Early in 2011, The Pat Tillman Foundation asked The 6th Branch cofounders, both Tillman Military Scholars, to use The 6th Branch to organize and execute the day of service for the annual Pat Tillman Legacy Summit. Putting us in contact with Baltimore BORN (Boys Opportunity and Resource Network), a nonprofit started by Baltimore Raven’s cornerback Dominique Foxworth, the day of service quickly became an enormous collaboration with One Green Home, Veteran Artist Program (VAP), The Mission Continues, Baltimore Love Project, and even the Baltimore Ravens’ Cheerleaders.
Baltimore Born and One Green Home are based in the Oliver neighborhood in Baltimore, an area known for vacant, homes, poverty, and crime. Months of planning culminated on July 11th when more than 200 volunteers arrived at the corner of Bond and Hoffman for a day of service. For four hours, garbage was collected and removed by the truckload, weedeaters were on full throttle, machetes cut through high weeds, and fresh mulch was laid down. Meanwhile, VAP, the Baltimore Love Project, and the boys from BORN were hard at work finishing an amazing mural at 1516 E. Oliver Street that the boys helped design.
Afterwards, volunteers were transported to the 6th Branch/VAP headquarters for a reception which coincided with VAP’s opening night of “Remembering,” a visual arts exhibit. During the reception, The 6th Branch announced a long-term partnership with One Green Home at a Time, making a commitment to focus 100% of our efforts in the Oliver neighborhood for the foreseeable future.