Parents of adults living with autism

By Simone Ellin
Posted on March 21, 2022

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor COVID-19 can keep David Marmer from the Hunt Valley Giant supermarket, where he has worked for the past 11 years as a part-time courtesy clerk. With the assistance of a job coach from the Abilities Network, a Maryland nonprofit that provides support and community for individuals with disabilities, Marmer, 35, is responsible for bringing... READ MORE

Waller & Co. Jewelers offers spring bling

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on March 07, 2022

At age 8, David Waller swept the floor and wiped the glass counters at his family’s jewelry store, Waller Jewelers, in downtown Richmond. By age 12, Waller understood how watches worked and could do minor repairs. “I grew up in it,” said Waller, now in his 50s, in an interview with Fifty Plus. The venerable family business has been thriving for the past 122 years. In 1881,... READ MORE

Carrying on Rachel Carson’s work

By Margaret Foster
Posted on February 28, 2022

Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. —Rachel Carson This year marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, writer Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book about the devastating effects of pesticides on the environment. Largely as a result of that book, which she wrote at her home in Silver ... READ MORE

H&S Bakery rises to the occasion

By Margaret Foster
Posted on February 14, 2022

On a frigid day in January, a stretch of Interstate 95 became a 10-mile-long parking lot. Stranded by ice and snow, hundreds of drivers just south of Washington, including a U.S. senator, were trapped in their cars for nearly 40 hours, shivering and starving. Gazing hungrily at a stranded bakery truck near their car, Casey Holihan Noe, an Ellicott City resident, and her husband, John... READ MORE

Heart and soul of Black History Museum

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on February 07, 2022

In Mary Lauderdale’s cozy office at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia in Jackson Ward, a framed quotation by former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison hangs over the desk like a guiding light: “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” As head of the museum’s operations and visitor services, Lauderdale, 62, is inspired by Jemison’s message and... READ MORE

To fight injustice, he built schools

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on January 31, 2022

“All the other pleasures of life seem to wear out, but the pleasure of helping others in distress never does.” —Julius Rosenwald Bethesda retiree Dorothy Canter was “blown away” when she saw “Rosenwald,” a 2015 documentary directed by Aviva Kempner that told the story of Julius Rosenwald, a philanthropist who built more than 5,000 schools for African American children... READ MORE

The AFRO celebrates 130 years

By Timothy Cox
Posted on January 17, 2022

The Baltimore Afro-American newspaper is one of the country’s oldest Black-owned businesses, dating back to 1892. This year, the weekly newspaper, known today as the AFRO, celebrates 130 years of continuous publication. A formerly enslaved man, John Henry Murphy Sr., purchased the newspaper in the late 19th century, less than 30 years after the end of slavery. Murphy had served in... READ MORE

Volunteers help make homes accessible

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on January 10, 2022

On one of the hottest days of 2021, Chesterfield resident Susan Stephenson, who uses a wheelchair, was buoyed by the sight of 24 volunteers in her front yard. Despite the weather, which she said was “hotter than blue blazes,” a crew from the nonprofit RampsRVA arrived with tools, dismantled her broken wheelchair ramp and installed a new one. One volunteer even mowed her... READ MORE

Teaching kids to read critically

By Margaret Foster
Posted on January 03, 2022

Journalist Alan Miller won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting, but he’s equally proud of a second award for his second career. Last month, Miller, 67, won a 2022 AARP Purpose Prize, which celebrates people 50 and older who use their life experience to solve social problems. The prize recognizes his work on the News Literacy Project, which he founded in 2008. The project aims to teach... READ MORE

Wanted: Nature lovers of any age

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on December 28, 2021

Barbara Schmeckpeper spent her career as a molecular biologist parsing the minutia of genes at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. But when she retired 20 years ago and looked up from her microscope, she found a wider world beckoning. First, she volunteered to pull weeds at a local park, which led her to volunteer with organizations that work on environmental education and... READ MORE