, among others.
“This support comes at a critical time in our history as we move forward with plans to renovate our Community Center," says St. Michaels Community Center Executive Director Patrick Rofe. “These funds will help SMCC strengthen its food distribution program with the purchase of new kitchen and pantry equipment and will provide nutrition education to our neighbors. These funds will help SMCC provide assistance to our neighbors who need our support the most.”
The Community Center announced its first-ever capital campaign supporting the adaptive redesign of its building earlier this year and is currently seeking donations to finish out the campaign. Groundbreaking plans are anticipated to be announced later this year.
The renovated facility will include a modern, well-equipped commercial kitchen, where SMCC plans to train people for jobs in restaurants and hotels, and from which the Center can continue to serve and deliver prepared meals and tens of thousands of bags of groceries to those in need.
Included in the plans are a Technology Center where students can do their homework and space for community gatherings, along with classrooms where Chesapeake College and others can provide high-level instruction right in the middle of town.
Architectural renderings of the building and more about SMCC’s planned capital improvements, including updates and information about how to support the campaign are at www.stmichaelscc.org/future.
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community, with year-round essential human services programs and activities for children, families, and adults.
Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for people in St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred’s communities. More is at www.stmichaelscc.org.
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