The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers.
But above all, the world need dreamers who do.

 --Philanthropist and Author Sarah Ban Breathnach
MARCH 2017
In This Issue
Help Guide a Nonprofit as a Board Member

Sometimes, an organization's mission is so compelling that you want to do more than help with projects; you want to help it operate. That's where volunteering to serve on a board of directors comes in. 

While you may think serving on a board is only for those who have a long-standing relationship with a nonprofit, many organizations seek new board members who are simply interested in their cause and/or have particular professional skills (like finance or fundraising)--and want to guide it into the future. 

In fact, several local nonprofits are currently recruiting new board members, including these: 
To find more board opportunities, search for "board" on the Volunteer Center website.

In addition, the Montgomery County government recruits residents throughout the year to serve on various boards, committees, and commissions.  You can learn more about current openings and  apply online
Performing Arts Program Serves Disabled Individuals 
Volunteer Your Art Out 
ArtStream Inclusive Theater Company
ArtStream Inclusive Theater Company volunteers and participants perform together

When people are engaged, stimulated, challenged, and inspired, they surpass perceived limitations and undertake challenges they might never have considered. That philosophy is what guides ArtStream Inc., an organization that teaches inclusive performing arts and social skills for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities--including autism--and other social and behavioral needs. Learning through the arts builds participants' confidence by allowing them to make their own choices. It also fosters social connections and allows them to practice communication skills like eye contact, listening, and self-awareness.

ArtStream's flagship program revolves around its Inclusive Theatre Companies (ITCs), which create and perform original musicals based on actors' ideas and improvisations. Volunteer mentors perform as peers with the actors. If a line is dropped in performance, mentors keep the dialogue moving. Backstage, the volunteer stage crew moves scenery, and operates light and sound for the production. The company is currently seeking backstage volunteers for ITC productions in Rockville in May, and in Silver Spring in June. 

The organization also offers performing arts classes in which class volunteers learn as peers with the participants, and may be asked to buddy with a participant to help him/her stay focused, or may be called on to lead a small group of participants during an activity. Class volunteers are needed on Tuesday evenings in June and July in Gaithersburg, and in July in Silver Spring. 

Volunteers learn along with participants as well in ArtStream's social skills classes, which use the arts as a way to explore communication and to connect with peers. In fact, volunteers often say that the social skills classes change the way they think about their own friendships. ArtStream is currently recruiting volunteers for social club meetings on Wednesday evenings, May through July in Rockville, and for party workshops held monthly on Saturday afternoons in Germantown. 

ArtStream is also looking for volunteer photographers to capture the magic at classes and on stage. 

Volunteering with ArtStream can be life-changing. As former volunteer Eliza Malakoff puts it, "The experiences I had not only brightened my day every rehearsal, but also made me think harder about the way I approach challenges, solve problems, and interact with others. In short, I believe my time with ArtStream has made me a better human."

To learn more about volunteering with ArtStream, email Chad Rabago or call 301-565-4567.
Time to Spring Into Action!
With winter weather fading fast, you may be itching to get out and about to do something meaningful. We can help! Here are just a few of the opportunities listed on the Volunteer Center's website. Check our calendar 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 by keyword, location, organization, or more. 
SSL Icon
These opportunities are pre-approved to provide MCPS Student Service Learning (SSL) hours--but they're not just for students! Other opportunities may be eligible for SSL hours; visit the MCPS SSL website to learn more.

SSL Icon Medical Play Kit Assemblers: Saturday, March 4, 10 am-1 pm, Beltsville. Put together medical play therapy kits that the American Childhood Cancer Organization provides to children with recent cancer diagnoses to help familiarize them with the procedures they will encounter as they undergo treatment. Minimum age: 13. Pizza lunch provided at the conclusion of the afternoon. Email Jessica DiBenedetto or call 855-858-2226 x101. 

SSL Icon Men's Shelter Dinner Providers: Thursdays, March 9, March 23, and April 13, 5:30-7:15 pm, Silver Spring. Help KindWorks make, bring, and serve dinner (plus bring along provisions for the next day's breakfast) for residents of a small shelter serving 30 men. Volunteers are encouraged to interact with the residents, eating dinner with them as they feel comfortable. Minimum age: 10. Those under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Email Deb Lang or call 301-792-3708.

SSL Icon Outdoor Cleanup Crews: Saturday, March 11, 10 am-12 noon, Gaithersburg. Get a little dirty, have some fun, and make a difference by picking up, sorting, and weighing trash at a community cleanup of Goshen Road, sponsored by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.  Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Email Ana Arriaza or call 240-777-7778.

Refugee Welcome Kit Packagers: Sunday, March 19, 12:30-1:30 pm, Bethesda. Prepare and assemble bags of toiletries to help welcome new refugees here with the International Rescue Committee. Sponsored by the Church in Bethesda. Email Max Hazell.

