Help us build a better Baltimore
by Sarah Breitenbach
So far 2013 has been a banner year for our construction training program, Project JumpStart. In just six short months we’ve marked some pretty significant milestones including the expansion of JumpStart to Baltimore’s west side, a graduation celebration for of our 20th class, and a new partnership with developers and the University of Maryland BioPark.
These achievements are huge feats for our seven-year-old program, which is designed to move Baltimore residents out of poverty and into high-wage jobs in the construction trades. Many of the people who come to our program are looking for a route out of low-skill, low-wage employment so they can support their families and be contributing members of our city society.
We’re always proud of our students, but our pride has been amplified this year by generous support from our partners, educators and the many, many folks who donated to JumpStart. In just a few short months our supporters have helped us raise nearly $5,000 through our first-ever online giving campaign.
The response to our effort to supply all of our grads with starter sets of tools has been overwhelming and we are grateful that our fledgling foray into online development has gone so well. Our fundraising goal, which we’ve tackled with the help of GiveCorps, is about 90 percent funded.
We’re hoping to finish strong and are confident we can meet our goal before the project expires this weekend. Our online donation site will be live through Sunday, June 30, so if you would still like to contribute, there’s plenty of time left.
Graduates from Project JumpStart’s first class in west Baltimore pose with their certificates on June 25, 2013.
However, if you’re on the fence about whether you should spend your dollars with JOTF and our programs, here are a few reasons to consider supporting Project JumpStart:
1. The expense: It costs roughly $5,000 to $6,000 to put each student through our class. This includes instruction costs, supplies, drivers’ education, and more. We are a small organization and every little bit helps us train and educate more people.
2. Our students are dedicated: The men and women in our program are committed to making a positive change for themselves and their families. During our first-ever west side class in the Mondawmin neighborhood, one dedicated student repeatedly made the trek from Baltimore’s east side on foot because he did not have another transportation option.
3. Your donation helps build a better Baltimore: Supporting JumpStart directly supports Baltimore residents who are searching for the skills they need to land high-wage jobs. Once these students finish their training and earn jobs in the construction trades they can become productive residents of our city -- paying back debts, contributing to the tax base, and providing for their families.
We hope you will make a donation today.