Twelve-year-old Addyson Daugherty from Glen Burnie has donated over 1,200 Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, and gifts to local children's hospitals over the past seven years. Fighting multiple chronic illnesses, spending a lot of time in the hospital and missing school herself, she was inspired to spread holiday cheer to every child in inpatient care. Addyson has grown the "tree drive" every year. Originally, the goal was to donate decorations to Johns Hopkins Children's Center. However, over the past few years, it has expanded to Anne Arundel Medical Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As part of her recognition, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $5,000 donation to CamPower For All.
Birdland Community Heroes
The Orioles Birdland Community Heroes program honors and recognizes community heroes who inspire us through their spirited commitment to extend a hand in charity, service, hope, and harmony. This recognition honors the heroism of members of our extended Orioles community from all walks of life, occupations, and diverse backgrounds living in our region, our country, and abroad, who have distinguished themselves by selflessly working or volunteering in fields that care for, serve, teach, protect, and improve the lives of others, around the corner or around the globe, who are most in need.
The program honors designated Birdland Community Heroes throughout the season. Selected honorees each receive four game tickets, parking, an award medal, and the opportunity be featured during an in-game ceremony on the video board.
Our 2023 Birdland Heroes
Chad Hicks is a 5th year PhD student at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is excited about science research and science education.
Born in Ukraine, Chad moved to the United States when he was seven years old and developed a passion for science. He said educators provided fun and engaging science experiences in elementary school, which instilled in him a lifelong passion for science.
While pursuing his undergraduate degree at Gonzaga, Chad participated in a science education outreach program. In the fall of 2018, he founded a Science in Action chapter at Johns Hopkins University alongside fellow graduate peers. This organization, consisting of 35 student volunteers, ten serving leadership roles, provides hands-on, engaging science lessons to students each semester at William Paca Elementary School in Baltimore.
William Paca Elementary School is a Title I school where 69 percent of students comes from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Since Science in Action began, they have served over 1,000 elementary school students and provided 200 science lessons.
Chad said his time with Science in Action has been one of the most meaningful and impactful experiences in graduate school. “When we walk through the door to their classroom with a box full of supplies, the students clap and cheer,” Chad said. “When they see the DNA they extracted from strawberries or hear the explosion from their Alka-Seltzer Rocket, their faces light up with wonder.
Ashleigh Magrin is a Spanish teacher at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, MD, and is the lead organizer of the food pantry at the school. The Oakland Mills Food Pantry is an all-volunteer operation providing non-perishable food to Maryland families with the help of OMHS’ Air Force Junior ROTC Cadets, Honor Society students, and an O-Mazing team of teacher volunteers. Ashleigh joined Oakland Mills High School in 2018, when she also began volunteering with the school’s food pantry on a regular basis. She assumed the leadership role in 2019.
After the COVID-19 pandemic school closures in 2020 forced the pantry to shut down for 6 months, Ashleigh and a dedicated team of volunteers were tasked with re-designing the operations of the pantry in order to allow for contactless pickup and to be able to better serve the rapidly growing needs of the community. The pantry served an average of 20 families per month prior to the pandemic, and now serves around 80 families per month. In the past year, more than 1,100 Maryland families have received food from our pantry.
Ashleigh would like to thank all of the volunteers who work and donate food and money, without whom the pantry would not be able to run. At the Oakland Mills Food Pantry, we truly are strongest together.
In honor of Ashleigh's recognition as a Birdland Community Hero, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a donation to Columbia Community Care.
After being turned away from volunteer opportunities at soup kitchens and food pantries while they were in elementary school because of age restrictions, Caleb and Joshua Oh created the non-profit organization, Kid Changemakers.
They started small with lunch-making parties for the local homeless shelter and held coat and food drives for families in need. During the pandemic, they pivoted to finding different ways to serve, including creating bi-weekly pop-up pantries, collecting, and donating diapers, feminine hygiene products and food for families in need.
They also looked for ways to fight diaper poverty on a systematic level. They discovered that Maryland was one of only two states that did not tax adult diapers but did tax baby diapers. They successfully lobbied the Maryland legislature to eliminate the diaper tax. The bill gained bi-partisan support and former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed SB 316 into law in 2022, which saves families $12 million a year.
Caleb, now 18 years old, and Joshua, who is 15 years old, are now working with young people all over the country to duplicate their efforts to fight diaper poverty by working on legislative efforts on the state level.
In honor of Caleb and Josh’s recognition, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a donation to Kid Changemakers.
Tom Walsh, who is a sous chef at Phillips Seafood, jumped into the Inner Harbor on March 22 to help rescue a man who drove his car into the water. He broke the car window and pulled the driver out of the car and swam with him until they were pulled out of the water by first responders.
Walsh joined Phillips Seafood in March 2019 and quickly became a supervisor before being promoted to a management role in March 2021. As Sous Chef for Phillips Seafood Baltimore, Walsh is responsible for providing overall management guidance to the front-line culinary team to ensure quality, operational efficiency and guest satisfaction. Prior to joining Phillips Seafood, Walsh served in the United States Army starting in 2014 after graduating from the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California.
The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a donation to the First Responders Children's Foundation in honor of Tom being named a Birdland Community Hero.
We celebrate and honor our Birdland Community Hero, Geoff Meehle, for his volunteer work with SHAPE Maryland. As a health and physical education coordinator for Baltimore City Public Schools, Geoff has made a positive impact on children across the state by advocating for their health, physical education, and overall well-being.
His involvement with SHAPE Maryland has also allowed him to advocate for resources, professional development, and collaboration structures for health and PE teachers and the prioritization of health and physical education in schools.
In addition to his work with SHAPE Maryland, Geoff has also supported the Orioles with Play Ball Day events in past years.
In honor of Geoff's recognition as a Birdland Community Hero, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a donation to SHAPE Maryland.
The mission of SHAPE Maryland is to enhance and promote the health and wellness of all citizens of Maryland by providing advocacy, resources, and professional learning opportunities for current and future PreK-12 health and physical educators.
Nine-year-old Kaylee Milano, from Timonium crotched handmade hats to deliver to kids with cancer being treated in the hospital. Kaylee, who has juvenile arthritis, spent a lot of time in the hospital herself and missed most of second grade. Kaylee said she wanted to make hats and deliver them to children in the hospital because she wanted to make people smile. Her arthritis makes it difficult to use crochet needles, so she uses a loom instead for dexterity. In addition to delivering her own hats, Kaylee also delivered donated hats made by people from Canada and elsewhere.
The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a donation to the Arthritis Foundation in honor of Kaylee being named a Birdland Community Hero.