It is high time that that the ideal of success 
should be replaced by the ideal of service
--Albert Einstein
In This Issue
Celebrate Community Service Week:
Pick Your Favorite Volunteer Project and Register Today!

Community Service Week logo
Join Montgomery County's celebration of community service by volunteering for one or more of the many projects planned for the 30th annual Community Service Week, running Oct. 16-23. No matter what your interests, there's a #CSW2016 service project you'll enjoy--and many are pre-approved for MCPS SSL hours! Here's a sampling ...

If you like sprucing things up, you can help paint a health clinic for low-income residents on Saturday, Oct. 22, or clean up a park, a historic cemetery, or a storm water pond on Saturday, Oct. 16 or 23. Help is also needed gardening and cleaning up the grounds at homes for some of our county's most vulnerable residents on Sunday, Monday, or Wednesday, Oct. 16, 17, and 19.

Want to volunteer on projects to help children? Sign up to help create comfort cases for children entering foster care on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Oct. 17, 19, and 20; assemble information on learning disabilities to be distributed to schools on Wednesday, Oct. 19, or Sunday, Oct. 23; or bring and serve brunch or dinner for children undergoing serious medical treatment and their families staying at the Children's Inn at NIH on Thursday, Oct. 20, or Sunday, Oct. 23.

Maybe you'd like to help needy families by sorting and distributing donations of furniture and clothing. If so, sign up to help on projects set for Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, Oct. 17, 18, or 20.

There are also events that need your help. Check out opportunities to assist at booths at the World of Montgomery Festival on Sunday, Oct. 16; work as event staff for the CentroNia Gala on Thursday, Oct. 18; and support the Make Your Mark 5K on Saturday, Oct 22.

Sign up today and see the latest list of projects here; check back frequently as projects are added regularly. Let you friends know you're participating (and encourage them to do the same) by signing on to the #CSW2016 Facebook event. And share your posts and photos related to Community Service Week--before and after the event--on social media using the hashtag #CSW2016.

If your nonprofit or school would like to plan a volunteer project during the week, let us  know by completing this form. Please fill it out even if you already have all the volunteers you need, so the Volunteer Center can track all the great service being performed.

Questions? Email us or call 240-777-2600.
The Tacy Foundation
Inspiring Hope, Note by Note  

Tacy Foundation logo
The Tacy Foundation is an all-volunteer organization focused on using music to benefit children, families, seniors, veterans, and hospital patients. The foundation coordinates a wide range of projects--from teaching elementary school students to play musical instruments to performing at veteran's hospitals--aimed at fulfilling its three-part mission: to foster youth development through music, story-telling, and mentoring; to empower youth to discover and use their musical gifts in service to others; and to build community partnerships while creating intergenerational connections.

Children, teenagers, and adults of all ages can make a difference by volunteering with the Tacy Foundation. There are a variety of opportunities to serve, and most are pre-approved for earning MCPS student service learning hours. (This year, the foundation has awarded more 1,600 hours of SSL credit to eligible volunteers.)
Children and teenagers who study music--practically any instrument (including voice), genre, and level of experience--can participate in live music performances at NIH and military hospitals in the DC and Baltimore area, at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, and at assisted living homes in Gaithersburg and Rockville. Performers are also needed to create music that is recorded to CDs and distributed to hospitals. The Tacy Foundation also seeks volunteers to mentor elementary school students while teaching them piano or guitar.
Although middle and high school students carry out the heart of the foundation's mission, parents and other adults play vital roles by helping their children participate or by serving in additional capacities that keep programs running. Adult volunteers are needed to serve as site coordinators at schools with Piano Pals and Guitar Pals programs or at a Housing Opportunities Commission performance venue. The organization is also always looking for help with social media, communications, and administrative support, which can generally be done from the volunteer's home location.
Parents as well as children attest to the benefits of volunteering with the Tacy Foundation. As one parent notes, "It has been an amazing and a very fulfilling experience. My children have had the opportunity to develop leadership skills in a warm and a safe environment by serving as Piano Pals mentors for elementary school children. For younger children, it is a great learning experience." 

Learn more about the Tacy Foundation or sign up for its e-newsletter at the organization's website. Or e-mail Charlotte Holliday if you have additional questions.
Make It a Month of Service
Thirty years ago, it was Community Service Day, then it expanded into Community Service Week. But pick a project for every week and you can make it a whole month of community service! 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 opportunities. 
SSL Icon
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. 

Blanket Creators: Thursday, Oct. 6, drop in anytime between 10 am and 3 pm, Derwood. Knit, crochet, or quilt blankets for sick children in hospitals. Yarn and fabric are provided, but donations of plain fabric, children's prints, and worsted weight acrylic yarn gratefully accepted. Project coordinated by the Montgomery County Association for Family & Community Education. Call Pat at 301-460-5451 or Jean at 301-641-4878.

SSL Icon "Haunted" Train Costumed Characters: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, Oct. 8-9, 14-16, 21-23, and 28-30, 5:30-10 pm, Wheaton. Dress up as a scary (but not too gory) character and spook the train riders travelling through the Halloween "haunted woods" at Montgomery Parks's Wheaton Regional Park. Minimum age: 16 (or 14 if accompanied by an adult). Sign up online before Friday at 5 pm for each weekend. Volunteers ages 14 and up (or at least 12 if accompanied by parent) also needed for the not-so-scary Halloween train running daytime hours at Cabin John Regional Park in Rockville. 

