In celebration of Mother’s Day, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake hosted the 4th Annual Baltimore’s Top Neighborhood Moms luncheon, which she founded while serving as City Council president.

The 25 Top Neighborhood moms were nominated by their neighborhood associations in recognition of their efforts to keep their communities safe and strong. Contest winners do not have to be parents; rather, they are known for the motherly love shown throughout their neighborhood.

“This contest gives us an opportunity to honor the women in our community who dedicate themselves to making our communities better, safer and stronger,” the mayor said in a statement. “Through selfless acts, Baltimore’s Top Neighborhood Moms serve as an example of how one should live your life, and how to be a constructive member of a community.”

Held at the Rawlings-Fulton Clubhouse, the winners received a citation from the mayor and a coleus plant grown by the Department of Recreation and Parks. 

“A neighborhood becomes strong and thriving when individuals take ownership in its success,” Rawlings-Blake said. “When people are invested in their neighborhood, not just their home, is when every challenge becomes an opportunity. It is at that point when we can start making real progress.”

At another Mother’s Day event, the mayor and the Baltimore City Department of Social Services Director Molly McGrath honored foster mothers and children in foster care. At a breakfast at the Marriot Waterfront Hotel, the city officials displayed their appreciation to foster mothers for the sacrifices and love shown to their foster children.

“Foster parents are the key to ensuring our children thrive in a loving environment,” McGrath said. “They are our essential partners and we appreciate their incredible generosity and commitment to children in need.”

The Baltimore City Department of Social Services launched “Place Matters” in 2007, a child welfare reform agenda that has led to more children being placed in foster homes statewide and especially in Baltimore City. Other major accomplishments of the program include a statewide 24 percent reduction of children in foster care, 43 percent reduction in group home placements and 770 adoptions finalized last fiscal year.

“By becoming foster parents, you opened your homes and your hearts and ensured children in Baltimore had an opportunity to thrive,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It is no small act on your part. It is a true testament to who you are as individuals.”

For more information about becoming a foster parent, please call 888-MD-KIDS2 (888-635-4372).