Photographers: Saturday, March 25, 7-10 pm, Sandy Spring. Capture the joy of friendship at the Best Buddies Ball, a dance for 400-500 students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Must have high-resolution camera and grant access to all images to Best Buddies. Email Laura Logan

SSL Icon Rockin' 4A Cause Event Assistants: Saturday, March 31, 9 am-12 midnight, and Sunday, April 1, 12 noon-5 pm, Potomac. Set up, close down, and/or assist during the Brain Aneurysm Foundation's annual silent auction gala. Email Cara Weiss or call 301-351-2100.

Disaster Preparedness Volunteers: Support the American Red Cross Disaster Services program in Silver Spring. Educate the community about preparing for disasters and taking action during and after an event in order to limit the impact of any disaster and help affected individuals bounce back. Training provided. Must be available weekdays during business hours. Email Miriam Chaponniere or call 703-268-0311.

Newsletter Contributor: Help research and write content for the Montgomery County Caregiver Support Program's e-newsletter. Volunteers can work from home, but are also encouraged to visit local caregiver support providers.  Email Lylie Fisher

SSL Icon Animal Shelter Apprentices: Work with animals at the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center in Derwood and learn about the operations of a municipal animal shelter. Apprentice program is for youth age 14-17, who must volunteer alongside a parent or guardian. Training and mentoring provided. Minimum time commitment: eight hours per month for at least six months. Email Lea Ann Gross.

Assisted Living Friendly Visitors: Spend time with residents at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Mondays through Saturdays, 10 am-4 pm, providing companionship and assisting with tasks such as reading mail. Minimum age: 15. Volunteers must be good listeners and interested in enriching the lives of those they visit. Email Ana Giaquinto or call 301-216-4305.

Golf Tournament Assistants: Help out behind the scenes at the Quicken Loans National PGA tour event, Monday, June 26-Sunday, July 2, in Potomac. Volunteers will assist with everything from scoring to spectator services, and will have a front row view of the action on the courses. Minimum commitment: three half-day shifts. Sponsored by the Tiger Woods Foundation. Register online or  email Emily Womack.

Nonprofit Program and Outreach Intern: Help manage Empowered Women International's Montgomery County programs, initiatives, and partnerships. Intern will handle administrative tasks as well as community organizing while learning about nonprofit management, program delivery, women's empowerment, mirco-enterprise development, and economic opportunity. Requires commitment to work 32 hours weekly through the end of June at the organization's office in Rockville. Email Sarah Bodley.
Spring Cleaning? Here Are Some Donation Ideas

If this early spring weather has you doing some de-cluttering, consider donating items you don't need anymore to nonprofits and government agencies in our region. 

One easy way to do so is to list those goods in the Volunteer Center's weekly Hotlink e-newsletter, which is sent to the 800-plus organizations registered with us and features information about items available for donation. Agencies that are interested in the items contact the donor directly to arrange pickup and provide a receipt for tax purposes. Items appropriate for Hotlink include home and office furniture and equipment, medical devices, and craft supplies in good condition or better. We do not list clothing, books, televisions (except flat-screen units), or food. (Read on for ideas on donating those types of items.)

To submit your donations for inclusion, send us an email with
  • a description of the items (including condition and, as appropriate, approximate size, color, and material),
  • city or town from where they'll need to be picked up, and
  • contact information (email and/or phone)
For items not accepted for Hotlink, or if you simply prefer to contact nonprofits directly, check out our compilation of local organizations that accept particular types of donations. The bottom of the page also includes information on recycling or disposing of items through county services, as well as online electronic trade-in programs.
Do Good Deeds for a Great World

On Sunday, April 2, join half a million volunteers from around the world for Good Deeds Day, an annual international day of service. Organized locally by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Good Deeds Day celebrates the idea that every person can make a positive impact on the lives of others and change the world through social action.

Participants will be able to choose from a variety of service projects throughout the region, including dancing with senior citizens, preparing and serving lunch for homeless individuals, and helping unite dogs with their forever homes. Learn more and sign up online
Celebrate Volunteers at Montgomery Serves Awards Gala 

The 2017 Montgomery Serves Awards, Montgomery County's highest honor for service, will be presented at a gala ceremony attended by  county and state dignitaries Monday, April 24, 6:30 pm, at Imagination Stage in Bethesda. Join us that evening to help celebrate some of our county's superb volunteers. 

Tickets are available at no charge, but advance registration is required.
Watch the Ways to Make a Difference

Make a Difference, a monthly County Cable Montgomery program, highlights the contributions of stellar county volunteers and organizations that contribute positively to our community. This month's episode features MentorPrize, which matches volunteers with local programs in need of mentors. Watch it online here.
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