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Here's the latest info about local resources, workshops & other events to support you on the journey to living the life you envision. 
August, 2018
In this Issue:

Back to School on A Budget

In Maryland, the first day of the 2018-2019 school year for students is September 4, and that date will be here before you know it.  Get ready early and you will not only have less stress, you will also have more money!  Here are some tips to help you do it::

Make a List and Set a Budget.  Stick to your list when you shop so you don't impulse buy. Keep track of your spending on your phone’s calculator as you begin your shopping. Cross check your spending with your list and budget.

Shop Discount Stores.  Dollar stores often have big lots of colored pencils, crayons, markers, index cards, filler paper and more; but the trick is to get there early.  This is also true for clothing stores.  The early bird gets the shoes! (Or pants, or skirts...)

Buy in Bulk. Go in with other families to take advantage of volume discounts and sales at places like Staples and Costco.

Look for Deals.  Just about every store has some type of back to school deal, but you can really save when you shop the clearance racks.  It is probably spring or summer merchandise that didn't sell, but since Maryland weather typically stays warm well into October, no need to get sweaters, boots and jeans just yet. Many stores hold fall clearance sales to make room for holiday merchandise.  Another tip: Look in the back of the store for the sale racks.

Invest in Quality. Sometimes its better to spend a little more on heavily used items such as backpacks to avoid unexpected costs later in the school year. Jansport and Eastpak are known for their durability and they can often be found at discount stores.

Take Advantage of Tax Free Week. Make the most of every cent and avoid paying taxes during Maryland's tax-free shopping week.  Our week started yesterday, August 12 and continues through Saturday, August 18. See what's eligible in the article below.

These tips, along with local programs like the HDGHA School Supplies Collection and the Free Haircut Day  can really get the school year off to a good start. See dates and times for local events in The Freebie Report, and best wishes for back to school!

August Health Focus: 
The Eyes Have It

August is National Eye Exam Month, a perfect time to get those peepers checked out. 

Getting a vision exam is important for maintaining overall health since deteriorating vision can be an early indicator of other issues. Having regular examinations helps doctors to identify potential problems in their early stages.

Adults between the ages of 40-65  should have their vision checked every 2-4 years; and at 65+, every 1-2 years.  Some individuals may have a family history of eye disease or a chronic illness that can affect vision, so they may need to get their eyes checked more often. Annual eye exams are equally important.

Eye exams are important for kids, too. Healthy vision is essential to a child’s ability to learn and achieve their academic potential, as well as to play sports and other activities. A pediatrician will typically begin examining a child's eyes at six months. Around age 3-4, more detailed exams by an eye doctor are recommended to check for nearsightedness, farsightedness, 

and astigmatism; conditions that can be easily remedied with prescription glasses. An eye doctor can also spot a condition commonly known as “lazy eye."

Some general tips to help keep eyes healthy include:

  • Use a clean towel and water to wipe lids and help prevent infection
  • Do not share eye makeup, eye medication or glasses
  • Get a healthy amount of rest
  • Eat Vitamin A and proteins (nuts are perfect!)
  • Do not use sprays (i.e. hairspray) close to the eyes
  • When watching TV, using the computer and/or reading, be sure to have good lighting, take short breaks to rest the eyes and make sure the print is large and clear
  • Do not read in a moving vehicle or in bed
  • Use UV protected sunglasses
Blurred vision, eye irritation, red eyes, sensitivity to light and a burning sensation can occur when muscles in the eyes become weak.  Consult a doctor if you experience eye discomfort.  



Have Fun & Help Others this Friday

Join us this Friday, August 17th at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bel Air for a fun girls night out at this all new fundraiser which will benefit the programs and services of The SUCCESS Project.  One designer bag winner each round!  Tickets are $25 per person in advance/$30 per person at the door/Reserved Table of 10 - $250.  Admission includes a booklet of 20 games (3 cards per round) and a door prize ticket! For more info, go to
To purchase tickets, contact Carla at 410-939-2097 or

Keep Cool without Breaking the Bank 

August temperatures can be brutal.  Beat the heat without busting the budget with these ideas:
  1. Go Ice Skating: Ice World is offering half price admission on weekday sessions (12-2) every Wednesday in August.  Skate rental is free Thursdays in August from 12-2.
  2. Take A Dip: Conowingo Pool is only $4 per person after 4pm, and kids age 3 and younger are always free. Swimming by the Kilgore Falls at Rocks State Park is also free.
  3. Watch A Movie: AMC movie theater in Churchville has tickets starting at $3.99+tax (before 4pm).
  4. Get Cultural:  Admission is FREE to the Baltimore Museum of Art & Walters Art Museum.






