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Office of Community Partnerships Newsletter
April 2011, Issue 38

In This Issue

Message from the Director: Meet Us in Wheaton at the World of Montgomery Festival on Sunday October 16, 2011

Bruce Adams

Director, Office of Community Partnerships


SAVE THIS DATE: Sunday October 16, 2011 from noon to 5 p.m. We are going to kick-off a week long celebration of diversity and service with our annual World of Montgomery Festival in Wheaton.


The World of Montgomery Festival is Montgomery County's annual celebration of our diversity. The Census data told us what we already knew: Montgomery County has become a majority minority community. Nearly one in every three Montgomery County residents was born in another country. With talented people coming here from every corner of the globe, this diversity enriches the lives of all of us and is Montgomery County's edge in the global marketplace. In contrast to some other jurisdictions in the region and across the country, Montgomery County proudly embraces our diversity. The World of Montgomery Festival is an important opportunity to build a greater understanding of the culture, history, and assets that our neighbors have brought to our community. Come to Wheaton on Sunday October 16 to share the food, entertainment, and cultures of your neighbors and friends.


Will you help us organize a really spectacular World of Montgomery Festival? Several dozen representatives of a wide range of community organizations attended our April 7 planning meeting. Our next planning meeting will be at 4 p.m.on Thursday, May 5 at the Mid-County Regional Services Center in Wheaton at 2424 Reedie Drive (right near the Wheaton METRO). Please contact me at bruce.adams@montgomerycountymd.gov if you would like to join the planning for the World of Montgomery Festival.


Hundreds of Montgomery County residents are signing up for our Pledge 25 campaign. Sign-up today, complete your 25 hours, and you will be recognized at our Silver Anniversary Community Service Day celebration in Silver Spring on Saturday evening October 22. Click here to find out more and sign up



computerBasic Computer Classes for Job Seekers

Now enrolling for 'Basic Computers II': an 8-week program to create resumes, cover letters and learn about search engines & online applications.


  • Start date: April 27th, 2011 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Location: 2424 Reedie Drive, Suite 220, Wheaton, MD 20902
  • First-come, first-served; space limited, office hours 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  Non-refundable registration fee: $15 for county residents; $30 for non-residents.

    Spanish, ESL and basic computer classes also offered. Contact the Gilchrist Center for more information: gilchrist.center@montgomerycountymd.gov  or 240-777-4940.  

    asianAsian Pacific American Heritage Month Highlights "Heritage in the Making."

    The Chinese community will host a Health and Resource Fair on Sunday, May 1 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the Executive Office Building Cafeteria.  For more information or to request a table for exhibition (free of charge), please contact Helen He at cccaa2008@gmail.com.


    At the end of the month, Thursday, May 26, from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m., the County Executive's Asian American Advisory Group and the Office of Community Partnerships will host two panel discussions in the Executive Office Building auditorium to highlight the dynamic and diverse Asian American communities in Montgomery County.


    3:00 - 3:30 p.m.  Introduction, Overview and Proclamation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month


    3:30 - 5:00 p.m. "Churches, Mosques and Temples: Faith-based Approaches to Social Services in the Asian American Community"


    5:15 - 6:45 p.m.  "A Conversation with Asian American Policymakers: Perspectives on Community Engagement in a Global Economy"


    gardenCommunity Garden Takes Root in Gaithersburg


    On Saturday, April 9, 2011 scores of residents and other community stakeholders gathered to break ground at the Emory Grove Community Garden located behind the Emory Grove Center in Gaithersburg. The garden is a collaboration between Neighbors For Neighbors, the Gaithersburg node of Neighborhood Opportunity Network, MCPS and Montgomery County Parks. Through this partnership, recession-struggling residents will be able to grow high quality food at a very low cost while building community through shared physical effort.

    County Executive Isiah Leggett issued the County's Earth Day Proclamation and offered remarks affirming the use of the earth to weave the fabric of this increasingly diverse community. The pastors and members of two churches in the area offered prayers and words of reconciliation and welcome to both the community and the gardeners in support of the garden.

    Emory Grove Garden Event

    Emory Grove Community Garden Commencement 

    Recognizing an Outstanding Woman & Leader: Vivien Hsueh

    vivien hsueh 

    Vivien Hsueh, who leads the Chinese American Senior Services Association--one of the County's most successful and well-regarded Asian senior-serving organization that focuses on wellness and vibrancy--was among those honored by the Montgomery County Council on March 29 at ceremonies recognizing Women's History Month. A proclamation presented to her by Lily Qi of the County's Office of Community Partnerships and Councilmembers Nancy Floreen, Nancy Navarro and Valerie Ervin on behalf of the Council said, "The stories of women's achievements, tenacity, courage and creativity are integral to the fabric of our history and are a tremendous source of strength for future generations."

    foodThe Manna Food Center: Feeding Hope in our Community with May Food Drive 

    Manna Food Center provides the vital service of 3.5 million pounds of perishable and non-perishable foodstuffs yearly to at risk families and children in Montgomery County.  This breaks down to seventy pounds of food, enough sustenance for three to five days per family, per month.  Please see the informational video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6XF1bCS9fc .


    To understand the impact of Manna's work, all 28 Giant Food Stores are sponsoring a two-day food drive on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Interested parties of 3 or more persons "adopt" a store for the day for food collection from shoppers.  To register your group for a store, please contact Manna at volunteer@mannafood.org and indicate 'GIANT FOOD DRIVE' in the subject line.

    JCRCJoin the Jewish Community Relations Council's Board of Directors


    The JCRC of Greater Washington is the public affairs and community relations arm of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and over 100 Jewish institutions throughout the region, including synagogues, schools and human service agencies. The organization is devoted to: strengthening government relations, building ties among different groups in society, advocating for Israel and serving as a catalyst for social justice.

