Gloria Lawlah, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging, and her staff decided to make the most of their unpaid furlough day by devoting their time off to a day of volunteer service. The first stop of the day in the group’s schedule of visits to various community organizations was Our Daily Bread, where they helped serve a hot daily meal to hundreds of hungry people in Baltimore City.

Deputy Mayor, Salima Siler Marriott and John Stewart, Director of the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education were so moved by Secretary Lawlah’s efforts to organize her staff that they also decided to join the group at Our Daily Bread. “I was completely motivated and inspired by Secretary Lawlah’s admiral gesture to organize her staff to serve the community during their furlough. The least I could do was take whatever time I had in my day to support her efforts,” said Deputy Mayor, Dr. Marriott.

Secretary Lawlah explained, “Taking furlough is giving back to the community by allowing the state treasury more financial resources to allocate towards programs and services for the community. For a state employee to take the time they would normally be at work and use it to volunteer, they are giving even more to our community. In a better economy, we might spend our free time shopping or doing something for ourselves, but having this furlough is a perfect opportunity to think about the community and visit organizations whose focus is on addressing the growing basic needs of individuals and families during this downturn.”

“Doing more with less” was the motto of the day for Secretary Lawlah’s staff and is an on-going theme for the State. “Having less money in the State budget has spurred the State to focus more on human capital. As money declines, human resources and ingenuity must increase,” said Secretary Lawlah. This sentiment rings just as true at Our Daily Bread, which continues to serve an increasing number of people affected by the economy, while experiencing a decrease in financial and material resources. Our Daily Bread can only accomplish more with less through the continued investment of human capital and support from its volunteers and donors.