Best Do-Gooder: Ericka Alston-Buck

Penn North Community Resource Center 1620 N. Carey St., (410) 728-2080,

If you’ve ever visited the Sandtown-Winchester-based Kids Safe Zone, you’ll see highly organized chaos. Founder Ericka Alston-Buck is a ball of energy, directing one volunteer to do this, another to do that, telling a group of kids where to sit down for their snack and another group to hustle to the next activity. She started the Kids Safe Zone right after the Uprising because she saw a need for a community center. Since then, the program has been blossoming—they’ve moved into larger facilities and photographer Devin Allen has taught some kids his craft. That’s in addition to the video games, reading activities, playground fun, yoga, and several other activities Erika and her team of volunteers provide for the kids. There are people all over the city who talk a big game about helping the kids who need it most, but she’s replacing words with actions in a major way.

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