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.
The term 'aging out' is used to refer to children within the state foster care system who are still in the system upon reaching the age of eighteen, twenty-one or have graduated from high school. These children have not found permanency with an adoptive family or reunification with their birth family before aging out. The age varies from state to state. Some states have extended services beyond the age of eighteen due to so many children not being ready to be out on their own at such a young age. How do you prepare these children for life...?
The Blue Ribbon Project has developed a program that allows you to create a Personal Campaign Page. As word about The Blue Ribbon Project began to spread, more and more people came forward saying they wanted to help. Quite a few friends asked how they could help raise money through their organization and it was suggested that we offer the ability to create a personalized page for each group.
You can now create a "Personal Campaign Page" where a group, family, or organization can directly impact the life of these kids. Your page is completely customizable in how you want it to look. Whether it's running in a marathon, celebrating a birthday, honoring a loved one or organizing a trivia night, you can start your own fundraising campaign that supports The Blue Ribbon Project.
Your page can be set up in just a few easy steps:
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Celebrate weddings, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries or any other special day
Ask your friends and family for contributions to your campaign in lieu of gifts.
Honor a loved one
Friends and family can visit, share stories and make memorial contributions in support of our cause.
Run, walk, cycle or swim in your favorite event
Register for any endurance event anywhere and create an online campaign here to support our cause.
Create your own fundraiser
Set up a lemonade stand, a car wash, dinner with friends, trivia night. Turn your favorite fun activities into fundraisers. Our staff can also work directly with you in getting a page set up.
My husband and I became foster parents in 2008 in hopes of adopting a child. After a few months of getting no placement calls, we decided to increase our licensing to allow up to two children. Within days, we were informed that we were being considered for placement of twin newborn babies! My famous last words to my husband were, "How much harder can two babies be than one?"
Taken from his home at eight years old, Detective Tom Pyles knows what foster care is like from both sides. As a police officer, he is sometimes involved in the removal of kids from their homes. He knows...Read Full Story
Backpacks of Love featured in Jaime Costello's 2 Good 2 Be True series.
Recorded News Story from WBAL-Baltimore that talks about Backpacks of Love
Capital Gazette Newspaper:
1:22 p.m. EST, January 23, 2015
Tom Pyles opens the backpack and places the items inside out on the table.
Toothbrush. Clothes. A green and yellow plush frog.
Pyles , a detective with the Annapolis Police Department knows the comfort that the items can bring a child when they've been unexpectedly uprooted and placed into foster care. At 8-years-old, Pyles found himself in that exact situation.
Now 41, Pyles is the founder of the Blue Ribbon Project an organization dedicated to helping the adult victims of child abuse and those that grew up in foster care. Pyles, a product of foster care, was looking over for a way to help kids entering the system.
Over the past several weeks he has been collecting donations for the project's "Backpacks of Love" program. The 10-year police veteran now has about 20 backpacks ready for children entering the system, as well as a stockpile of donated items.
Read the whole story about The Blue Ribbon Project at The Capital Gazette website.
The reality of our world is child abuse will likely never be completely eliminated. While we wish this were true, it is an uphill battle. There is a staggering number of substantiated cases in the United States each year. Additionally, adult survivors of child abuse will be affected over the course of their entire life. The effects of child abuse do not end once one becomes and adult. From drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, PTSD, suicide, continuing the cycle...the list goes on. Our vision is to prevent as much as we can through several outreach programs and bring those numbers down. We teach education and prevention...the more people that are aware and cognizant of child abuse, the more we can get the numbers down. The Blue Ribbon Project offers a variety of programs to serve abused and neglected youth in our community. From early intervention with various awareness programs and presenations, to programs serving youth currently in foster care, to programs assisting adult survivors of abuse.
One of the best tools in fighting child abuse is having the ability to recognize it when it's occurring. In our Speak Up...Speak Out program, the signs of abuse and neglect are discussed and case studies are provided. Please note this presentation shows the true realities of child abuse and there are graphic images that are included with the presentation. In this program, we will discuss the signs of abuse and what to be on the lookout for, what to do when you suspect abuse, disclosures, supporting the child, as well as mandated reporting in Maryland. We will also speak about foster care and the long term effects of child abuse and neglect.
It should be noted the second half of this program discusses investigations and pattern of injury and is graphic in nature. Our task is not to offend you but to show the realities of abuse within our own communities. Taylor will also discuss his own childhood and how he was placed into care. This presentation is an excellent program and is a real eye opener intended for adults only. This program is used in the training and teaching of law enforcement officers, fire fighters, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Foster Parents, Teachers, among others. We also cover Mandated Reporting in the State of Maryland. CEU's will be provided for those who require them. Seating is limited in each of our classes and registration is required. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided This is a free program with no cost to you (but donations are always welcome).
This program is offered publicly at our facility in Crownsville as well as private training through various agencies and organizations. Please Contact Us to make arrangements or to learn more about his program.