Introducing Operation Charm City Charge: Here’s Why We Chose Baltimore

Operation Charm City Charge takes place in Baltimore, Maryland over the week of June 20-27, 2019

Baltimore is a city with a diversity of voices. It was once at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement and home to luminaries such as Thurgood Marshall and W.E.B. Du Bois. Despite being the largest city in Maryland, Baltimore is now facing population decline due to high crime, an aging infrastructure and struggling local economy.

Comprised of over 50 neighborhoods, each known for their distinct character, many of these areas have been affected by segregation, mortgage discrimination, poverty, and unemployment.

Fueled by the past and looking towards the future, engaged citizens, community leaders, and politicians are currently making strides towards building a stronger, healthier Baltimore.

The country took notice of the issues facing Baltimore following the 2015 death of Freddie Gray and subsequent protests, propelling it into the national spotlight.

Steeped in a rich history of community activism, arts and culture, Baltimore has both thrived and endured.

While recent civil unrest highlighted inequality throughout the city, it also proved to be a positive catalyst for community mobilization. Fueled by the past and looking towards the future, engaged citizens, community leaders, and politicians are currently making strides towards building a stronger, healthier Baltimore.

And now, veterans are responding in force to help drive these efforts. By reporting for duty alongside The Mission Continues, residents can take part in creating solutions to address Baltimore’s challenges and ensure positive progress continues.

Community Facts

  • Unemployment in Maryland has dropped to 4.3 percent but remains significantly higher with a rate of 6.5 percent in the city of Baltimore.
  • More than one in three children live below the federal poverty line, with more than 30 percent of households earning less than $25,000 per year.
  • Only 11 percent of students are proficient in 8th-grade math and 13 percent in reading, falling near the bottom of the national assessment.
  • In Baltimore, where life expectancy is around 74 years, income, poverty, and race have an enormous impact on residents’ health outcomes.

Don’t do things because they are easy. Nothing done with that motivation is worth doing. There are rare times in our lives when we find ourselves doing things because they need to be done—and something in us calls out to do it.

Wes Moore
Baltimore native, acclaimed author, and U.S. Army veteran

Operation Charm City Charge

On June 20-27 2019, we’re deploying 85 veteran leaders to Baltimore for our fourth Mass Deployment, Operation Charm City Charge (OC3).

Together with our community partners, we select areas of need as project sites for our veteran-led operation. Veterans are a powerful force when called upon to serve.

Since leaving the military, tens of thousands have continued to serve in their local communities. They bring hard-earned leadership, exemplary training and a mission-focused work ethic that is in short supply today.

They do not do “quit.”

For the veterans, it’s a week of personal growth and community impact. They forge new connections that become life-long bonds of friendship and support. They undergo cultural competency courses, technical skill training and team building exercises.

And June is just the beginning of their impact. These leaders will deploy back home and get to work in their communities. OC3 is a heightened continuation of our ongoing commitment to Baltimore—and the hundreds of local veterans of The Mission Continues—who will be at the heart of sustaining our progress.

Get Involved

Applications for veteran participants open February 2019. Interested applicants can visit our website to sign up for application alerts.

Help spread the word online by sharing this blog post, or in-person by sharing this flyer!

For information on how to make a financial contribution to OC3, please contact development@missioncontinues.org.

What is a Mass Deployment?

Our Mass Deployment program is a team-based event that mobilizes veterans alongside local partners and volunteers in a single city for a week of community impact. We select locations that will benefit from an influx of resources and that have the potential for sustainable change, ensuring our efforts have a long-term impact.

Here’s a taste of what past Mass Deployments have looked like: Operation Watts is Worth It, Operation Westside Surge, Operation Motown Muster