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Family Connections Awarded $25,000 Partnership Prize

The Family Connections program of Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, (WYFCS), was awarded a $25,000 Partnership Prize at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore’s 25th Anniversary Jubilee on May 8th.

This special award, developed by the Community Foundation as a part of its 25th year of service to the region, was made to encourage collaboration among nonprofit organizations serving Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore.

Community Foundation President Spicer Bell announced the award noting, “The Family Connections program is an excellent example of how independent nonprofit and public service agencies can work together to significantly enhance their impact while maximizing available human and financial resources.”

Accepting the award was Teresa Fields, WYFCS Executive Director. Fields said, "We are truly grateful to the Community Foundation because this will allow us to take our current partnerships to a whole new level. Our motto is, 'Healing hearts, creating hope and changing lives' and this award will give us the opportunity to expand our range of services to the families we serve," Fields added.

WYFCS has about 50 community partners that work closely with the agency to better the lives of youth and families in Worcester County. Partners include local businesses, the faith-based community, civic organizations, many other nonprofit service organizations and public agencies such as the Worcester County Board of Education and law enforcement.

Nonprofit organizations from throughout the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland competed for the Partnership Prize. A condition of the $25,000 award is that it must be used for charitable purposes to improve the community.

Fields said the financial award would be put to very good use. She said the funds will help expand the Berlin Community Service Center that serves Northern Worcester County. When the renovations and expansion are completed WYFCS will be able to provide additional services such as adult education classes, short term day care, health and fitness classes and expand the agency’s after school and summer school programs.

The award was funded through the Community Foundation’s Community Initiative Program. By making the award the Foundation seeks to inspire local nonprofit leaders to collaborate with other organizations that would typically compete for resources, or work independently with clients, sometimes resulting in overlapping services or inefficient use of resources.

The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore is the largest non-governmental source of support for nonprofit organizations in the Maryland lower shore counties of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester. Gifts to the Community Foundation, a public charity, create permanent endowment funds that steadily grow in value over time and produce income for grants to local charitable nonprofit organizations.

Since its founding in 1984, the Community Foundation has made almost 14,000 grants representing $35 million in distributions to charitable causes in the community.

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