The Scoop on Maryland's Tax Free Week

There's no better time to shop for back-to-school supplies than during Maryland Tax-Free Week which started yesterday, August 12th and continues through this Saturday, August 18th. It's also a good time to stock up on items for the rest of the family since sales tax is waived on everything from jeans and shorts to shoes and dresses for adults as well as kids.

Qualifying clothing and footwear that costs $100 or less per item is exempt from the 6% state sales tax. Accessory items are not included, with the exception of backpacks--the first $40 toward the cost of a backpack is tax-free.

Other items eligible for the tax free discount include school uniforms, shirts, shoes, flip-flops, athletic socks, underwear, caps/hats, bathing suits, gloves and mittens, pajamas and bathrobes, infant cloth diapers, adult diapers, orthopedic braces (for joints), golf clothes, bowling shoes and shirts, and martial arts and sports uniforms.  Not eligible are sports cleats, baseball and lacrosse gloves, football and lacrosse shoulder pads & lunchboxes. See the list of all qualifying items here.


Along with saving money, shoppers can earn another benefit during Tax-Free Week: a scholarship to any Maryland university, college or trade school!

The Maryland Retailers Association is sponsoring a social media contest during Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week in which two winners will receive $2,500 and $1,000 scholarships. To enter, snap a picture or take a video that incorporates the theme of "Maryland" (the state colors, school apparel, sports team, a crab, etc.), write a creative caption, use the hashtag #shopmdtaxfree and post on any or all of the Shop Free social media platforms--FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The retailers group will select the two entries that best reflect the spirit of Shop Maryland Tax-Free at the end of the week.

Budget Meal of the Month

One-Pot Vegetable Jambalaya

Budget dinner price: $3.90 total or $0.65 per person (with additions, will come to closer to $8 total)



  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small green chile, like a jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, tamari, or soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional additions: Slices of fried sausage, shrimp, cooked meat, tofu, or beans

Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. After it gets hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until they become translucent but not brown.

Add the garlic, chile, tomatoes, bay leaves, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne if using, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Let everything cook until some of the tomato juice releases, about 1 minute.

Add the rice and slowly pour in the broth. Lower the heat to medium and let the dish cook until the rice absorbs all the liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. If you’re using any of the additions, throw them in to cook with the rice after 15 minutes have passed.

Taste and adjust the salt, and pepper, and any other spices.

The Freebie Report

Get Food and Healthcare for No or Low Cost:
  • August 14, 21, 28 - Groceries, cleaning supplies and health & hygiene items from the SUCCESS Pantry, 1-3 at HDGHA, 101 Stansbury Court, Havre de Grace
  • August 17 - Food Distribution, 5–7pm at the Tabernacle of Faith Family Life Center
     315A N. Earlton Road in Havre de Grace
  • August 18 - Food Distribution 9:00–11:45am by the Bel Air United Methodist’s Food Ministry
    McComas Hall, 21 Linwood Avenue, Bel Air, MD
  • August 27 - Haircuts & More event, noon-8:00 p.m. at the Epicenter at Edgewood,
    1918 Pulaski Highway, Edgewood, MD
  • Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil WATCH program WATCH is a team of community healthcare providers and social workers who visit residents in their home to help solve issues that might be keeping them from achieving their best health such as, transportation issues, difficulty taking medications correctly, safe housing, nutritious food, assistance with medical appointments and more, Services provided FREE of charge. More info at 1-800-515-0044.
  • Medical Transportation by the Harford County Health Dept Learn more here.
  • Harford County Health Department Care Coordination Plus –Links Harford County residents to health care, health insurance, language assistance, food access, appropriate housing, domestic violence, etc.
  • Stop Smoking Classes--visit the Community Resources section of our website for the schedule.
  • Visit Healthy Harford for more free or low cost Health and Safety Events.

Who Will Be Our Next Family of Hope?

Nominations are now open for the 2018-2019 Families of Hope Campaign!
We want to celebrate YOU (or a hardworking family you know) for the perseverance and optimism it takes to strive towards economic self-sufficiency. 

This 2-month campaign will keep you (or them) inspired and on track to their goals by exploring new possibilities and helping them make connections that just may change their life.

Interested families can read more about the Families of Hope campaign and download the application packet from The SUCCESS Project website.

There are very limited slots this year so apply by Friday, August 24th.  Applications may be returned via email, mail or fax.
Got questions?  Email Nicki at

Get the Latest on Local Resources

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Copyright ©2018 The SUCCESS Project, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
101 Stansbury Court
Havre de Grace, MD 21078

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The SUCCESS Project · 101 Stansbury Court · Havre de Grace, Md 21078 · USA

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