Covid-19 Update & Flooding: With the spread of Covid-19, The Blue Ribbon Project is following guidance from our local and state government and will be postponing all Volunteer events until further notice. In addition to this, The Blue Ribbon Project recently experienced a significant flood to the lower floor of our building. Repairs are being made, however, this has made some of our rooms inaccessible. Mirah's Closet and other portions of The Blue Ribbon Project are OPEN by appointment.
Taylor Pyles is a child abuse survivor and the founder of 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.
CHESTERTOWN — Children who are entering foster care in Kent County due to abuse or neglect will have belongings to call their own, thanks to the Backpacks of Love program.
Tom “Taylor” Pyles, a detective with the Annapolis Police Department and founder of the nonprofit The Blue Ribbon Project, gave a presentation Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the Kent County circuit courtroom.
The Blue Ribbon Project serves abused and neglected children, as well as foster youth, in various counties and communities across the state of Maryland. The above counties marked in blue are counties in which we are currently active. The counties highlighted in red are counties in which we are working with county agencies and will be launching soon in that county.
Currently, we serve:
We are expanding to other counties in Maryland (and beyond). If you would like to see our programs offered in your county, please contact us. In order for our programs to be successful, it takes a partnership between us, The Department of Social Services in that particular county, and oftentimes various law enforcement agencies. With these partnerships, we can continue to grow and serve these youth.
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...
Mirah's Closet: Mirah's Closet, a Foster Closet Program offered by The Blue Ribbon Project, provides FREE clothing and other essential items to children who are in foster care. We provide school uniforms, play clothes, pajamas, new underwear, outer clothing, and seasonal items such as coats and bathing suits. We also work to fill other needs of youth in foster care (such as housewares for youth aging out of the foster care system and moving out on their own). All of the items offered by Mirah's closet are mostly new items with the exception of some gently used items. Mirah's Closet provides each family a one on one, boutique style shopping experience where the foster child has a choice in what they would like to keep. 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...
FosterLink: In it's continuing mission to support foster youth, we have launched a separate website called FosterLink. FosterLink is an on-line community comprised of foster youth, former foster youth, as well as various professionals from the community. You'll find a wealth of information and resource articles on a variety of personal topics. Read More...
We are frequently asked what items we are in need of. Below is a list of individual items that are needed to complete some Backpacks of Love we have on hand. Further down the page, you will find a list of Backpacks of Love that are needed to keep us stocked.
For those that prefer to conveniently shop on-line and have items shipped directly to The Blue Ribbon Project, please consider purchasing off our Amazon Backpacks of Love Wish List
More and more of our donations have been backpacks that are fully stocked and ready to go. One of the top questions we receive is "What age groups are you in most need of?" To address this, we've created a chart that shows, more or less, an inventory of what's needed to be fully stocked. Even if we are "fully stocked" on a particular age and gender, we'll still accept them as they will eventually be needed when the time comes. This chart covers backpacks needed to serve several counties and does not include very recent donations at haven't been checked. As more counties and communities come on board, these numbers will fluctuate. Please check back regularly for updates. This chart is designed more for individuals who would like to build own backpacks and donate the entire backpack.
|Age/Gender||# of Backpacks Needed|
|Boys 0-6 Months Old||5|
|Girls 0-6 Months Old||5|
|Boys 6-12 Months Old||3|
|Girls 6-12 Months Old||8|
|Boys 12-18 Months Old||4|
|Girls 12-18 Months Old||3|
|Boys 18-24 Months Old||5|
|Girls 18-24 Months Old||5|
|Boys 2-3 Years Old
|Girls 2-3 Years Old
|Boys 3-4 Years Old||5|
|Girls 3-4 Years Old||4|
|Boys 4-5 Years Old||4|
|Girls 4-5 Years Old||6|
|Boys 5-6 Years Old||5|
|Girls 5-6 Years Old||5|
|Boys 6-7 Years Old||5|
|Girls 6-7 Years Old||6|
|Boys 7-8 Years Old||7|
|Girls 7-8 Years Old||6|
|Boys 8-9 Years Old||5|
|Girls 8-9 Years Old||4|
|Boys 9-10 Years Old||5
|Girls 9-10 Years Old||FULLY STOCKED|
|Boys 10-11 Years Old||FULLY STOCKED|
|Girls 10-11 Years Old||FULLY STOCKED|
|Boys 11-12 Years Old||FULLY STOCKED|
|Girls 11-12 Years Old||4|
|Boys 12-13 Years Old||3|
|Girls 12-13 Years Old||5|
|Boys 13-14 Years Old||3|
|Girls 13-14 Years Old||4|
|Boys 14-15 Years Old||5|
|Girls 14-15 Years Old||3|
|Boys 15-17 Years Old||7|
|Girls 15-17 Years Old||10|
Kim Hartlove is the Program Coordinator for The Blue Ribbon Project's Aging Up...Not Out program. Kim has been the project coordinator for the A.L.E.R.T. program with the Annapolis Police Department since 2013. Currently enrolled in University of Maryland University College, she is majoring in Communications Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies. She has almost 20 years’ experience as an educator having worked with students of all different learning levels since 1996. Her most recent experience working with youth was assisting learning disabled middle school students where she worked for 7 years. Helping students succeed has always been a passion and priority to Kim. She has been a lifelong Maryland resident where she still currently lives with husband and family.
A core belief of The Blue Ribbon Project is that all foster youth should be given a chance to succeed in life. Upon speaking with foster youth directly, a major concern that is expressed is the ability to find employment. Additionally, research shows that young people in foster care are far more likely to endure homelessness, poverty, compromised health, unemployment and incarceration after they leave the foster care system.
If you were to think back on your most memorable childhood moments, what would they be? Swimming with friends? Riding a bicycle? Scoring the winning goal in a soccer came? Now, put yourself in the shoes of an abused child and imagine what his or her most memorable moments would be. Frightening, isn't it?
Our Local Resources Section is dedicated to local resources that work with child abuse and neglect victims, as well as those that work with adult survivors of child abuse. We want visitors to our website to find the help they need, no matter where they are located. These listings can include anything from Child Advocacy Centers to Drug Addiction and Counseling. Our directory is only open to those businesses and resources that meet this criteria. It is 100% Free to be listed within our directory.
|Arizona (AZ)||888-SOS-CHILD, (888-767-2445)|
|Connecticut (CT)||800-842-2288, 800-624-5518 (TDD/hearing impaired)|
|Florida (FL)||800-96-ABUSE, (800-962-2873)|
|Illinois (IL)||800-252-2873, (From out of State, call 217-524-2606)|
|New Hampshire (NH)||800-894-5533|
|New Jersey (NJ)||800-792-8610, 800-835-5510 (TDD/hearing impaired)|
|New Mexico (NM)||800-797-3260|
|New York (NY)||800-342-3720|
|North Carolina (NC)||Contact the appropriate County Department of Social Services for the number for Child Protective Services.|
|North Dakota (ND)||800-245-3736|
|Oregon (OR)||800-854-3508, ext. 2402|
|Rhode Island (RI)||800-RI-CHILD, (800-742-4453)|
|West Virginia (WV)||800-352-6513|