It is not enough to be compassionate. 
You must act.
--Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
In This Issue
Give the Gift of Volunteering This Holiday Season

Autumn harvest
As Thanksgiving and the winter holidays approach, many people are inspired to give back to their community. While the ever-popular opportunities to serve meals at a soup kitchen or shelter on Thanksgiving day fill up fast, there are lots of other meaningful ways to help those in need during the holiday season. 

Click here to see a sampling of needs for holiday volunteers--help is needed for everything from transporting bulk food to sorting toy donations--and check back frequently as additional opportunities are posted regularly. There are also several groups recruiting donors to contribute gifts, clothing, and more, or to organize a gift drive. Check out the donor requests here

And don't forget that nonprofits need your help throughout the year. Visit our website (or use the red box above) and search for keywords like "meals," "hunger," or "food,"  and you'll find plenty of opportunities to help provide meals at shelters and food banks year-round.   
Support Homeless and Formerly Homeless Veterans on Veteran's Day 

You can help the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) honor local veterans through several projects the organization is coordinating this month, just in time for Veteran's Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11:
  • Send encouraging cards to veterans, thanking them for their service. Mail them (in time to arrive by Nov. 11) to MCCH, 600-G East Gude Dr., Attn: Development, Rockville, MD 20850. 
  • Create "Welcome Home" baskets to allow veterans who are exiting homelessness quickly set up  their new home. Email Teri Brenits for more details.
  • Donate gently used luggage and duffel bags for veterans to use when moving from emergency shelters to a home of their own.  Drop these off at the Rockville address above during regular business hours.
MCCH is helping to lead Montgomery County's efforts in Zero: 2016, a national campaign to end veteran homelessness by the of this calendar year. As part of this effort, MCCH has launched Operation Homecoming, which provides housing and social services to up to 12 veterans with disabilities.
City of Rockville Is a Community of Service

City of Rockville
Since its incorporation in 1860, the city of Rockville has been tailoring and expanding its services to meet the needs of its population, which now numbers more than 60,000 people. The generosity and hard work of volunteers is integral to providing these services. In fact, the level of volunteerism in the city often makes Rockville feel like a small, hometown community. 

There are a wide range of ways to get involved as a volunteer, no matter your interests or schedules:

During this holiday season, the annual Rockville Holiday Drive provides opportunities for volunteers to help neighbors in need in several ways. In November, volunteers organize canned food drives (with a focus on healthy, nutritious food), and in December, help is needed running toy drives to collect new, unwrapped gifts for children in need.
Water lovers can consider helping at the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center, where dependable individuals are now needed to assist staff with Learn-to-Swim classes. Prospective volunteers must be at least 13 years old, have basic swimming skills, be able to make an eight-week commitment, and complete a background check. The greatest need for volunteers is on Saturday and Sunday mornings. 

Volunteering within the immediate Rockville community is a great way to learn leadership skills, connect with people from all walks of life, and gain a sense of belonging to those around you. For more information, call 240-314-5000, check out the city's volunteer website, or visit the Rockville City Hall at 111 Maryland Ave. 
 Help Those Who Help Those With Alzheimer's

November is National Alzheimer's Disease and Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month--making this an ideal time to consider serving the Alzheimer's Association's National Capital Area Chapter. The group is now recruiting volunteers to serve as facilitators for caregiver support groups

Facilitators help group participants develop coping methods and encourage caregivers to maintain their personal, physical, and emotional heath. Volunteers must have active listening and verbal skills, be comfortable with expressions of emotions, demonstrate discretion, and be willing to seek out and provide up-to-date information on research, care, and treatment for group members. Professional healthcare experience and a background in working with people with Alzheimer's disease are preferred. Training is provided and a background screening is required. 

Email Ben Donnelly or call 703-766-9007 for more information.
Coming Up: Tax-Aide Volunteer Orientation 

The RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program, which offers free tax preparation assistance for low-to-moderate income taxpayers (with special attention to those age 60+), is gearing up for the next tax season and will soon be recruiting volunteers to serve as tax counselors, facilitators/greeters, and schedulers

Learn about these volunteer opportunities at one of the upcoming orientation sessions: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 10:30 am-12:30 pm, at the Gaithersburg Library, or Friday, Dec. 4, 1-3 pm, at the Silver Spring Library. No registration required. 

