At a time when home is perhaps more important than ever, a Frederick nonprofit with the core mission of providing homes is pivoting its largest fundraiser and asking residents to stay home, eat crabs and drink beer.
Frederick's Habitat for Humanity moved its fundraiser — Blue Crabs and Blue Prints — to a to-go format where residents can place an order of crabs, sides and beer online by Aug. 1 and pick it up to-go on Aug. 8.
Historically, the fundraiser has served as a large crab feast where everyone comes together to share in the festivities and donate to help provide stable housing for people in the community. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the organization to re-think its model as many nonprofits have had to do. The shift came from watching local restaurants pivot their operations to to-go formats, said Bethany Miller, development and marketing director for Habitat for Humanity.
"Taking a nod from their creativity, we decided we could make a similar change for this event to allow us to continue to raise important funds for the work of Habitat right here in our community," she said.
There's also something poetic about a to-go format that requires people to enjoy their crab feast at home, while supporting a mission to provide a safe and secure home for others.
After all, there are many residents in Frederick County who were ordered by the government to stay at home, but didn't have a safe or secure one to go to, Miller said.
"We will absolutely miss our large gathering for Blue Crabs and Blue Prints, but we hope people will take a moment while enjoying their crab feast at home to reflect on what that home means to them," Miller added. "What it means to their family and their future. And hopefully they’ll think about what they can give back so others can experience that same security in a home of their own."
Each year, the fundraiser brings in about $50,000 for the organization, Miller said.
That funding is critical to the organization’s efforts to build and repair homes right here in Frederick County.
Habitat for Humanity is currently in the final stages of a home build in Middletown, and in the planning stages for a multi-unit build in downtown Frederick. It continues to grow its home repair program as well. All of these projects and programs had setbacks due to COVID-19 shutdowns, Miller said, but the hope is this year's event will replenish funds to help get them back on track.