The Wills Group, parent company to Dash In, recently reaffirmed its commitment to Melwood, a nonprofit organization that opens doors to both employment opportunities and recreational activities for people with disabilities in the greater Washington, DC area. In honor of the 25th anniversary of Melwood’s Camp Accomplish, the Wills Group is celebrating the program’s enduring impact with a Community Engagement grant, employee volunteerism, and special programming throughout the summer, reinforcing our dedication to creating healthier, stronger communities.

We kicked off our renewed support of Camp Accomplish with a $20,000 grant, formally announced at the Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Awards ceremony in June. The donation builds on our previous support of $40,000 to Melwood in 2022 and marks the first annual grant of a five-year $100,000 pledge to Melwood’s Camp Accomplish: Seed-to-Table program.

This commitment aligns with the Wills Group’s ongoing Community Engagement Signature Program, Nourishing Children and Families, and underscores our commitment to keeping Lives in Motion by supporting our neighbors and helping them thrive. 

Before we share the highlights of our summer activities with Camp Accomplish, we invite you to learn more about Melwood and their inspiring service to people who are under-resourced in Charles County.

Melwood and the Wills Group: Cultivating Health and Empowerment

Situated in Charles County, Maryland, the Melwood Recreation Center is a hub of enriching activities for all ages and abilities. One of its standout programs is Camp Accomplish, a camp for kids aged 5 to 18 from low-to-medium income families with and without disabilities that embodies Melwood’s commitment to empowerment and inclusivity.

The heart of Camp Accomplish is the Seed-to-Table program. This initiative educates youth and their families about the link between growing nutritious food and healthy eating habits. Campers spend a week learning to garden, harvest fresh ingredients, and cook healthy meals. 

The Wills Group’s contribution towards the Camp Accomplish: Seed-to-Table program helps extend its reach to include weekend sessions post-camp. These sessions offer additional guidance for participants as they nurture their gardens and improve their culinary skills. 

This year, we are thrilled to renew our support of this program. 

Summer Highlights with the Wills Group Team at Camp Accomplish

On June 17th, Melwood marked the 25th anniversary of Camp Accomplish with a community barbecue and fundraising event. As the title sponsor, the Wills Group joined community leaders, Camp Accomplish families, and donors to reflect on the impact of Melwood’s innovative approach to inclusive, empowering camp programming. We were delighted to be part of the Camp Accomplish 25th Anniversary event and eagerly anticipate our continued involvement in the important value they bring to our community, and particularly the Charles County community.

Then on July 28th, our employees paired up with the Camp Accomplish Learning Garden team for a volunteer day of weeding, harvesting, and distributing vegetables during the “Grow it, Make it, Eat it” camp week. The produce harvested was shared with campers and community residents, providing a hands-on experience of the journey from seed to table for Wills Group volunteers and campers.

Another activity that is sure to be a highlight of our summer with Camp Accomplish is a special cooking demonstration and workshop with celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn scheduled on August 16th. Known not only for his culinary skills but also for his roles as restaurateur, brand creator, and food equity advocate, Chef Spike brings a wealth of nutrition knowledge and enthusiasm to Camp Accomplish. 

During the demonstration, Chef Spike will show campers how to prepare delicious and healthy meals using the fresh produce harvested from the Camp Accomplish Learning Garden. This hands-on experience will teach campers and their families the importance of nutritious food and the role it plays in our overall health, while learning helpful culinary skills they can use at home. 

Nourishing Our Communities from Seed to Table

As we look back on a summer filled with enriching experiences, we are inspired by the power of community engagement and the importance of cultivating a healthy lifestyle at home. Our support of Melwood and our involvement in the Camp Accomplish: Seed-to-Table program underscores the Wills Group’s dedication to making a positive impact in the communities we serve throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. 

“Strengthening our bond with the communities we serve not only enhances our businesses but also deepens our connection with our employees,” said Blackie Wills, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wills Group. “Our commitment to community engagement is key to retaining our exceptional employees and attracting individuals whose values align with ours.”

From gardening with kids to sharing a kitchen with Chef Spike, each activity is a step towards promoting healthier lifestyles and stronger community bonds. As we look to the future, we remain committed to our work with Melwood, eager to see the seeds we’ve planted together continue to grow and flourish across Charles County and beyond.

Recent stories