RSVP--the Retired Senior Volunteer Program--is a program of the Montgomery County Volunteer Center.

Call 240-777-2610 for more information.
As the Weather Cools, Volunteering Heats Up
Below are just a few of the opportunities listed on the Volunteer Center's website. Check our calendar of events for more date-specific opportunities, and use the red box on our home page or at the top of this email to search for more ongoing opportunities. 
SSL Icon
The Denotes opportunities that are pre-approved to provide MCPS Student Service Learning  (SSL) hours. Many are great opportunities for adults too!  

SSL Icon Sort Sporting Equipment: Sunday, Nov. 7, 10 am-2 pm. Leveling the Playing Field collects used sporting equipment and distributes it to programs serving low-income youth in the DC/Baltimore area. Help sort donations of baseball gloves, hockey pads, soccer balls, and the like at the organization's warehouse. Email Ian Cohen or call 301-844-5621.

SSL Icon Do Good on Veteran's Day: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 1-5 pm. Join the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington to create care packages and send grateful messages to local Jewish veterans and current active-duty members. Email Jconnect or call 888-246-1818.

Spanish Interpreters for Parent-Teacher Conferences: Various shifts available Wednesday, Nov. 11, between 1 and 8 pm, and Thursday, Nov. 12, between 1 and 5 pm. Bilingual volunteers who can maintain confidentiality needed to act as Spanish-English interpreters for parent-teacher conferences at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in Silver Spring. Email Victor Santiago or call 301-431-7735. (Spanish interpreters also needed for conferences at the Ed Bohrer Parent Resource Center on the same dates.) 

SSL Icon Help ReStore Get Ready to Move: Sundays, Nov. 15 and 29, 10 am-4 pm. Habitat for Humanity of Metro Maryland is relocating its Gaithersburg furniture/household goods store to a larger facility in Rockville and is hosting special clean up days to prepare for the move. Register to volunteer online. (Look for the "ReStore Sunday Special Shift.")

Make Blankets and Afghans: Friday, Nov. 20, drop in anytime between 10 am and 9 pm. Knitters, crocheters, sewers, and quilters are needed to create blankets as gifts for sick children in the hospital. Yarn and fabric provided (though donations of these materials are gratefully accepted).  Sponsored by and held at the Derwood extension office of the Montgomery County Association for Family & Community Education. Call Pat Kenney at 301-460-5451.

SSL Icon Thanksgiving Parade Volunteers: Saturday, Nov. 21, 7:30 am-1:30 pm. Lead balloons, dress up and be part of parade floats, and/or help with setup or breakdown at the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade in Silver Spring. Register here.

SSL Icon Turkey Chase Helpers: Thursday, Nov. 27, various shifts between 5 am and 12 noon (and earlier in the week). The Bethesda-Chevy Chase YMCA holds its 33rd annual Turkey Chase in Bethesda Thanksgiving morning and needs hundreds of volunteers to help with assorted activities--from handing out water to working check-in to timing runners. Sign up here.

Community Service Aid: Connect families with community resources, assist in planning parent engagement events, accompany care coordinators on home visits, and other social service assistance for the county Health and Human Services' Kennedy and Watkins Mill Cluster Projects. Volunteers must have at least one year of experience providing social service assistance, commit to working 20 hours per week, and provide their own transportation. Email Mayra Rondon-Tineo or call 240-777-1449.

Newsletter Producer/Designer: Put together a quarterly newsletter for the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program, which provides college and skills training scholarships for low-income county residents.  Board members provide materials and also welcome the volunteer's ideas. Requires knowledge of Publisher, Word, and Adobe software. Minimum age: 18. Email Nancy Scull or call 301-922-5052.