    Nominees should be comfortable with the JCRC's mission and understand that serving on the board is a privilege and obligation that involves attending board meetings and other JCRC events; volunteering time, energy and talent to the organization, and serving on a committee or working on a "portfolio."  In addition, prospective board members should have held previous positions of Jewish community leadership, must represent the agency in a positive way and accept the agency's by-laws. They are also expected to make a meaningful financial gift to both the JCRC and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

    • Please fill out the application online by Monday, May 9, 2011 to be considered for a term beginning July 1, 2011 and concluding June 30, 2013. Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted. The Nominating Committee will assume that the nominee has agreed to serve if chosen. Also, please note that the JCRC board nomination process is very competitive and submission of an application does not guarantee acceptance to the board.

    For more information contact Adina Remz at aremz@jcouncil.org or at (301) 770-0881.

    habitatHome-Building Trip to Morazan, El Salvador July 23-31, 2011

    Are you looking for an mind-expanding adventure that will help you into better physical shape as well as touch your heart and spirit? Then join Habitat for Humanity's 7-day excursion to beautiful El Salvador while we build some homes in El Divisadero in the state of Morazan. You will learn about the country and the people in a way that you never could with ordinary travel.


    The earthquake-resistant houses are made of concrete blocks and structural steel reinforcement. The roofs are made of fiber-cement sheeting, and the floors of cement brick. Most homes have two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room and a latrine or toilet. Windows are shutter type, protected by steel bars in order to provide adequate lighting, ventilation and security.


    Teams stay in a hotel or guest house separated by gender; typically two to four per room with shared bathrooms.  Approximately $1,200 for ground transportation, lodging, meals, insurance, and a donation to the project, plus air fare of approximately $645. Total cost of approximately $1,845.


    The Team Leader is John Paukstis, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County MD, Inc. If you are interested in learning more about this unique experience please contact him at john.paukstis@habitat-mc.org.


    The Habitat trip to Morazan will be part of Montgomery County's first ever Sister City partnership. A delegation of about 60 Montgomery County residents led by County Executive Ike Leggett, former Member of Congress Connie Morella, and Councilmember George Leventhal will be in Morazan July 25-29. Members of the Habitat group will join the delegation on Tuesday morning July 26 for a formal signing ceremony with County Executive Leggett and the Governor of Morazan. For information about Montgomery County's Sister City program, please contact Mier Wolf: mier.wolf@montgomerycountymd.gov.

    ArabMontgomery County Celebrates Arab American Heritage Month

    As an annual tradition, Montgomery County commemorates Arab American Heritage Month each April; a decade-long tradition.  On April 11, County Executive Ike Leggett proclaimed the month with members of the Arab American Heritage Committee. Montgomery College and the City of Gaithersburg each hosted their annual Arab American observances with educational programs and community celebrations. 

    Arab American Heritage Month

    Pictured (left to right) are: Suhail Hishmeh, Amira Hussein, Mary Hishmeh, Samira Hussein, Mohammad Hussein, Mr. Leggett, Yvonne Wall, and Guled Kassim.

    blueprintCounty's "Senior Village Blueprint" Now Available at Libraries


    This step-by-step guide created to support communities within Montgomery County--and throughout the region--that want to start a senior Village organization in their neighborhood, is now available at all of the County's public library branches.  Senior "Villages" provide grassroots services to combat social isolation, improve mobility and enhance access to senior-designated services. 


    According to an AARP study, nearly 90 percent of adults 50 and older want to stay in their current home and community as they age. The Village movement is a nationwide initiative to support "aging in place." County Executive Ike Leggett has been actively engaged in and committed to supporting the growth of Villages in Montgomery County.


    The Village Blueprint is a "how-to" manual on starting, organizing, administering and sustaining a Village.  In addition to public libraries, copies of the Blueprint will be available at the County's five regional service centers.  For an electronic copy, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bcc and click on the link for "Senior Information."


    Or, for more information, call the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at 240-777-8200.


    rewardsRockville Rewards: Give Even Less, Get Even More

    Rockville Rewards help shoppers save money on everyday purchases, like restaurant food, retail items and other services, while helping non-profits. The pilot program began in November and will conclude this year on June 30, 2011.  Cards were initially priced at $25 and have been reduced to $10.  In addition to the everyday deals, there are weekly deals featuring more substantial discounts valid for one week only. Consumers interested in purchasing a card can purchase directly from one of the 15 participating non-profits or business locations listed on the website at www.rockvillerewards.com.

    oOffice of Community Partnerships Calendar
    Committee for Ethnic Affairs: 1st Thursday of every month, 7 p.m. at the Executive Office Building Auditorium. Contact Lisa Austin for more information: lisa.austin@montgomerycountymd.gov.

    World of Montgomery Festival Planning Committee: Thursday, May 5, 2011. 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Mid-County Regional Services Center, 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton (right near the Wheaton METRO). For information, contact Bruce Adams at bruce.adams@montgomerycountymd.gov.


    World of Montgomery Festival: Sunday, October 16, 2011. Noon to 5 p.m. in downtown Wheaton. Come celebrate Montgomery County's diversity with a fun afternoon of food, entertainment, and cultural activities. For information, contact Bruce Adams at bruce.adams@montgomerycountymd.gov.


    Community Service Day: Saturday, October 22, 2011. All-day with projects throughout Montgomery County. Come to downtown Silver Spring 5 to 8 p.m. for the Silver Anniversary Celebration of Community Service Day. Find more information on the Volunteer Center website

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