By: Mike LaViña – Portfolio Manager and Director of Trading
Last quarter, BWFA announced a partnership with the Community Foundation of Howard County as part of our effort to facilitate charitable giving in our community. We believe that giving back to the community not only benefits the recipients of those gifts, but also enriches the giver and the community at large. In that spirit, we are delighted to highlight the work of Mosaic Community Services. BWFA has a personal connection to Mosaic. My sister and the brother of our Chief Investment Officer, Rob Williams, have both been clients of Mosaic Community Services. Rob and I both agree that our lives and the lives of our loved ones have been transformed through their care.
About 13 years ago, my sister, Clare, went off to college in New York City. She had received a scholarship to attend Fordham College at Lincoln Center for drama. She was an aspiring actress in the prime of her life with a scholarship to attend the college of her choice. Late in the fall of her freshman year, she came home. As our family gathered, we realized that something was not right with Clare. By Christmas, we learned that Clare was suffering from a serious mental illness. She was eventually diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.
After many years in and out of the hospital and a handful of diagnoses, it became clear that college would have to wait and that Clare’s future would be uncertain. She struggled to hold a job, find peers with whom she could socialize, and cope with her day- to-day activities. This led to depression and a worsening of her condition. Through a lot of hard work, research, and dedication, our mother learned about a residential program for individuals suffering with mental illness. She found Mosaic Community Services.
The significance of finding an organization that could provide a range of programs and services for our loved one cannot be overstated. Knowing that Clare would have professional support in all aspects of her life for as long as she needed it was, and continues to be, a tremendous comfort to our entire family.
Today, Clare has safe and affordable housing along with support services that help her monitor her daily routine and medications. She attends a day program where she is able to work on skills and get counseling. Most importantly, she is able to interact with a community that can understand her challenges and participate in programs that push her to make the most out of her life. Mosaic is not a destination. It is a support system that, at its best, helps to assist clients in recovering from mental illness and/or addiction.
Without treatment, mental illness often leads to an unacceptably high social cost. The cycle is all too familiar: unemployment, homelessness, and drug-abuse, followed by hospitalization without insurance, prison, and possibly suicide. This is why my colleague Rob Williams and I are so proud to support Mosaic. We understand, through our personal connections, the important role this organization plays in our community. I like to refer to Mosaic as an “unsung hero in our community.” Mosaic’s 700 professional staff members are out there every day providing care and support for a part of our community that is too often stigmatized, misunderstood, and avoided.
In the state of Maryland, there are more than 2,000 non-profit organizations dedicated to hundreds of different causes. Many of us would like to get behind a cause, and there are ample opportunities to supply monetary gifts to one. This is why BWFA supports giving back to the community
in every way we can. And it is why I, as a member of the Board of Directors, have agreed to be a part of the fundraising effort for Mosaic. In my own family, we have identified a charitable giving strategy that fits in with our financial plans and goals. We encourage you and your family to do the same for whatever cause is close to you.