There is nothing more beautiful 
than someone who goes out of their way 
to make life beautiful for others
--author Mandy Hale
MAY 2016
In This Issue
Montgomery Serves Awards Honor Top Volunteers

Montgomery Serves Awards 2016 honorees Congratulations to the outstanding volunteers and community leaders who were recognized for their inspiring service to our county at last night's Montgomery Serves Awards gala, held at Imagination Stage in Bethesda. Learn more about the honorees here and watch for photos and videos of the awards ceremony to be posted soon. 
Helping People Throughout Life's Transitions

For more than 120 years, the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA)--with offices in Rockville, Silver Spring, and Fairfax--has been helping individuals and families across the Washington metro area meet emotional, social, and physical challenges. Rooted in the Jewish principles of repairing the world and helping others, JSSA provides nonsectarian services and support to more than 30,000 people of all faiths annually. These encompass a wide range of counseling, educational, and specialized employment services, as well as in-home support, hospice and nursing care, and social services.

JSSA is seeking volunteers to be a part of a growing number of volunteer-driven programs, including these:
  • Meals on Wheels drivers to bring kosher meals to home-bound seniors. This program is built on the service of volunteers who can make a weekly commitment, as well as back-up drivers who fill in on short notice.
  • Instructors for Himmelfarb Mobile University, which provides lifelong learning opportunities for older adults at area nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Course subjects are chosen and designed by instructors.
  • JSSA Hospice and Transitions volunteers, who provide companionship for the ill and terminally ill and respite for family members. Therapy dogs, massage therapists, and Reiki practitioners round out the interdisciplinary hospice team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and trained volunteers.
  • Through a new partnership with Nourish Now Food Bank in Rockville, volunteers to pick up and deliver food to seniors at their homes once a month
  • Friendly visitors to help enrich the lives of seniors who need support to stay engaged with everyday experiences. Some need a ride to the beauty parlor or someone to help them read and sort mail; others could use support with technology or grocery shopping. Volunteers with daytime availability (10 am-4 pm) are particularly needed.
JSSA provides training specific to each of these volunteer opportunities, and all volunteers work with a staff coordinator to support their service. Potential volunteers are interviewed in person and must submit three character references as well as information to be used for a background check.

Volunteering with JSSA has allowed many to connect and give back in meaningful ways. "With my children grown, I made a promise to myself that I would give back to my community," notes Andy Robbins, a hospice volunteer who has been giving his time to JSSA for more than eight years. "With JSSA, I have found people and a spirit of giving and helping that reflected what I wanted to do with my time."

To learn more about volunteering with JSSA or to request an application, email Elana Premack Sandler or call 301-610-8395. Or visit the JSSA website for lots of information about the organization and its services.
It's the Perfect Time to Volunteer Outdoors (and In!)
With average temperatures in the 70s, low humidity, and less pollen in the air, there may be no better time than now to take on some outdoor volunteer opportunities. Of course, there are plenty of needs for help indoors too! Here 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 our newest listings for those posted most recently. Or use the red box on our home page or at the top of this email to search for more ongoing opportunities. 
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These opportunities are pre-approved to provide MCPS Student Service Learning (SSL) hours. Others may be eligible for SSL hours. Visit  the MCPS SSL website to learn more. 

SSL Icon 5K and Fun Run Volunteers: Sunday, May 8, 7:30-10:30 am, Bethesda. Help out at the start/finish line, water stop, or along the route (if at least 18 or accompanied by a parent) of this annual Hope for Henry Foundation event. Email Stefanie Rothschild or call 703-966-4689.

SSL Icon Food Donation Sorters: Saturday, May 14, various shifts available 3-10 pm, Kensington. Unload, sort, or pack food collected through the National Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger food drive for Mid-County United Ministries' Wheaton food pantry for the needy. Register to volunteer online.

SSL Icon Park Trail Workers: Sunday, May 15 (Potomac), Saturday, May 21 (Darnestown), Sunday, May 29 (Boyds), and Saturday, June 4 (Clarksburg), 9 am-1 pm. Build new trails, repair erosion issues, and help construct bridges for Montgomery Parks. Tools and instructions provided. Minimum age: 15, but 13 and 14 year olds may be able to participate with a parent. Parental consent required for all volunteers under 18. Register to volunteer online.

