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.
Jolene Philo's first child, Allen, was born with a life-threatening birth defect that required 7 surgeries from birth to age 5. The first occurred when he was 12 hours old, landing him in the NICU for 3 weeks. As literally hundreds of medical tests and procedures were performed on her son, Jolene was told, "Don't worry - babies don't feel any pain" and "he'll never remember these surgeries and hospital visits when he's older."
But in adolescence, Allen seemed to become two different kids. At times, Allen was "the curious, talented, happy son he'd been when he was younger," Philo reported. "But at other times, he became a secretive, self-destructive teenager who sometimes just 'ran away.'" Because Allen remained highly successful in school, teachers, counselors and therapists brushed aside the Philos' concerns.
The pattern of running away continued until Allen was 26, and he asked his parents for help. Within a week of meeting with counselors and therapists at a cutting-edge outpatient clinic in Morgantown, WV, Allen was diagnosed with PTSD. Although he had not realized what was causing his self-destructive behavior, he told his mother, "For the first time in my life, I'm not looking over my shoulder, waiting for them to take me back to surgery."
Jay and Angie Jacobs know firsthand the challenges that come with foster parenting. The interrupted routine, lack of sleep and reduction in quiet times.
"But those pale in comparison when you can see a light bulb go off in a child's eyes when they learn something new, or you can see the love that they have for us and for our girls, it makes it worth it," says Angie. "We've been blessed beyond measure with the children we've had."
The Jacobs family first welcomed two foster children into their home seven years ago. Since then, they've taken care of 15 foster children -- some stays lasted only a night, while others were more than two years.
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.
FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Child abuse costs nations worldwide billions of dollars a year, experts report.
In high-income nations, the median cost of child abuse equals a loss of 1.2 percent of per capita income, or $150 billion a year in the United States. The estimated cost in China -- a middle-income country -- is $50 billion a year, the experts added.
In East Asia and the Pacific, the cost of emotional child abuse alone is more than $48 billion a year, the researchers said.
The findings, from an international panel of experts, were to be presented Feb. 12 at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.
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:
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...
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...
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...
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.