NAIOP Maryland captured the national Community Service award in the “Large Chapter Size” category for its Community Service Project that benefited the Patterson Park Youth and Sports Education Center, which is part of the Living Classrooms Foundation. Accepting the award were (left to right), Brendan Gill, President, NAIOP Maryland; Tim O’Ferrall, NAIOP Maryland Executive Director; Kate Sanft, NAIOP Maryland Associate Director, and Vince Bagli, Jr., NAIOP Maryland President-Elect. The project, which was designed to assemble garden beds, construct tables and benches and perform other tasks including clean-up activities was postponed several days before the event due to unrest in Baltimore City.

After waiting several weeks for conditions to subside, NAIOP Maryland felt the confidence to move forward, recover and resurrect. “Our committee implemented a double-down approach,” explained Brendan Gill, with a second beneficiary group added. “We continued to work with Living Classrooms because of the foundation’s singular focus to help youth.”

The second beneficiary group was the Youth Empowered Society (YES!), which contains the City’s only “drop-in center” for homeless youth ages 14 to 25 to shelter as a safe haven, as well as providing essential items to live. NAIOP Maryland assembled and delivered 900 personal hygiene and food kits, as well as a financial donation.

A separate team of volunteers, comprising landscape architects, construction managers and real estate professionals, delivered on its promise to Living Classrooms Foundation and completed the original project at a later date.