New nonprofit Silver Spring Cares officially launched

Heather Foley (center), director of Silver Spring Cares, and founder Liz Brent (right) talk with a guest at the launch party. Photo by Mike Diegel.

Silver Spring Cares, a new local nonprofit organization, officially launched yesterday with a party at Kaldi’s Social House.

Founded by Liz Brent, a local real estate agent, the group’s mission statement is “Silver Spring Cares works to strengthen the Silver Spring community through the power of connection.”

“We want to be the destination for information on community needs and opportunities for service between all the wonderful Silver Spring and Takoma Park nonprofits and everybody in the community,” Brent said in an interview.

Brent said that over the past few years, people have contacted her, asking how they could help with various situations and she realized that she could play a larger role in the community.

“I’ve been thinking about, over the past couple of years, what that role should be,” she said.

She talked with Councilmember Tom Hucker (D-District 5) and some county staff members such as Mary Anderson with the county’s Health and Human Services Department about what kinds of needs existed in the area.

“There’s a tremendous number of organization doing excellent work in this area, and I think that . . . people aren’t as aware as they could be of all these organizations,” Brent said.

So about six months ago, she began working on a website that, among other things, would list those organizations. The website currently includes links to 17 local nonprofits’ sites, and they are actively looking for others to include.

The current legal setup of Silver Spring Cares limits them in some ways, Brent said, and they’re looking at how the organization can provide additional services.

To help with that goal, she brought in Heather Foley as director about four months ago to give the project more attention than Brent was able to devote to it.

Foley, who has a master’s degree in nonprofit business, has served on a number of nonprofit boards and brings that experience to Silver Spring Cares.

“It’s so exciting because you have so much need in this community,” Foley said during the launch. “And you also have so much wealth and heart and really what we are missing is that connection.

“We need to start taking care of each other,” she continued, “and if we can take care of our neighbor, the we can take care of ourselves. And if we can make that connection that much easier, whether you’re 12, whether you’re 45, whether you’re 65 or 99, then this is place that’s going to make that happen.”

Guests enjoying the party. Photo by Mike Diegel.

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