Officials from the Social Security Administration handed out checks yesterday totaling $118,000 to Baltimore nonprofit groups, which welcomed the windfall from contributions made by the federal agency's staff.
At a ceremony at Our Daily Bread, officials presented funds to the food pantry as well as to the House of Ruth, the American Red Cross' Central Maryland Chapter, My Sister's Place, the United Way of Central Maryland and 100 Black Men of Maryland.
Social Security officials said employees of the Woodlawn-based agency gave a record $1.2 million through their annual Combined Federal Campaign, more than $100,000 above last year's total.
More than $490,000 of that money - including the $118,000 - will go to charities in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard and Queen Anne's counties.
This year's campaign also marked the third consecutive year the SSA exceeded its million-dollar goal. More than 70 percent of SSA employees pledged for the campaign.
"This campaign allows us to show our support for this community," said Paul Van der Water, chairman of the 2001 campaign.
The remaining $710,000 will go to other national and international charities, campaign literature indicates.
"It's important that we continue this momentum," Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said during the ceremony. "We need to help people that need help."
After accepting a check for $54,000, the most money received among local organizations, Our Daily Bread Director Jacki Coyle called it a "special day."
Our Daily Bread has served an additional 6,500 people since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, Coyle said.
To receive the money, charitable organizations apply to the campaign's local Federal Coordinating Committee.
To qualify for contributions, charities must meet accountability standards, including proving that their organization does not discriminate.
An organization also must prove that no more than 25 percent of the money it receives is spent on administration and overhead, said Vaughn Ouellette, a campaign official.
More than 25,000 local and national organizations applied to receive the awards.
SSA employees designated which charitable organizations they wanted to receive the money.