May I never get too busy in my own affairs
that I fail to respond to the needs of others
with kindness and compassion.
--Thomas Jefferson
In This Issue
Keep Cool and Cultured While Serving Local Museums

Some volunteers like to spend as much time as possible outside during the summer months, and happily take on roadside cleanups and outdoor festival work. But others prefer to avoid the heat and sun by helping the community from the comfort of an air conditioned space! 

If you fall into the latter category, and would appreciate ideas for volunteering indoors while also building your awareness of local history and culture, check out the following opportunities to serve as docents at museums in Montgomery County.

Damascus Heritage Museum Damascus Heritage Society Museum: Welcome guests to the museum and learn along with them about the Damascus community's agricultural, educational, economic, social, and spiritual history. The museum operates Wednesdays and Saturdays, noon-4 pm, and volunteers work in pairs and typically serve one day per month. Minimum age: 14. SSL pre-approved. Email Marie Dean or call 301-253-6150.

Montgomery County Historical Society: Share your excitement about local 19th century history with visitors to the Beall-Dawson House and the Stonestreet Medical Museum, located in Rockville. Training provided and volunteers receive a 20% discount at the museum shop as well as discounted rates on other programs offered by the historical society. Docents commit to two four-hour weekday shifts or one four-hour weekend shift per month. Minimum age: 18. Additional service opportunities include garden assistants (SSL pre-approved) and gift shop volunteers.

National Capital Trolley Museum: Help visitors to this Silver Spring landmark learn about the history of electric street railways. Working as a docent is also the first step toward becoming one of the museum's streetcar motormen. Training provided; next class is Saturday, July 23. (Advance registration required.) Minimum age: 14. SSL pre-approved. Additional service opportunities include car shop volunteers and project assistants. Email the museum or call 301-384-6532.

National Museum of Health and Medicine: Provide guided tours of this 150-year-old Silver Spring museum, which began as a national repository for materials related to Civil War injuries. Docents are asked to commit to at least four weekday shifts (about six hours) per month, and must attend orientation, training, and monthly volunteer meetings. Requires the ability to stand for long periods of time and interest in history, medicine, and military medicine. Minimum age: 18. Additional service opportunities include archival film volunteers and archives volunteers. Email Gwen Nelmes or call 301-319-3312.
To find additional volunteer opportunities at museums, check out these possibilities.
Bernie Scholarship Awards Program
Funding Education to Prepare Community Members 
for Livable Wage Employment  

Bernie Scholarship 2016
2016 Bernie Scholarship recipients

The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program provides financial assistance to help offset educational and vocational training expenses for low- and moderate-income students who live in affordable housing in Montgomery County. Named in celebration of Bernie Tetreault's 24 years of service as executive director of the Housing Opportunities Commission, the program has awarded 423 scholarships totaling $469,700 since its inception in 1996. One unusual aspect of the Bernie Scholarship is that it offers financial assistance not only with tuition and books, but also with childcare and transportation as needed.

BSAP exists only because of the work of volunteers, and is eager to add new help and insight to its corps. The organization is in need of an executive assistant to serve four to eight hours per week to keep the program organized by assisting with incoming scholarship applications, setting up interviews, formatting invitations and publications, and more. In addition, BSAP seeks new board and advisory board members, especially those skilled in marketing and fundraising. The board meets monthly.

Volunteers feel a real sense of making a difference. As Marilyn puts it, "I enjoy volunteering for the Bernie because I admire the students who are working so hard to gain an education. I also feel that these students will go on to help others in ways that I can't even imagine. I feel like I'm contributing to the greater community for years into the future by supporting scholars today."

For more information, visit the Bernie Scholarship website and/or email board member Nancy Scull
Summer Help Wanted
Turn the warmth of the summer into an opportunity to warm someone's heart by volunteering! 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 Summer Autism Program Assistants: Weekdays through Aug. 19, 8 am-1 pm or 1-6 pm, Rockville. Engage with children with special needs at a summer enrichment program sponsored by FACE-Facing Autism With Children Everywhere. The program serves children and teens ages 3 to 17, providing them with social, recreational, therapeutic, and educational opportunities. Email Shante H.S. or call 240-833-8981. 