SSL IconScholarship Awards Event Volunteers: Thursday, May 19, shifts available 4-8:30 pm, Silver Spring. Set up, serve dinner, and/or clean up for the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program celebration, at which low-income residents will be presented with financial assistance for college or training programs.  Email Nancy Scull or call 301-922-5052.

SSL Icon Olney Days Activities Assistants: Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, shifts available 6:30 am-9:30 pm on Saturday and 12 noon-9 pm on Sunday. Help with anything from setting up signs to face painting to teaching bike safety at this weekend-long festival sponsored by the Greater Olney Civic Association, which includes a parade, fun fair, singing competition, bicycle race, and community paper shred. Email Jackie Benn or call 301-260-9483.

SSL Icon Memorial Day Flag Placers: Saturday, May 28, 10 am-12 noon, Beallsville, Md. Place flags on the graves of veterans from every era as far back as the Revolutionary War buried at the Monocacy Cemetery and/or help collect them on Saturday, June 4. Ages 10 and up welcome. Email Anne Allnutt or call 301-649-2454.

Race/Walk Staff: Saturday, June 11, various shifts available 5-11 am, Washington. Greet and check in participants at the annual Lawyers Have Heart 10K Race/5K Run & Walk, distribute water at stops along the course, work the finish line and post-race party, or break down and clean up after the American Heart Association event. Volunteers also needed for tasks in the weeks leading up to the race. Groups welcome. Register to volunteer online.

Service Dog Application Reviewers: Review applications from disabled veterans, conduct interviews, and make recommendations on placing service dogs raised and trained through Hero Dogs, based in Brookeville. Volunteers with mental health experience are particularly needed, but the organization also seeks those with a background in medicine, pharmacology, physical or occupational therapy, military or veterans affairs, rehab, ADA, or other fields related to service dogs.  Email Jennifer Lund or call 888-570-8653.

SSL Icon Student Leadership Mentors: High school students instruct middle school students in the leadership skills necessary for successful, meaningful participation in high school and community service activities through Project Change's Summer Student Leadership Institute, held July 13-17 and July 20-24, 5:30-8:30 pm, in Olney. (Volunteers can help with either or both weeks.) Six-session mentor training on Tuesday evenings in Brookeville begins May 31. Email Robyn Holstein-Glass or call 301-257-4769.

Women's Shelter Cleaners: Bring your brooms or vacuums with long hoses to clean vents at a Rockville emergency shelter operated by Interfaith Works, which is in desperate need of this help. Email Yvonne Esipila or call 301-315-1097.

SSL Icon Gift Shop Clerks: Assist customers with purchases, operate the cash register, straighten and restock shelves, and assist with other tasks involved with running the gift shop at the Holy Cross Germantown Hospital. Shifts available weekdays, 9 am-8 pm, and on weekends, 10:30 am-6:30 pm. Email Sarah Walker or call 301-557-6970.

Mental Illness Program Volunteers: Use your personal experience with metal illness (either your own or that of a family member) to help NAMI Montgomery County with one of its many programs. Minimum age: 18. Volunteers must not have a criminal record. Email Julianne Grothe or call 301-949-5852.

Historical Museum Docents: Lead tours, greet visitors, and answer phones at the Beall-Dawson House and Stonestreet Medical Museum, both in Rockville and operated by the Montgomery County Historical Society. Being a docent enables you to broaden and share your knowledge of history while expanding your public speaking skills. Training and museum and historical society discounts provided. Minimum age: 18. Email John Muller or call 301-340-2825.
Summer Camps Need Volunteer Counselors

Have some free weeks this summer? Want to have fun while helping others? Many summer camps in our area are still looking for teens to serve as counselors or counselors-in-training. Here's a look at some of those opportunities, organized by camp/counselor focus. Many are pre-approved for MCPS Student Service Learning hours; check each link for these and other details. Find a more complete list of camp volunteer opportunities here.

