Compassion without action
is just observation
In This Issue
Give the Gift of Volunteering This Season
Thanksgiving and the winter holidays inspire many people to give back to the community, and local nonprofits and government agencies have now begun to recruit volunteers to help during the holidays. 

Although the ever-popular opportunities to serve meals at shelters on Thanksgiving day fill up quickly (typically by organizations' regular volunteers), you can find lots of ways to assist with special holiday needs on the Volunteer Center website. Additional opportunities are added daily, but current listings include Thanksgiving meal sorting and deliveries, holiday gift donations for needy teens, and Hanukkah party assistance.

Don't forget that organizations that serve the needy seek help throughout the year. Visit our website and search for  keywords like "meals," "hunger," or "food," or use our organization list to filter for those dedicated to basic need/food/shelter, and you'll find lots of ways to assist at shelters and food banks year-round.
Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office Truancy Prevention Program
How You Can Help Students Reach Their Potential
Truancy prevention program volunteers
Truancy Prevention volunteer mentors get together to celebrate their students' accomplishments

The Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office Truancy Prevention Program is a voluntary early intervention program that aims to keep middle school children in Montgomery County in school and families out of court. Mentors and tutors--all of them volunteers--work directly with students with attendance issues, cultivating a supportive and trusting relationship, improving their perspective on education, and providing them the tools they need to reach their full potential and attend school regularly. Volunteers also help operate the program by serving as site coordinators.

Currently serving more than 300 students at 18 (soon to be 20) middle schools across the county, the Truancy Prevention Program consists of 10 weekly school-day sessions each semester, plus after-school tutoring. During these meetings, volunteers work to discover the root causes of each student's truancy, match students and families with appropriate resources to address these issues, and provide basic academic skills when needed.

The Truancy Prevention Program has had a huge impact on most student participants in terms of their attendance, academics, and attitude about school. Last school year, 245 of the approximately 300 students served through the program reduced their truancy significantly, and 175 students successfully graduated from the program by reducing their truancy by at least 60 percent.

These results also have a positive impact on the program volunteers, who see first-hand the difference they've made in students' lives. A spring 2017 semester volunteer recounts: "The student I was mentoring didn't seem too sure of herself at first, and was reluctant to open up and talk. It broke my heart because I could see she was so intelligent and so kind, and I wanted her to believe in herself. But each week, I could see that more and more, she was recognizing her accomplishments and realizing she should be proud of herself for working hard in all her classes and getting really strong grades. As the sessions progressed, she definitely opened up more. She even mentioned to me that the program has further motivated her to keep coming to school and getting her work done, which I think is great."

Individuals age 18 and up who have the skills to support and motivate young people to achieve their full potential are now needed for the Truancy Prevention Program's spring 2018 semester. Training and orientation provided. To sign up or obtain more information, email Yasmine Eleazar or call 240-777-7501.
As the Weather Cools, Volunteering Heats Up
If that crisp autumn air is inspiring you to get out and try something new, check out the many ways you can get involved in serving the community this season. Here are just a few of the hundreds of volunteer positions listed on the Volunteer Center's website. Check our calendar for more date-specific opportunities or use the search box at the top of this email  or the top of our home page to search for more opportunities. 
SSL preapproved
These opportunities are preapproved 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.

FOOD DISTRIBUTORS : Fridays, Nov. 3, 10, 17, and 24, 3-5 pm, Rockville. Deliver boxed meals to  Rockville Housing Enterprises ' senior population. Minimum age: 14.  Email Tosha Dyson  or call 301-424-6265 x 107.

SSL preapproved CLEAN UP CREW: Saturday, Nov. 4, Takoma Park. Remove trash and recyclables along the sidewalks of New Hampshire Avenue.  Takoma/Langley Crossroads Development Authority, the  project organizer, will provide  g loves, bags, neon vests, and refreshments. Email Melanie Isis or call 301-445-7910.

SSL preapproved FUNDRAISING EVENT STAFF: Thursday, Nov. 9, 6-9 pm, Chevy Chase. Help with registration, accepting donations, and serving food at the 10th anniversary event for CareerCatchers, which provides guidance for low-income residents seeking upward mobility. Volunteers should be between ages 15 and 19. Email Karen Shaines

SSL preapproved PARK STEWARDS: Sunday, Nov. 12, 9 am-12 noon, Olney. Pick up trash throughout the local park, woods, and stream during a cleanup day sponsored by the Olney Mill Community Association. Minimum age: 11. Email Colleen Dolinish or call 240-324-6697. 

