MCCN (Catrina Sally): The Noodles and Company benefit is designed to raise funds for the Hand in Hand program of Baltimore, MD. Can you please share some information about the program with us?
JESSICA: Hand in Hand partners with young men who have been charged as adults while under the age of 18. We provide the young men with case management, mental health, academic enrichment and mentoring services while they are detained and upon release. At Hand in Hand we believe that once young people are self-confident and mentally stable committing crime and spending time in a jail cell will no longer be an option to them.
How did the The Noodles and Company partnership with Hand in Hand develop?
JESSICA: Well we originally asked Noodles and Company to donated a gift card and after telling them about Hand in Hand they decided to invite Hand in Hand to host a benefit night and the date we chose was the 2 year anniversary of the inception of Hand in Hand.
What foods are on the menu?
JESSICA: Noodles, salads and Sandwiches from across the world. One of my favorite noodle dishes is anything Pad Thai.
Besides sponsorship by The Noodles Company of Towso, what other local food businesses are associated with Hand in Hand?
JESSICA: Hand in Hand has a very strong employment partnership with Joe Squared pizza ( 133 W. North Ave. and 30 Market Place Baltimore, MD 21201. I met with the owner of Joe's, Mr. Jospeh Edwardsen and told him about Hand in Hand. I asked him to "partner" with us by giving our students a chance to interview and eventually work at Joe's if they passed the interview and he agreed. I think Mr. Edwardsen is very forward thinking because he understands that young people need opportunities and they need positive support in order to create the life change from negative to positive. It is a lot to ask a young person who is used to one way of life to completely change their whole life plan but with business owners and mentors like Joe it is possible. Through partnerships with employers like Joe Hand in Hand has an 100% employment rate and a 0% re-conviction rate, our youth do want better for themselves.
How can someone become involved with the Hand in Hand program?
JESSICA: We are always looking for volunteers, they can either go to our website, www.handinhandbaltimore.org, email me ( Jessica Turral) directly at
, call my office at 410-889-5072 or stop by 2505 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Md 21218.
Any more information you would like to share with our readers?
JESSICA: I would like to personally invite everyone to attend our benefit and celebration of creating positive change in the lives of our youth. We hope to see everyone on September 14th from 6PM-9PM at the Noodles and Company in at 825 Goucher Blvd., Towson Maryland 21286.
I like to remind people that a little change can make a HUGE change whether we change the way we think about someone or support non-profits by donating a change, every small change adds to the huge change of making a better society for all.
Keep up with Hand in Hand on Facebook.