Deploy With a Team of Veterans and Build a Stronger Community

MASS DEPLOYMENT 2019

OPERATION CHARM CITY CHARGE

BALTIMORE, MD | JUNE 20 – 27, 2019

Operation Charm City Charge, held in Baltimore, MD, marked the fourth iteration of our Mass Deployment program. From June 20-27th a team of 80+ veterans deployed from across the country, invested their time, energy, and skills to help make positive community-driven change in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Park, Harlem Park West, and Curtis Bay. In total, over 900 veterans, volunteers, community members, and partners convened throughout the city for five consecutive days of physically demanding and visually impactful service. Efforts included large-scale service projects at a high school, two neighborhood parks, a Boys & Girls Club, city blocks, and a community resource center. In addition to their service the veteran volunteers took part in learning and development courses covering issues such as cultural competency and unconscious bias, providing a wellrounded, holistic experience for participants. This deployment was years in the making with our Baltimore-area service platoons laying the groundwork starting in 2015 as part of our Service Platoon program. Planning included regular meetings within the community, and conversations with long-standing partner organizations to ensure that the impact achieved by Operation Charm City Charge would directly benefit the community’s needs. Operation Charge City Charge is a heightened continuation of our ongoing commitment to Baltimore—and the hundreds of local veterans of The Mission Continues—who are at the heart of sustaining our collective progress.

“Our [service] projects have really helped me to realize a greater appreciation for the strengths and challenges of this neighborhood in Baltimore experiences. I feel more connected to the city, my team, and even our country. I also have a greater understanding of my own strengths and how I might leverage my capabilities to continue serving in making a difference around my own community.”
– Matthew Basista, Crew Member

Harlem Park West Peace Park
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2019 SPONSORS

Take your giving to the next level as an official sponsor of a Mass Deployment. For more information, contact Kat Cheshire, Manager, Corporate Partnerships at kcheshire@missioncontinues.org

WHY BALTIMORE?

Baltimore is a city with a diversity of voices. It was once at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement and home to luminaries such as Thurgood Marshall and W.E.B. Du Bois. Despite being the largest city in Maryland, Baltimore is now facing population decline due to high crime, an aging infrastructure, barriers to education, and a struggling local economy. Steeped in a rich history of community activism, arts and culture, Baltimore has both thrived and endured. While recent civil unrest highlighted inequality throughout the city, it also proved to be a positive catalyst for community mobilization. Fueled by the past and looking towards the future, engaged citizens, community leaders, and politicians are currently making strides towards building a stronger, healthier Baltimore.

“Meeting new people with similar backgrounds has been amazing. I have been able to share some of my story that I’m not normally comfortable sharing. Meeting kids who are excited about what we’re doing [in the community] or even just excited to be working and serving alongside us is inspiring.” – Courtney Lane, Crew Member

Harlem Park West
JUNE 22, 2019
Harlem Park West
JUNE 22, 2019

To kick off our deployment, we took to the neighborhood of Harlem Park West with our long term community partner, the Harlem Park West (HPW) Community Association, and volunteers from Lockheed Martin, our daily sponsor. Harlem Park West is a neighborhood full of potential, and actively taking steps towards community-led development and revitalization. The community has a strong history of local activism, while also struggling with social issues such as poverty, violence and unemployment. Our mission was to continue the work that our Baltimore Service Platoons and HPW Community Association have been completing in the community, and to create a more safe and inviting spaces for residents to gather. We saw an incredible transformation—a pocket park for seniors where an empty lot stood before, new shade structures, incredible landscaping, a peace park with a walking path, and plenty of murals to help restore a sense of pride to this vibrant and resilient community.

PHOTO GALLERY