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The Vital Community Connectors, a coalition of more than 18 nonprofit community organizations in St. Mary's County, is hosting its second forum on Monday, March 11, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Building 2 of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center at 44219 Airport Road in California.

The coalition was formed to raise public awareness about the importance to the St. Mary's community of continued public funding for nonprofit agencies and organizations in St. Mary's County.

The forum will present an overview of the economic importance of the nonprofits, followed by testimony from program recipients, volunteers and others from the community about the importance of the services and programs offered by organizations to the people of St. Mary's County, and the impact they have on the community's quality of life.

The meeting will end with a discussion, questions and comments from the participants. The forum will also include exhibits hosted by various organizations.

Joe Anderson, spokesman for the VCC, said many of the nonprofit groups rely on grants that require local government support as a prerequisite for award. He said such grants bring $8.7 million to the community.

Every dollar invested by St. Mary's County government in these organizations provides a return of more than $23 directly related to the value of services and programs, he said.

Anderson said that the groups in the coalition involve 25,000 volunteers serving more than 64,000 county residents. Those served vary from concert attendees, to wounded warriors, to substance abusers, to providers of higher education, he said.

For more information about the VCC or the forum, contact Anderson at 301-481-6350 or joea3652@gmail.com.