A History of Worcester County G.O.L.D., Inc. (Giving Other Lives Dignity)
In November of 1996 a Needs Assessment was conducted by the Worcester County Department of Social Services, which determined a gap in emergency services for the citizens of Worcester County; especially since most Lower Shore charity funding was disbursed through regional organizations located in Salisbury. It was felt that a county-wide effort needed to be in place to provide a better safety net for local citizens with emergency needs. With this need in mind, Worcester County Family Services, Inc. was formed to provide aid for children in foster care.
In 1997, the original founders and Board of Directors included Raymond R. Jarvis, III, Esq., Paula M. Erdie, and Richard M. Stegmaier. Articles of Incorporation were submitted and approved by the State of Maryland in May of 1997. After having a “new name contest,” Worcester County Family Services, Inc. changed its name to Worcester County G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity), Inc. After changing the name and submitting an application to the IRS, G.O.L.D. was granted a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status by the IRS in July of 1997.
In G.O.L.D.’s first year, special projects were developed to help provide school supplies, holiday assistance, Easter Baskets, and items to meet basic needs for children in foster care. Community appeal letters requested local donations. G.O.L.D. began to build an emergency fund, called the Rainbow Fund, to address daily needs such as food, medicine, housing and utilities. G.O.L.D. grew to provide a safety net to meet emergency needs for local citizens; promoting the welfare of children in foster care, families in crisis, and vulnerable adults in Worcester County, Maryland.
In 2008, Worcester County G.O.L.D. received the distinction of Standards for Excellence from Maryland Nonprofits. The Standards for Excellence certification program improves the quality of governance and management, strengthens accountability, and promotes ethical conduct through education and peer review of nonprofit organizations’ governance, management, and ethical standards. Nonprofit organizations must comply with applicable local, state and federal laws. G.O.L.D. was re-certified for Standards for Excellence in 2012 for a five-year period.
In April 2018, Worcester County G.O.L.D., Inc. applied for the Maryland Trade Name of Worcester County GOLD to simplify its name. The Trade Name was granted, effective in April 2018.
Today, GOLD provides vital emergency funding assistance and items to meet basic needs for well over 2,500 adults and children annually. Special programs include School Supplies for Students, Thanksgiving Turkey Meals, and Helping Hands for the Holidays.
Due to low overhead costs, 92% of every dollar received goes directly to provide emergency assistance and items to meet basic needs for Worcester County residents in times of crisis.