The Blue Ribbon Project

 The Blue Ribbon Project is a 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization based in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. We are committed to both the prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and as a support network for survivors of Child Abuse, Foster Care, and Child Sexual Assault.

We offer several programs that directly serve abused and neglected children, raise public awareness about child abuse, and programs serving adult survivors of child abuse. 

Ways to Help

There are many ways you can help and support our Backpacks of Love program.  We can use every little bit of help in creating and filling these backpacks. Here are just a few of the ways a person or organization can help support the project.

  • Shop for Necessities: While shopping at the grocery store,  pick up an essential or two from the list. Even the smallest of items will make it into a backpack and make a world of difference. One does not have to donate an entire backpack, nor does there have to be a large financial donation.  Once you have purchased a few items, place them in a bag and drop them off at any of the drop off locations. Please take a look at our What's in a Backpack page to see what necessities are included in backpacks.

  • Purchase a backpack and fill it with love: What most of our donors have been doing (and is working very well) is to get an age appropriate backpack. Begin filling this backpack for a child of that age and gender.  For example, a smaller pink backpack would be appropriate for a younger girl. In here, you might include a child's toothbrush (in girl's colors) and children's toothpaste. A book for a younger girl such as a coloring book and crayons. A plush toy for a girl of that age.  Perhaps a few pairs of underwear made for a girl of that age as well as pajamas and socks. You may also include an outfit should she need a change of clothes (and yes, shopping for age can be nearly impossible). Please feel free to add a few items that are not on the list. Then drop off your backpacks at any of our convenient drop off locations. If you wish to create a pack and are not sure what is needed, please take a look at our What's in a Backpack page.
  • Make a donation and have a backpack purchased and filled on your behalf: The average cost of a backpack can run between $30 and $50, however, this cost can fluctuate depending on age and amount of donated items. Please feel free to make a financial donation for us to purchase and fill a backpack on your behalf. On our Donation Page, you will find a comments section. Here, you can specify the age and gender of the pack you would like for us to fill (or leave it up to us based on needs). This is a great option for those that are not local but wish to help as well as those that are too busy (or too far) to shop and drop off a backpack. 

  • Rally your Troops: Organize your business, church group, social group, school, or community organization to assemble backpacks. This is a great project for family based organizations and supporters of children. If you wish, we can come to your organization to speak about the program and present sample backpacks.  We have presented the program to several church groups and community associations and we'd be more than happy to speak at yours. This is a great way to get the word out, support the program, and bring attention to the prevention of child abuse.

  • Shop our Amazon Wish List: A few folks have suggested a great idea for those that want to support the Backpacks of Love program but do not live near the drop off points. We have created an Amazon Wish List that lists several of the items that are needed. It's a great way to purchase the items, get them shipped and then placed into an age appropriate backpack. This list is not all inclusive and will change based on needs...Please check our Amazon Wish List for more information
  • Make a Financial Contribution: The Blue Ribbon Project is a non-profit  501(c)(3) charitable organization. 100% of your donation goes to supporting these children being placed into care and your donation is tax deductible. We are a 100% volunteer organization so there are no paychecks going out. Our space is donated so there is no rent to be paid. There is nothing more frustrating then donating to an organization just to learn that only a small percentage went to the cause you were supporting. If you donate $50.00, that is $50.00 in necessities and backpacks. If you wish to make a financial contribution to support our programs, you can  visit our GoFundMe Page. You can also donate by credit card or paypal right here on our website by visiting our Donation Page.  The Blue Ribbon Project has applied to be an 501(c)(3) and our status is pending.

Please remember YOU are a part of The Blue Ribbon Project and make these things possible. Please share any ideas and suggestions you may have. We welcome these suggestions.

Taylor Pyles

Tom "Taylor" Pyles is a child abuse survivor and the founder The Blue Ribbon Project. He has been a police officer with Annapolis Police Department for over a decade and is assigned as a Detective in the Criminal Investigations Section.  When not working, you'll find him spending time with his family and out enjoying the countryside on two wheels. 

Our Programs

In support of child victims of Child Abuse and adult Survivors of Child Abuse, The Blue Ribbon Project offers a variety of programs that directly impact the community. These programs include:

Aging Up...Not Out:  This program supports older foster youth as they are preparing for life on their own and will be leaving the foster care system. This program offers a variety of life skills topics that include such things as managing finances, purchasing a vehicle, finding housing, applying for and interviewing for employment, as well as other life skills. These courses are free to foster youth aged 14 and above. Seating is limited and registration is required for each program. Read more... 

Backpacks of Love: This program supports victims of child abuse and neglect the moment they are being removed from a dangerous enviroment. Oftentimes, the child is lacking the very basic essentials such as a toothbrush/toothpaste, a change of clothes, etc. The moment a child is removed, The Blue Ribbon Project is notified by Department of Social Services, the Police, or the foster parent receiving the child. A backpack containing those essentials is delivered directly to the child. This gets them through the first few days of care. Read more...

Foster Friends:The Foster Friends Program helps children in care explore extra curricular activities and provides opportunities not normally afforded to them. If a foster child wishes to participate in programs such as soccer, Taekwondo, play a music instrument, take ballet, or other activities, The Blue Ribbon Project will sponsor the child and help enroll and pay for the child to participate. Read more...

Speak Up...Speak Out:  One of the best ways to fight child abuse is the prevention of abuse and neglect. The Blue Ribbon Project has several speakers from a variety of backgrounds to discuss the topic of child abuse. From law enforcement investigators that speak about recognition of abuse to adult survivors of abuse who share their stories. Read more... 

JobConnect: This program helps connect foster youth with prospective employers by assisting with employment searches, job applications, and working with both the youth and the employer. It helps older foster youth get a fresh start in the job market to master the important skills needed in life. Read More...

Members & Volunteers

Upcoming Events

 March 24th 2:00pm to 4:00pm: Volunteer Day: A day when volunteers come in to help sort donations and build Backpacks of Love More Info

 April 14th 2:00pm to 4:00pm: Volunteer Day: A day when volunteers come in to help sort donations and build Backpacks of Love More Info

April 28th 11:00am to 4:00pm: Blue Ribbon Project 3rd Annual Open House: Join us for our 3rd Annual Open House in Crownsville  More Info

 May 1st 5:00pm until 9:00pm; Speak Up...Speak Out Child Abuse Awareness Training-Anne Arundel Medical Center More Info



Join The Blue Ribbon Project Leadership Team

leadership team

The Blue Ribbon Project is currently seeking interested and dedicated individuals who are looking to become a part of our "Leadership Team" to work with our Backpacks of Love Program. The Leadership Team is a collection of individuals who bring unique knowledge and skills which complement the mission of The Blue Ribbon Project and help move the organization forward.  To learn more about this great opportunity, please --CLICK HERE--.

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