Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Supporter Stories: Interview with Steve Goodman

GHCC: Tell us a bit about yourself

Steve Goodman: I’m a software engineer for a small federal contracting company. I’m an avid gardener, I spend a lot of my free time digging in my front yard, and I’m finishing up a new deck in the back yard. On Sundays, I attend a “Course in Miracles” study group which gives me a lot of joy.

GHCC: Are you a Baltimore native?

SG: I’m not a Baltimore native. I moved here in 1998 to attend JHU. When I graduated, I lived in Mt. Vernon. After a few years there, which were great, my wife and I moved to Better Waverly. I was looking for a reasonably priced house with a yard for my dogs and my gardening. I fell in love with Charles Village while I was studying at Hopkins, so I was always looking for a place in Greater Homewood. We stumbled upon our house in Waverly, which has a huge city lot of 25’X200′! It’s a shady neighborhood, which is great for our hot summers and for bird watching. Our neighbors are some of the sweetest people in the world, which really makes our neighborhood great. I didn’t know that when I decided to move here, but it has been the biggest blessing.

GHCC: When did you first discover Greater Homewood Community Corporation and what prompted you to become a supporter of our work?

SG: I can’t point to a specific moment when I found out about GHCC. It’s a testament to your marketing that GHCC is just in my mind somehow. When I first moved into my house, I was attending some of the Better Waverly Community Organization meetings. I wanted to help out one of my neighbors who was in a tough situation, and GHCC seemed like a vehicle for making my special project a reality. The more I found out about GHCC’s mission of strengthening community in Baltimore, the more I wanted to support that mission. I’ve always felt that developing relationships with people is what life is all about, and GHCC’s focus has always been about connecting people with each other and with opportunity.

GHCC: Why do you believe it’s important for individuals to support a nonprofit like GHCC?

SG: No man is an island. We all depend on and support one another in everything we do. I couldn’t sit in my house typing these answers without the builders who put it here, the city that maintains the roads, BGE who keeps the power on, the people who are these organizations. We’re all connected. It’s our responsibility to pay the debt we owe our brothers and sisters for supporting us. The more we can give to our communities, the more everyone receives.

GHCC: What do you love most about living in Greater Homewood?

SG: The early evening at Sherwood Gardens when the tulips are in bloom is a little slice of heaven.

 


Play Scrabble for a Good Cause

scrabble

Players face off at the 9th Annual Scrabble Fundraiser for Literacy in March 2010.

For nine years, participants in GHCC’s Scrabble® Fundraiser for Literacy have gathered in the spirit of fun and games to support a good cause — fighting adult illiteracy in Baltimore City. This year marks the event’s tenth anniversary and with an estimated 100 players planning to attend, promises to be the best one yet with live music, a silent auction, food, beer, wine, and fun.

Read more about the event »


Waverly Ace Hardware: Your Neighborhood Hardware Store

GHCC was a big supporter of Ace Hardware moving into Waverly, and we’re thrilled to see business taking off!  Our Community Economic Development program fosters business district development by connecting local businesses to our network of resources and partnerships.  Greater Homewood neighborhoods like Waverly Village are a perfect place to open a business.  To learn more about our economic development initiatives, visit our website.

Submitted by Rachel Machacek, Ace Hardware Stores

Waverly Ace Hardware
As we’ve opened up hardware stores in DC and Baltimore, we’ve focused on underserved communities that value small local business. After our success with Federal Hill Ace, we started looking in north Baltimore for a new location. We saw a lot of potential for growth and opportunity in Waverly and the community members really made us feel like they would embrace a local business. And they have!

Now that we’ve been open for the better part of a year, we’re becoming a hub for homeowners working on renovations as well as those looking for quick home maintenance items. We’ve also had a wonderful time getting involved with the community – particularly during the Waverly Winter Wonderland for which we took pictures of neighbors with Santa Claus.