SSL Icon Garden of Lights Assistants: Help staff Brookside Gardens' massive holiday light display, which runs Nov. 27-Jan. 3. Volunteers serve as show monitors, parking assistants, attendance counters, and more. Minimum age: 16. Volunteers must a training session on Nov. 10, 5:30-8 pm, and commit to at least four shifts (shifts are 5-9:30 pm, Sundays through Thursdays, and 5-10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays).  Email Jodi Bucknam or call 301-962-1429.

Hunger Van Helpers: Work with the Islamic Center of Maryland on its Hunger Van project, which brings  meals and volunteers to serve delicious and nutritious food to 200 people on the streets four times every month. Email Mohammed Aslam or call 301-840-9440.
Volunteers Embrace Community Service Week 

Thousands of county residents rolled up their sleeves to help their neighbors in need during Montgomery County's Community Service Week, which spanned Oct. 16-25 this year. Volunteers cleaned parks and streams, prepared and collected food for the hungry, participated in walks and community festivals, and much more. Thank you to everyone who volunteered and all the organizations that hosted projects!

Check out the Community Service Week photo gallery to see work in action. (And email us your photos to add them to the gallery.)
County Council's Grants Advisory Group Recruiting Applicants

The Montgomery County Council is seeking applications from individuals interested in serving on its Grants Advisory Group for fiscal year 2017. Members of the advisory group serve in a volunteer capacity, reviewing grant applications and advising the council on proposals from the nonprofit community.

Applicants for the advisory group may not be employees or members of a board of a nonprofit group applying for council grant funding.

To apply, send a letter of interest and resume before 4 pm on Monday, Nov. 9, to Council President George Leventhal, Montgomery County Council, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850, or here via email

More details available here or call 240-777-7935.
Learn Vital Hospice Care Skills at Volunteer Training

Hospice Caring Inc. is offering a free three-day training session for those interested in volunteering as hospice caregivers and bereavement facilitators, to be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Nov. 17-19, 8:30 am-4 pm, in Gaithersburg. 

Training will cover topics such as communication and active listening, understanding grief, cultural competency, and self-care. 

Trained Hospice Caring volunteers may provide companionship, home assistance, and transportation, and also facilitate adult bereavement support groups, school-based Good Grief Clubs, and health classes. 

Click here for more information. To register, email Penny Gladhill or call 301-990-8904.
Forum Aims to Help Seniors Live Life to the Fullest  

Learn about preventing senior scams, encouraging volunteerism and civic engagement in our senior community, and stopping elder abuse at a county forum Wednesday, Nov. 18, 10 am-noon, in the Crystal Ballroom at Leisure World in Silver Spring. 

The forum is being hosted by Montgomery County Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Sidney Katz, who hope to provide members of the senior community with a better understanding of the services available to them and more confidence in their ability to live without fear and to the fullest as they grow older.

Event speakers will include State's Attorney for Montgomery County John McCarthy; Eric Friedman, director of the county's Office of Consumer Protection; and Kathleen Meaney Stobie, director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program in the Montgomery County Volunteer Center. The forum will also include a resource fair featuring a variety of organizations that provide services to seniors.

Get more details from the event flyer. Or call 240-777-7898 or email Councilmember Berliner for additional information or questions.
Make a Difference

Check out Make a Difference, a County Cable Montgomery public access television program that highlights the contributions of volunteers and organizations that contribute to the good of our county. The most recent episode showcases Stepping Stones Shelter, which provides food, clothing, shelter, support services, and educational programming to homeless families, and has many volunteer opportunities.  Click here to watch the episode and other recent airings. 
Subscribe to Our Partner Newsletters

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is part of the Office of Community Partnerships, which works to strengthen the relationship between the Montgomery County government and the residents it serves, with special emphasis on underserved and emerging communities. Subscribe to the monthly OCP newsletter to keep up these activities. 

Follow these links to subscribe to our other partner agencies' electronic publications:
Montgomery County Volunteer Center - Office of Community Partnerships |
12900 Middlebrook Road
Suite 1600
Germantown, MD 20874
 (240) 777-2600