On behalf of T6B’s board of directors I would like to congratulate and thank you all on another highly productive year. Like each year before it, 2017 saw an expansion of T6B community service operations, an increase in volunteer manpower, and a strengthening of strategic partnerships. Moreover, further steps have been taken to ensure long-term organizational sustainability including adding to an already strong board of directors, improving internal administrative processes, and diversifying sources of funding. Most importantly, our mission has improved the quality of life of more Baltimoreans and improved the physical condition of several East Baltimore neighborhoods.
T6B is beginning its ninth year as an organization and eighth year of commitment to East Baltimore revitalization efforts. It is pretty incredible how far we’ve come. The origin of T6B is traced back to a dark and dusty VFW Post in Southwest Baltimore in late 2009. What I remember most about those moments was an unmistakable and intense energy among us – a feeling that something special was about happen. None of us had experience in the nonprofit community and we lacked a clear vision of what we wanted to accomplish. The only thing we were sure of was that we had the skills and leadership qualities to motivate and organize large numbers of people to do something meaningful. We had all done that in some capacity in the military.
I spent my two years as T6B’s first executive director sharing that intense feeling with as many people as I could and trying to convince them to be part of something special. We explored every opportunity and followed every lead. By the end of my tenure that feeling rose to a crescendo and the reality of the task at hand had set in. We had come to realize that it would take decades of attention to overcome decades of neglect in East Baltimore. I turned over the executive directorship to Dave Landymore in April 2012. Dave capitalized on the energy and momentum that was built and channeled it with precision, carving out a niche role for T6B in the rather convoluted process of neighborhood revitalization. We were taking vacant and unmanaged plots of land and transforming them into community assets such as playgrounds, green spaces, or gardens. This process of “Neighborscaping” has become the central part of our mission.
In 2017, T6B began a new chapter as our third executive director Scott Goldman took the helm to start the year. He has already left his imprint on our organization and our mission, adding perspective and leadership resulting in improvements and efficiency in administration and operations. Scott oversees two full-time paid staff members, a few part-timers and interns, volunteer staff, and a massive volunteer base. It was just six years ago that we had an unpaid volunteer director and no funding whatsoever, but our motivation and persistence never wavered. Our volunteers never stopped showing up. Our community partners never stopped believing in us, and they have guided us well.
2018 promises to be another productive year. Consistency is key. Every volunteer is vital. Each service project matters. Every moment counts. And every Baltimorean deserves a chance to have safe places to recreate, a chance to have access to healthy foods, a chance to have a neighborhood they can be proud of, and a chance to serve. Thank you for your service to Baltimore and let’s continue working for a better day rather than complaining about the current one.
Grab a Shovel,
Chairman & Co-Founder