SSL Icon Dinner Providers: Wednesdays, July 6 and Aug. 3, plus Sunday through Friday, July 10-15, 6:30-7:30 pm, Rockville. Make and serve dinner for residents of the Wilkins Avenue Women's Assessment Center in this project organized by MoverMoms. Sign up to bring part of the dinner for one of these nights, and stick around to help serve, cleanup, and mingle with the residents while they eat. Delivery of breakfast provisions also appreciated. Minimum age: 10. Email Deb Lang or call 301-792-3708.

SSL Icon Book Festival Staff: Saturday, July 16, shifts available 9:45 am-4:30 pm, Rockville. Share your love of reading at Velocity of Books's Rock'n Read event, which will feature live music, games, prizes, author talks--and the distribution of more than 10,000 free books. Volunteers needed to help with everything from stocking bookshelves to running games to taking photographs. Email Carolyn Thompson, call 301-674-3056, or sign up online.

SSL Icon Tree Installers: Thursday, July 21, 8 am-2 pm, Bethesda. Plant donated small trees at the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase. May require some heavy lifting (approximately 50 pounds). Email Kim Harris or call 301-530-3725. 

SSL Icon Field & Fiddle Festival Volunteers: Saturday, July 23, 9 am-5 pm, Dickerson. Help with parking, check in visitors, assist with games, sell merchandise, and handle other duties at this family-friendly fundraiser sponsored by Montgomery Countryside Alliance. Email Ellen Letourneau or call 248-683-9678.

SSL Icon Hospital Picnic & Bazaar Helpers: Tuesday, July 26, shifts available 7:30 am-8 pm, Olney. Shuck corn, serve food, assist at merchandise booths, run children's games, help with parking, and handle setup or cleanup at the Women's Board of Montgomery General Hospital's 95th annual event. Email Sandra Attick.

Exercise Class Leaders: Help seniors (and yourself!) increase bone mass through a fun group exercise class sponsored by Bone Builders (a program run by the county's Health and Human Services Department in coordination with the Recreation Department and Volunteer Center). Volunteer instructors particularly needed in the northwestern part of the county. No experience necessary. Training provided; next two-day session set for Wednesday and Friday, Sept. 7 and 9, 10:30 am-3:30 pm. Email Phyllis Elperin or call 240-773-8268.

Hospitality and Office Assistants: Greet/check-in visitors, oversee the waiting room/childcare area, and assist with administrative/clerical tasks at the Montgomery County Family Justice Center in Rockville, which provides services to families impacted by domestic violence. Bilingual volunteers and/or those with experience in social work, public health, child development, or crisis intervention are especially needed. Requires a commitment of four hours per week for at least one year. Email Ngozi Obineme

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Summer Meals Volunteers: Assist with various aspects of the TESS Center's summer lunch program for low-income youth--including distributing meals to children, tracking data on food consumption, donating leftover food, and ordering the next day's meals from MCPS. Flexible schedules available weekdays 10:30 am-1:30 pm. Minimum age: 15. Email Maureen Larenas or call 240-773-8254.

Household Finance Managers: Work with low-income, physically or mentally disabled Montgomery County residents who need help managing their social security or other federal benefits. The Mental Health Association's representative payee volunteers typically spend four to six hours a month working with a client to make sure his or her bills are paid and financial obligations are met. Minimum age: 21. Requires general knowledge of household budgeting, a background check, a one-year commitment, and training. (Upcoming trainings are scheduled for Thursday, July 14, 6-8:30 pm; Tuesday, July 26, 1-3:30 pm; Thursday, Aug. 11 1-3:30 pm; and Thursday, Aug. 25, 6-8:30 pm, in Rockville.) Email Pamela Lee or call 301-424-0656 x541. 
Training Prepares Lawyers to Represent Unaccompanied Minors

Put your legal skills to work to protect Central American and other immigrant children fleeing abuse. Learn how to successfully obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for immigrant minors who have suffered abuse, abandonment, or neglect by a parent at a free training session Wed., July 13, noon-2:30 pm, at the Silver Spring Civic Building. Register by email

Training will cover the steps needed to obtain custody or guardianship and SIJS findings-of-fact. Once an immigrant child obtains SIJS finding-of-facts, an immigration practitioner can represent him or her in applying for legal status in the United States.

