All women deserve a shout-out during National Women’s Month, but here are several who are doing their part for their communities:

Shelley Downie — Volunteer at the Chesapeake Food Pantry

“I started doing a lot of community work in college through my sorority, Delta Zeta. We would participate in community street clean-ups in Frostburg and volunteer at nursing homes. Shortly after moving back home, I began attending Chesapeake Church, which helped me to be more involved with the community right here in Calvert. I began volunteering at the Food Pantry, then later decided to also help teach children’s classes at the Church. After that, I would sign up for all of their awesome events like Oil Change Day and Firewood for Families. Honestly, I just feel moved to do these things and learn some much from it. My goal is just to spread God’s love and light to whoever I can, wherever I can. I am grateful for any opportunity to help.”

Partice Matthews — Unit Secretary at the Charlotte Hall Veteran’s Home

“I face plenty of different difficult times. I try not to let things get the best of me. Sometimes I must step away and take a breather. It’s best to walk away and when you are calm and in a better place go back and try to revisit and fix the situation. To give back to our community I work at a veteran’s home. I enjoy serving those who have served our country.”

Lori Ann Hony — Executive Director of Project Echo homeless shelter

“I began my service in January 1993 [and] became shelter manager in 1995. I have now the position of Executive Director. I knew I wanted to give back to the community and help people in need. Over the last 27 years the residents have helped me grow as a person. They have had an impact on me as much as I hope I have on them. I feel blessed for all I have knowing so many in this world have less.”

Mikaela Clark — Tikkun Olam member, children’s advocate, public services librarian at the Calvert Library

“I began community work as a little sister to a Boy Scout in the early 1980s. My family has always participated in Tikkun Olam doing our part to repair the world. In college I became a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children; that is probably where I developed a passion for digging in and helping people when they are at low points in their lives. I have lived an extremely fortunate life and I give back simply because I can. I believe we are all better when we help each other.”

Elizabeth Anne Yourishin — Corporate Training Coordinator at the Melwood Horticultural Training Center

“I began volunteering incredibly young but really hit my stride the summer before starting my freshman year of high school. Within two minutes I was hooked on the feeling of helping others. I have found my passion in life is to help serve others.”

Suzanne Tarlton McAlexander — 30 year teacher at the Tidewater School, retired

“My volunteer book began when I was a student at the University of Kansas and continued with our children and their schools. I taught at Tidewater School for many years and now enjoy time with my grandchildren. I plan to continue work to benefit children, parent education and will see what else.”

Erica Gunther Linville — Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

“I began counseling around nine years ago. I have always had a desire to help people, and I love how the counseling relationship can be so impactful during difficult life transitions.”

Oneyda Bollo — Entrepreneur

“About five years ago, my husband and I started designing and rehabbing distressed homes throughout northern Calvert County. Our vision has been to bring great design and unique homes to our community. One house at a time. It was then when Design and Installation Group was born. We take great pride in our work. For the last 10 years, I have been Interior Designer for an internationally known interior design firm. It was there where my passion for design and people developed to where it is today. I have designed many homes around the world for celebrities, royal families, prestigious government people and small and large families. I have learned so much about many cultures, architecture, different up-bringings and lifestyles. All these experiences have helped me become the designer I am today. I am excited for the opportunity to bring some of those things to Calvert residences. For the last five years. D&I Group has created beautiful homes for military families, older couples looking to downsize and younger families looking to start a family.”

This report was submitted by

Belinda Green of BB Jaxson Photography.

This report was submitted by Belinda Green of BB Jaxson Photography.