Special needs
  • Maryland Soccer Foundation needs counselors-in-training for its soccer, basketball, and multi-sport camps held in Boyds and College Park throughout the summer. 
  • M.A.D.E. Sports Unlimited offers a basketball camp in Bethesda, June 27-July 1 and July 5-8. Counselors can help full or partial days and must be proficient in basketball. Orientation in June.
  • Counselors at Gaithersburg Power Camp, sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, help teach basketball, cheerleading, field hockey, fitness, football, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, and sports journalism, June 27-July 1. Mandatory training June 25.
  • Camp China seeks counselors-in-training who speak (or at least understand) Mandarin for two-week sessions in Potomac.
  • Victory Camp in Gaithersburg, sponsored by Bethany Presbyterian Church, offers Korean language instruction along with general camp fun. Volunteers must serve two full weeks and attend a week of training.
Other camp opportunities
  • Camp Opportunity's overnight camp for abused and neglected children held in Baldwin, Md., July 31-Aug. 6, needs volunteers to work one-on-one with campers. Training provided.
  • St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Poolesville holds its band camp Aug. 22-26, and needs volunteers to prepare lunch and/or teach small ensembles and individual musicians.
  • "Summer Fun Club" at Temple Isaiah Preschool in Fulton seeks teens to assist licensed teachers with play activities for young children. Program runs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, June 20-Aug. 5, and volunteers must commit to helping at least two weeks (not necessarily consecutive).
Mental Health Awareness Month
Train to Be a Hotline Volunteer

If you've ever thought about volunteering for the Montgomery County Hotline, a 24-hour telephone counseling and information referral service, now is the time to give it some serious consideration.  Not only is it mental health awareness month, but the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County, which operates the confidential hotline, will be offering the 52-hour required hotline training course beginning on Tuesday, May 17. 

The prep course includes classroom training as well as four sessions of on-the-phone training with an experienced hotline volunteer. The course will also be offered this summer. 

Salute Senior Volunteers This Month

May 16-20 is Senior Corps Week--a time to celebrate the many volunteer efforts of community members age 55-plus as well as RSVP (the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), which helps to match seniors with meaningful service opportunities and is housed locally at the Montgomery County Volunteer Center. 

Learn more about our RSVP volunteers and RSVP volunteer programs in this "Did You Know" video produced by the county. Or check out this list of RSVP partner organizations.
Evening/Saturday Hospice and Bereavement Training Offered

Hospice Caring Inc. presents a multi-day training session for new hospice caregivers and bereavement volunteers, Tuesday, May 10, through Thursday, May 12, 5-9 pm, plus Saturday, May 14, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, at Kensington Park Senior Living. The sessions will cover topics such as communication and active listening, understanding grief, cultural competency, and self-care. Dinner will be provided each weeknight and lunch will be provided on Saturday.

Trained Hospice Caring volunteers provide companionship, home assistance and transportation, adult bereavement support group facilitation, school-based Good Grief Clubs, and health class facilitation. Bilingual/multilingual individuals are particularly needed in these roles.

To register for the training session, email Penny Gladhill or call 301-990-8904. Visit Hospice Caring for more information.
Governor's Awards Recognize Service

The Maryland Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Governor's Service Awards, which recognize residents for their volunteer contributions to the state and its people. Nominations must be submitted online by Wednesday, June 1. 

There are 14 award categories, including lifetime achievement, youth service, individual service, and nonprofit volunteer program. Service must have been performed outside the context of the nominee's paid employment and those who have received a Governor's Service Award since 2011 are ineligible. Learn more here.
One-Day Giving Campaign Coming June 2

Do More 24--this year set for Thursday, June 2--is an annual opportunity for people across the Washington region to unite for one day of online giving in support the most pressing needs in our community.

Visit the website and click on "Participating Nonprofits" to learn specifically how each organization could benefit from donations ranging from $24 to $480. (More organizations are registering daily.) Then, between 12 am and 11:59 pm on June 2, search for participating nonprofits by name or mission, and give to those you'd like to support.

Do More 24 is organized by the United Way of the National Capital Area.
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