SSL Icon Oktoberfest Volunteers: Sunday, Oct. 9, 11 am-6 pm, Gaithersburg. Assist at information booths, greet festival-goers, help with children's activities, and monitor lines at the city of Gaithersburg's 25th annual fall street festival. Email Sheila Bouley

SSL Icon Community Service Week Volunteers: Saturday, Oct. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 23, various days and hours throughout the county. Help feed the hungry, clean up the environment, run fundraising events, landscape, and more.

Run Your Art Out Helpers: Saturday, Oct. 22, 8 am-12:30 pm, Beltsville. Help with various race day activities at Compass Inc.'s annual 5K/fun run to benefit individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Email Joan Whitney or call 301-625-2406.

SSL Icon Trunk or Treat Canned Food Drive Workers: Monday, Oct. 31, 4:30-10 pm, Silver Spring. Set up props, decorate, hand out candy, help at activity stations, take in canned goods, and welcome attendees at this combination food drive/trick or treat event sponsored by the Leaders Institute. Mandatory orientation session to be held on Saturday, Oct. 29. Email Patricia Biggs

Heart Walk Helpers: Saturday, Nov. 5, most shifts between 7:30 am and 12 noon, Washington. Set up, greet and cheer on participants, assist at the doggy depot, and help with other tasks related to the American Heart Association's annual fundraising walk. Minimum age: 16 (or accompanied by an adult). Sign up online, email Joellen Brassfield, or call 703-248-1784.

Maryland Scholars Speakers and STEM Specialists: Influence and inspire youth through classroom presentations focused on how hard work in school pays off in life. Or engage students in hands-on learning experiences that show real-world applications of science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Sponsored by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, this volunteer program includes training (next session: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 9 am-12 noon, in Gaithersburg) and minimal commitment (equivalent to two or three half days) on days and locations that are convenient to you. Email Nona Carroll or call 410-788-0333. 

Nursing Home Visitors: Provide compassionate human connection to nursing home residents with dementia who don't receive regular visits from friends or family. Learn more about the Visitors Project for People With Dementia at one of the upcoming meetings set for Wednesday, Oct. 26, 11 am-12 noon, in Bethesda, and Wednesday, Nov. 2, 7-8 pm, in Chevy Chase. Training provided and volunteers must pass a background check. Email Gilah Rosner or call 301-349-2799.

SSL Icon After-School Program Volunteers: Help supervise, plan, and coordinate sports, games, homework, and art, science, and cooking projects at elementary after-school programs run by Wonders Early Learning + Extended Day in Bethesda and Chevy Chase. Email Shelley Lowinger.

Interior Decorator/Window Designer: Help decorate the window and interior of Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring, a nonprofit bridal boutique in Rockville. Design experience or training necessary; interns welcome. Email Donna Vaccarezza or call 301-468-2000. 
Don't Wait for the Holidays to Help

Many well-intentioned people look at Thanksgiving and Christmas as the perfect time to volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. And while nonprofits that serve the hungry and homeless do need some help on those days, they frequently have more volunteers than they need--but less than they need the rest of the year!

So make this the year that you volunteer before the holidays, when your help is that much more critical. 

For ideas of where and how to get involved, search the Volunteer Center website for opportunities related to hunger or homeless, and pick one of the volunteer needs that appeals to you.
Students Needed on Election Day

The Montgomery County Board of Elections seeks students in grades 6-12 to participate in its Future Vote Program, serving as aides on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. Those with bilingual and American Sign Language skills are particularly encouraged to apply. Most students work in precincts near their home. Student volunteers are also needed to assist the Board of Elections with a variety of activities before election day. 

Volunteers can earn student service learning hours.

To participate, students and their guardians must attend a training session. Learn more and register here by Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Students age 17 and up--and adults of all ages--are also need to serve as paid election workers. Learn more here.
Learn How Meaningful Volunteering Makes for Vital Living 

Are you age 50+ and looking to give back? Get ideas on how to enhance your life through volunteer service at a special program presented by the Volunteer Center Tuesday, Oct. 18, 1-2 pm (with Q&A to follow), at the Bethesda Library. 

Learn about the Volunteer Center's rich resources for matching you with the perfect volunteer opportunity, how to get involved on a nonprofit board, ways to share your professional skills through our Pro Bono Consultant program, and more.  Free. No registration required, but space is limited. 

For more information, call 240-777-2612.
Donate Food to Reprieve Library Fines

As part of Community Service Week, Montgomery County Public Libraries is allowing customers to earn credits toward payment of existing library fines in exchange for donations of  nonperishable food items--$1 per item. Donations are welcome and encouraged from those without library fines as well. 

The Food for Fines program runs Oct. 16-30 and benefits Manna Food Center, which distributes food to the needy throughout the county. For ideas of what to donate, view a list of Manna's most-needed food items
Forum Aims to Help Seniors Live Life to the Fullest 

Learn about encouraging volunteerism and civic engagement in our senior community, preventing senior scams, and spotting elder abuse at a county forum set for Friday, Oct. 21, 1-4 pm, at the Village at Rockville.

Event speakers will include Rona Kramer, secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging; State's Attorney for Montgomery County John McCarthy; Eric Friedman, director of the county's Office of Consumer Protection; and Gretchen Zekiel, manager 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 240-777-7906 or email County Councilmember Sidney Katz, the event's host, for additional information or questions.
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