Lakia and Sa’Nyia’s Story

Lakia and Sa’Nyia first became St. Ambrose supporters and advocates in 2014 when Lakia called the office to see if we would accept donations of school supplies. She had already reached out to several organizations around the city without any luck when a friend had mentioned she look into a place “on 25th Street.” Her friend couldn’t remember the name, but Lakia did a little digging and found St. Ambrose.

Lakia started the school supplies drive because she knew that so often school supplies drives happening in the city don’t end up reaching the kids who need it the most, either because they can’t get there or they don’t have the resources or network to even know about it. Her own experiences growing up in Baltimore were one of her biggest motivators to start organizing the drive.“I wanted to target children who get overlooked.”

Lakia is a hair stylist and recently opened up her own salon. Being an entrepreneur means Lakia always stays busy, so her daughter Sa’Nyia helps put it all together by collecting schools supplies lists from different schools and assembling over 40 book bags with the supplies needed for each grade. “Every year our house looks like Wal-Mart” Sa’Nyia said of the process. The pair receives donations and support from friends and family from as far away as Los Angeles and even Johannesburg.

Lakia and Sa’Nyia help distribute the supplies to the children and youth living in our rental homes and in Homesharing matches each year on Sa’Nyia’s birthday.  “I want her to be well-rounded.” Lakia says of raising her daughter with experiences like this. “I want her to try things and find her own way,” and also, to know the value of giving back!

Weinberg’s Gift to St. Ambrose

In 1995, St. Ambrose received a challenge grant from the Weinberg Foundation to create an endowment for the agency. More than 250 individuals, families, and foundations rose to Weinberg’s challenge and contributed what they could to the campaign. The widespread community support helped St. Ambrose reach our goal and demonstrated a far reaching commitment to support the agency’s future in the city. Twenty-two years later, this gift is still making an impact in Baltimore.