November/December 2011     

Holiday Volunteering
Volunteer Generation Fund
Tracking Volunteer Hours
Commissioner Corner



Maryland citizens served by Maryland AmeriCorps in



Out of the Ordinary Volunteer Opportunities 

Holiday Cards for Wounded Warriors

Send holiday cards to military hospitals in Maryland and around the globe. For more information on how you can bring the holidays home for our veterans, click here

Pets on Wheels

Take your pet to a nursing home, assisted living facility, or facilities for the physically or mentally challenged in Maryland. For more information, click here. 

Woodworkers for Children Charity Inc.

Create wooden toys to be donated to needy children in Montgomery County, Washington, D.C., and Prince George's County.To find out how, click here.


With Thanksgiving over and the holiday season in full bloom, we here at the GOSV are grateful for Maryland's commitment to volunteerism over the past year. As a sign of celebration for Maryland's commitment, Governor Martin O'Malley is leading the Maryland: Stronger Together campaign to recognize Maryland's volunteers and highlight positive work in our communities.


We Marylanders know that the holiday season is about coming together in the spirit of giving. If you and your loved ones are looking for a way to give back this season, Maryland: Stronger Together has an interactive map to help you find a place to share and donate this year. And, if you know someone whose volunteerism has gone above and beyond, celebrate their service by writing an essay on why they are a "Compassionate Marylander."


In the spirit of the season, let's give the gift of service by volunteering in our communities and show that we're all Compassionate Marylanders. Happy Holidays!


 -The Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism 


SPOTLIGHT: Holiday Volunteering


If you have caught the spirit of the holidays one of the best ways to celebrate is through volunteering.There are many great opportunities throughout Maryland, but with traditional volunteer roles filling up we have asked volunteer centers for tips on finding the right volunteer opportunity for you and your loved ones.

Search for opportunities online. If you're still hunting for the right volunteer role, some of the Maryland volunteer centers have posted useful Holiday Volunteer Guides to assist. Both Anne Arundel and Baltimore City have guidebooks on their websites, and Washington County offers an updated list of volunteer opportunities posted by the organizations directly.

Think outside of "holiday themed" volunteer opportunities. Soup kitchens full? Tickets sold out for BVU's Elf Night? Don't fret! One of the best ways to help this holiday season is to sign up for something outside of the traditional. There are many options available including leading a walking tour of Baltimore to Potomac Hostel guests, helping cats find homes at the Waldorf Petco, or joining the Snow Patrol to help seniors and people with disabilities remove snow from their driveways and sidewalks.

Expand your timeframe and spread the "Holiday Spirit" year-round. The holiday season is a wonderful time to give back through volunteerism. Yet, with the influx of people looking to serve, smaller organizations may be overwhelmed with too many people and too few roles. By the end of the holidays, the number of interested volunteers drops dramatically, leaving organizations in need of the people they could not accomodate before. If you find yourself having trouble volunteering this season, consider finding another time to serve. With MLK Jr. Day of Service around the corner, many volunteer centers will have options available for you in January. And, if you're inspired, why not look for a monthly volunteer gig? Whether you volunteer for one-day events throughout the year or find a role to commit to, your service will help to extend the spirit of giving well beyond the holidays!


First Year Results


In January 2011, the GOSV awarded six Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) grants to volunteer centers throughout Maryland. Utilizing the grants, VGF grantees have engaged in a wide variety of service activities across Maryland. They have implemented volunteer leader programs, led September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance events, held volunteer-led summer camps, and organized volunteer projects in conjunction with the Baltimore City Chief Service Officer. In all, the centers mobilized 3,113 volunteers who served 30,792 hours. Of these 2,108 were new volunteers from diverse backgrounds including youth, seniors, Baby Boomers, and differently-abled individuals.

As our centers continue to face the challenges of technology, some have arrived to a point of achievement and more are on their way. Our grantees, Volunteer Center for Anne Arundel and Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, have recently released their new websites. ShoreCAN and Volunteer Southern Maryland will release their new Hands On system in 2012.

We are proud of the volunteer centers and their continued commitment to volunteerism. Stay tuned for more news!


Tracking Volunteer Hours


If you're an organization that works with volunteers, you know that tracking volunteer time can seem daunting. Yet, the importance of collecting this time is crucial both to the organization and the volunteers. From volunteer recognition to utilizing the total number of hours as a media tool, tracking volunteer hours has the power to impact your organization in a meaningful way.

Did you know that an hour of volunteer time was equal to $21.36 in 2010? One of the most useful ways that tracking volunteer hours can help your organization is to show your funders and donors what resources you already receive through the monetary value of your volunteers' service hours. The monetary value is also critical when trying to match funds for grants. Some granters will consider volunteer time as a way to satisfy the match requirement, qualifying you for a grant you wouldn't have been able to receive without volunteers.

From a media standpoint, tracking volunteer hours (and any other volunteer data) is a great way to publicize the success of your organization. Think about the difference it would make if instead of saying, "volunteers served our organization" you were able to say "350 volunteers gave 1,400 hours this year!"

Lastly, and importantly, volunteers want to be appreciated! Tracking their hours is one way to capture the valuable contributions make in your agency. Whether you celebrate your  volunteers by placing their names and hours in your newsletter or giving them an award - always recognize the time your volunteers invest in your organization. In making the effort, they may make tracking their hours a little less daunting for you!

Joseph Murray interview


Photo source: Corridor Inc.com

From as early as Joseph can remember, he was serving his community. His mother and father instilled the virtues of service at a young age through volunteering in their church and around their west Baltimore community. One of Joseph's favorite roles was visiting his 23 year old neighbor, Clarice Robinson. Clarice, who was wheelchair-bound and without the ability to use her hands, had become disabled while serving in the Women's Army Corps. Joseph would visit frequently to keep her company and to feed her. Through this experience, he developed a connection with Clarice's family and ignited a passion to serve the disabled community.

While attending Morgan State University, Joseph served as a Red Cross volunteer at Rosewood State Hospital. It was in this role that he gained greater insight and knowledge about developmental and intellectual disabilities. As an adult, Joseph's dedication and understanding of the disabled community led him to volunteer at the Arc of Howard County. For nearly a decade, Joseph served on the Arc's Board of Directors, and was invited to be President of the board. In 2011, he was honored with a Volunteer of the Year Award for his service. After his final year as President, Joseph continues to serve on multiple committees at the Arc including Monitoring and Advisory, Governmental Affairs, and the Education and Youth Issues Committees.

While Joseph's service has been connected to the disabled community, he has extended his reach in various ways. He has served on multiple boards for organization such as the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, The Friends of the Howard County Library, Inc, the Board of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, and The Columbia Pro Cantare. Joseph also participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, "Bigs in School," where he became a role model for three third grade boys. As a grandfather, Joseph continues his parents' tradition of teaching the importance of service and has taught his family that "as human beings we are all connected, and, if we help each other, then we all grow."