Waverly Ace Hardware
The impending Lowe’s down the street is a source of concern for us. Our presence is still growing and we hope that the neighborhood will recognize that we are poised as a locally run business to offer not just jobs, retail, and services but also be a gathering spot for the community. We recently sponsored a pet adoption day and look forward to another in July, and we’re kicking off free bike workshops in April as part of an overall emphasis on providing community services in addition to selling hardware and home-maintenance products.

We’ve also worked on a strong Internet presence through Facebook, Twitter and a blog to provide up to minute info on sales and essential DIY advice.
Waverly Ace Hardware
Waverly Ace Hardware is located across the street from the Giant grocery store at 601 Homestead Street, Baltimore, and has plenty of free parking.
Store hours:
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
www.acehardwaredc.com
Join us for Neighborhood Bike Stop Workshop: Changing a flat
Saturday, April 17, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Learn to change an inner tube with the pros @ Light Street Cycles. They’ll be on hand at Waverly Ace on April 17 to give some quick and dirty lessons. Changing a flat is really quite easy! The workshop is free and we have bike racks outside the store. No excuses!

Attention Community Leaders! Recycling Education Grant Opportunity

Did you celebrate Earth Hour by turning out your lights on Saturday evening? Well, here’s another way you can help the planet and get your community on board! Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) is partnering with the Mayor’s Cleaner, Greener Baltimore Initiative to offer grants to community organizations, Community Relations Councils, and neighborhood umbrella groups who want to get the word out about Baltimore City’s recycling program.



The City of Baltimore anticipates that significant education and outreach will need to be done to help residents take advantage of recycling opportunities, including the proposed One Plus One solid waste pick-up schedule of one day a week trash collection plus one day a week recycling collection.

Goals of this grant are to:

• Get more people recycling through neighborhood driven efforts

• Find out how many more people are recycling as a result of the neighborhood driven efforts

• Get people comfortable with recycling

• Provide recycling education to residents

• Provide accessibility to recycling bins if necessary

If you have a great idea for getting your neighborhood engaged in recycling, contact Aisha Samples, Program Assistant at BCF, at asamples@bcf.org or 410-332-4172 ext. 145. But hurry! The deadline for initial applications is Monday, April 6.

Interested in doing more to promote recycling in your community? Here are some more ways you can make a difference:

• Identify up to 5 households in your community who do not recycle who would be willing to try with the help of a “recycling coach”. Contact Hope Williams at hope.williams@baltimorecity.gov if you are interested in doing this;

• Discuss recycling at your community association meetings and include information about recycling in communications with your community. Recycling literature is available from the Initiative;

• Talk to neighborhood stores about being a bin sales site. Interested stores should contact Hope Williams;

• Sell recycling bins. BCF has a loan fund available for community groups that would like to purchase a large quantity of recycling bins to make it easier for your residents to purchase the bins.



Making Connections: Success Academy and Charles Village

By John Bernet, GHCC Community Connections Coordinator/AmeriCorps VISTA

On Saturday, March 22nd, students from Success Academy in Baltimore City came out for a volunteer clean-up day at St. John’s United Methodist Church on the corner of 26th and St. Paul Street. Over the course of two very productive hours, they cleaned out the garden and trimmed back the ivy along the front of the building and raked the side yards, making it look beautiful just in time for Spring to begin! They were joined by Pam and Christian Wilson from the Peabody Heights Resident Homeowners Alliance and Mrs. Carol Berman from the St. John’s congregation, all of whom helped to coordinate the effort with Success Academy Principal Kevin Brooks. Following their time working outside, the students got a tour of the building and a run-down of all the wonderful services and programs the church provides. This was the first day of a two-part project, the second to occur around the week of Earth Day. Thanks to all the great students from Success Academy who participated, and the Wilsons and Mrs. Berman for providing lunch and an opportunity to see and learn about a very active local church! This volunteer effort also marks the beginning of an active partnership between Success Academy and the surrounding communities that will see lots of volunteer and enrichment opportunities for the students. Success Academy, an alternative school for city students on long-term suspension and expulsion, is located on the ground floor of Baltimore City Schools headquarters at 200 E. North Avenue.