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Baltimore Living

Best Nonprofit

Viva House

It’s been about 45 years now, and Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham have been feeding people on the west side of Baltimore all this time, while resisting war and militarism, bureaucracy and stupidity in the church, state and their corporate overlords. Case-in-point: In late 2010 the couple refused to sign a “loyalty oath” saying they would not use funds from the United Way campaign to support terrorism. “What terrorist is not going to sign this?” Walsh asked. It was a simple act of defiance with a profound impact, forcing a reassessment of the policy at the United Way while—ironically, perhaps—driving several hundred dollars in new donations to the rowhouse and courtyard where several dozen people are given a good lunch every day.

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