Blog Purpose

The purpose of the blog is to report on the activities of the clubs and organizations and to post details about community announcements that are too long for the Announcements page. Comments and content are welcomed. Email the webmasters at

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Campus Emergencies, Power Outages and Swift Reach

For those who do not know, Swift Reach is our automated phone system that can send recorded phone messages to all residents whose phone numbers are on record in the Resident Directory. If you are not listed in the Resident Directory you need to ask for a Change Form from any lobby desk and specify on the form that this is “for Swift Reach only” and return it to the lobby desk. If you want to be listed in the Directory, add your apartment number, and email address, if you have one, without stating “for Swift Reach only”. Not all Alerts are Campus-wide, they may be limited to the area of the circumstance. Speakers still present in buildings will not be used. They are antiquated and are not reliable.

During power outages, if your phone requires electricity IT WILL NOT WORK. Phones which are connected to a phone jack in the wall (photo A), and do not require electricity to function, will work when the power is out. Keeping a standard, corded phone available can be a lifeline simply by hooking it up to a phone jack (photo B). These particular phones can be purchased on-line, in local retail outlets or at the Treasure Chest in Brookside for under $10 for those who may need one.

Wireless phones are powered by electricity and connected to your phone outlet and will not work as the unit that plugs into the phone socket (the base station) also needs power to operate and does not tend to have a battery backup (photo C).

A fully charged cell phone will work during power outages. Residents may chose to list this number for “Swift Reach only”. Recently, General Services has added the Swift911 Text Alert Program that allows them to notify you via Text in these type situations if you have a Smartphone. You just send a text to 443-947-3474 stating “Add” and a text reply will state “confirmed”. If you do not receive a reply text, then repeat your text using all caps in “ADD”.

One important preparedness step is to put together an old-fashioned contact book so when your cell phone is drained of power you have phone numbers for loved ones available for you to call.

Now, in case you do not hear the Swift Reach message in its entirety or your voice mail message was cut off, call the Alert Line 410-314-7944 to hear the message. If you learn later that there was a Swift Reach Alert and your phone records indicate you did not get the call, you may contact General Services to have them verify if the call was made and to which phone number of yours was dialed.

Charlie Eichenlaub
Communications Committee

Photo A

Photo B

Photo C

Treasure Sale Totals for January Sale

Did you shop the Treasure Sale this past week? If so, you helped us raise $32,707.78!

A week’s worth of teamwork by over 300 resident Treasure Sale volunteers along with the Housekeeping, Maintenance, Security, Catering, Transportation, Grounds, Communications and Philanthropy teams helped to create a shopping event that brought in residents, employees and large crowds from the outside.

Proceeds from the Treasure Sale benefit the Benevolent Care Fund, Scholars Fund, Staff Appreciation Fund and Chapel Concert, as well as other resident clubs. Thank you for all of your help!

Donations to Treasure Sale Temporarily on Hold until Feb. 25, 2019

Donations to the Treasure Sale are currently in hiatus because of Chesapeake and Conference Center renovations, but will resume February 25, 2019. Please do not leave any items in the TS collection baskets in stairwells during this hiatus. However, larger donations such as table, chairs, and lamps will be collected as room allows, as will cleanouts. Please contact Emily Fowler at 410-737-8892 so that your donation can be approved prior to pickup by Housekeeping. This is to ensure that donations are in salable condition. 

Please NEVER leave items of any size outside the Treasure Sale sorting rooms or LARGE items (such as bookcases, large mirrors, pictures, walkers, etc.) near or in TS collection baskets in stairwells. This creates problems and additional work for pickup and sorting room volunteers. Thank you for your consideration!

Reminder: If you are contacted by a family working on an apartment cleanout, please direct them to speak with Emily Fowler so that they can be advised about the donation process. 

Thank you for your patience during this time of transition.

Arbutus Library Shuttle Temporary Date Changes

The Arbutus Library will be closed on the 3rd Monday of January and February, 2019. The Charlestown library shuttle will go instead on the 2nd Monday of both months – January 14 and February 11. Pick up time remains the same –
10 AM, returning at 11:30 AM.

The Move-Out Process

Have you and your family “had the talk”… about handling your Charlestown affairs at the end of life?

To help your family:
Ensure they have a copy and/or know where to find your Will or Trust. Veterans should make sure a copy of your DD214 is available.
Have your family familiar with your Residence and Care Agreement with Charlestown. This is the contract that defines your refund settlement, if any.
Complete the Authorization for Entry to Living Unit form explained below.

When the final surviving resident passes in an apartment in Independent Living, Security will immediately place a special Security lock on the door to the Apartment. Unless an existing Trust is involved, a Letter of Administration from the Baltimore County Courthouse-Register of Wills in Towson, MD must be obtained to open the Estate to the Executor for relatives to gain access to the locked residence. Recently, Security has altered their requirements allowing residents to designate up to two authorized persons to enter your apartment. However, you must complete the “Authorization for Entry to Living Unit” form available from the Administration Office or the Resident Life Office. The Form needs to be turned in to Brittany Owens in the Resident Life office in Cross Creek.

Before going to Towson, it’s suggested that you call ahead to The Register of Wills (410-887-6680) to find out what exactly the County needs you to provide them. For example, a copy of the Death Certificate, amount of money going into your Estate, and various other items may be required. The Executor (or Trustee) of the Estate should take a copy of the Trust or the Letter of Administration to the Security Supervisor to receive the key to the Security lock. In addition, the Executor or family member should obtain copies of the Death Certificate (suggest 10 copies) to notify all concerned.

If they haven’t already done so, your family should contact Lavina Dukes, our Move-Out Coordinator, for both the Move-Out Handbook and Things to Consider checklist to guide them through the process. The goal is to get your family through this and to speed up the apartment turn-over quickly so the refund from Charlestown can be finalized. For the handbook, checklist and additional information, please contact Lavina at 410-737-8838, x8375 or send her an email at

-Charlie Eichenlaub-

Christmas Mitten Tree

Donations of mittens, gloves, scarves, caps, and socks can be placed on the tree during the month of December. Trees are located in: Fireside Lounge area, Chesapeake Lounge area Caton Woods, and RG. Collected weekly, donations will be given to local elementary school children.
~Sponsored by Diversity & Inclusion Council and the Erickson Living Values Team~

Multiracial Awareness Group Meets November 21st

The newly formed Multiracial Awareness Discussion Group will meet for its second meeting on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 in Brookside Classroom #1 from 10 – 11:30 AM. All are welcome. We will continue to prepare for the February 2019 ELLIC speaker, Avis Ransom, from Baltimore Racial Justice Action (BRJA), who will present A Talk about Talking about Race.

Archives Display Cabinet – Holiday Display

“Blessed, Grateful, Giving”

Celebrate the holidays at Charlestown through the years.  See the new display in the Archives cabinet located at the Brookside Bridge, entitled “Charlestown’s Holiday Spirit – Blessed, Grateful, Giving.”  See how many holiday items you see in the display.  For some there is only one, for others there are 20 or more.  Find the Holiday Invitation, Pioneer, Nutcracker, Butterfly, Flag, Wreath, Chapel, Marine, Balloon, Elf, Santa, Menorah, Conductor, Founder, Gloves, Antlers, Turkey, Gingerbread, Christmas Suit, Holiday Tree, Train, and Caroler. Enjoy this holiday season.

Email the Archives your thoughts on why you are Blessed, Grateful, and Giving.  Your emails will be added to the Digital Archives. Email –

Happy Holidays to Charlestown From the Charlestown Archives Group
We Are Blessed by Your Support