The Maryland National Guard's Partners in Care initiative matches Maryland National Guard members, in need of support, with local religious congregations and will now lend spiritual support to a multi-faceted assistance initiative helping the DOD to aid service members in need.
From its inception in 2005, Partners in Care has created a network of local congregations, which agreed to support Maryland National Guard members and their families according to the congregation's ability. Services have included counseling, childcare, youth support groups and basic auto repair. Service members can be referred to their nearest congregation, free of charge and without regard to any religious affiliation.
The Maryland Partners in Care initiative started with four pilot congregations and has grown to 90, as of December 2012. All 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City have at least one Partners in Care congregation providing support to the state's approximately 6,500 Guard members.
Participating congregations extend support to all referred Soldiers and their families from programs they are already offering to all referred warriors and their families - within the limits of the congregation's resources and abilities, of course - and free of charge, without regard to the recipients' religious affiliation. Some examples of the services offered by participating faith communities include child care/sick child support, basic household and automotive repairs, counseling for individuals, couples families, and emergency food/clothing/housing, to name a few. Partners in Care is open for participation to all faith communities.