No particular expertise is required to participate, but trainees must be attorneys barred and in good standing in the state of Maryland. In addition, participants must agree to accept one pro bono referral from HIAS or Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services within 12 months of completing the training. Malpractice insurance will be provided.
School Supplies Drives Help Students in Need 

It may feel like summer has just begun, but organizations that serve some of our county's neediest youth are already working to ensure that all students have the school supplies they'll need to be prepared when the new school year begins in late August.  You can help these efforts by donating supplies or making a monetary contribution to one of the following drives.

Housing Opportunities Commission is collecting backpacks, pencils, pens, binders, notebooks, looseleaf paper, composition books, folders, rulers, glue, erasers, scissors, crayons, markers, colored pencils, calculators, protractors, pencil cases, and pencil sharpeners for youth living in HOC housing. The agency hosts a back-to-school fest for these students, and will provide each participant with a backpack stuffed with supplies. 
When: now through Monday, Aug. 1
Where: collection bins located at 10400 Detrick Ave., Kensington; 231 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg; 101 Lakeforest Blvd., Suite 200, Gaithersburg;  8241 Georgia Ave., Suite 3, Silver Spring

Interfaith Works aims to provide more than 2,500 local students with new backpacks and school supplies and is collecting supplies as well as monetary donations to make this possible. The most-needed items are backpacks for youth of all ages, packages of lined filler paper, binder divider tabs, pocket folders, and pencil pouches. Other items accepted include spiral notebooks, composition books, erasers, markers, colored pencils, pens, scissors, and rulers. 
When: throughout summer
Where: deliver supplies to 751 Twinbrook Pkwy, Rockville, or donate online
Details: Call 301-424-3796

Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless holds a back-to-school fair to benefit children in its programs, and seeks school supplies to distribute at the fair as well as party goods to create a festive experience. 
When: Monday, July 11-Friday, Aug. 12
Where: 600-B East Gude Drive, Rockville
Details: Email Naira Hirz 

Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation's Give BACKpacks campaign accepts monetary donations, which it uses to provide a student in need with a backpack filled with school supplies. Each contribution of $10 covers the cost of supplies for one student. 
When: throughout summer
Where: send checks payable to MCPS Educational Foundation and with Give BACKpacks on the memo line to PO Box 1007, Rockville, MD 20849-1007 or donate online 

Montgomery Housing Partnership is collecting sturdy backpacks, school supplies, and monetary donations to put together age-appropriate school supply packs for each of the 350-plus children enrolled in its summer enrichment programs held at community centers in Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and Wheaton. The organization also accepts new books to encourage kids to continue their leisure reading during the summer.
When: preferably before Friday, July 29, when the summer enrichment program ends, but can accept contributions through Friday, Aug. 19
Where: call for pickup, or drop off weekdays, 10 am-4 pm, at 12200 Tech Road, Silver Spring
Details: Email Eva Dillon, call 301-812-4122, or download flyer
Volunteerism is Part of Vital Living 

Studies show that seniors who volunteer live longer, happier lives. That's one of the guiding forces behind the Vital Living Network, a voluntary group composed of professionals and others with an interest in supporting opportunities that engage and energize Montgomery County's 50-plus populations.

Learn how the group is connecting seniors to volunteer service--as well as other ways to make the most of life as you age--in this video segment and the downloadable publication, The Montgomery County Vital Living Networker.
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