HOMELESS RESOURCE DAY VOLUNTEERS : Thursday, Nov. 16, 9 am-2 pm, Gaithersburg. Greet, guide, and otherwise assist guests with accessing services, resources, and information at this annual one-day, one-stop assistance program for individuals and families experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, sponsored by Montgomery County Health & Human Services' Special Needs Housing . Advance registration and online training required. Email Gloria Huggins , call 240-777-4565, or register online .

SSL preapproved 5K RUN ASSISTANTS: Sunday, Nov. 19, shifts available between 7 and 10:30 am, Bethesda. Set up, help out along the course, assist in the medical tent, and help with other race day activities for the Girls on the Run of Montgomery County's fall run. Volunteers also needed to help with packet pickup on Saturday, Nov. 18. Email Amy Lopez, call 301-881-3801, or register online

SSL preapprovedTHRIFT STORE STAFF: Assist customers, accept donations, organize departments, repair items, or take on other tasks at one of Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland's ReStore retail outlets in Silver Spring and Rockville. Volunteers generally work shifts that run 9 am-1 pm, 1-5 pm, or 3-6 pm, Tuesdays through Sundays. Minimum age: 16 (or 14 if accompanied by an adult). Email Alena Biagas, call 301-990-0014 x 16, or register online

GOLF TOURNAMENT PLANNERS: Help organize Family Services Inc.'s fundraiser, which will support the organization's mental health programs in Prince George's County. Planning committees are being formed this month and will meet once or twice a month until the event takes place in June. Email Mary Murphy or call 301-840-3183.

SSL preapproved ART THERAPY VOLUNTEERS: Assist people with dementia and the instructor in a weekly art program at the Charles E. Smith Life Communities in Rockville. The organization's Opening Minds thru Art project is expected to begin in January on a day and time that works for most volunteers and will run for eight weeks. Training provided. Minimum age: 15. Email Monica Mayer or call 301-770-8333.

SSL preapproved SPANISH TRANSLATOR: Translate the Mid-County United Ministries' website to help the organization's Spanish-speaking clients access information about emergency financial and food assistance. Minimum age: 16. Email Larry White or call 301-929-8675.
Learn How You Can Help Others With Tax Returns 
Interested in providing an important service to your community during tax season? Consider volunteering to schedule appointments, prepare taxes, or greet clients through the RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program, which offers tax preparation for low-to-moderate income taxpayers (with special attention to those 60+). Training is provided.

Learn more about these volunteer opportunities at an information session on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2-4 pm, at the Silver Spring Library (900 Wayne Ave.). Registration is not required.

For more information about joining the Tax-Aide Program team, call 240-777-2612 or visit the Tax-Aide volunteer web page. You can also get a more in-depth feel for the program by watching this episode of Make a Difference, highlighting the Tax-Aide Program.
County Council Grants Advisory Group Seeks Members
The Montgomery County Council is seeking individuals who live or work in the county to serve on its grants advisory group, which reviews grant applications and advises the council on proposals from the nonprofit community. Advisory group members serve in a volunteer capacity and 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. 13, to Council President Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Council, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850, or via email.

Call 240-777-7935 or email Jean Arthur, the council grants manager, for more information.
Community Service Week 2017

Volunteers Join Forces For Community Service Week
All across our region, residents of all ages worked together to take on a variety of volunteer projects during last month's 31st Annual Montgomery County Community Service Week. Volunteers prepared and collected food for low-income residents, cleaned up parks and playgrounds, assisted at events, visited with seniors, and more--all to improve the quality of life for residents of our county and beyond.

The Volunteer Center is now compiling photos for our online album of volunteers in action during Community Service Week. If you have any to include, please send them along via email.
Schools Eligible for Service Project Grants 
Youth Service America will award 50 K-12 public schools grants of up to $1,500 to engage students in school-wide service activities during the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend (Jan. 13-15). To be eligible, projects must include at least 500 participants, must include a focus on supporting economically disadvantaged individuals, and must engage youth traditionally not asked to serve (such as students with disabilities or students from low-income families).

Get more information and the online application on the YSA website. Application deadline is Friday, Nov. 10.
MLK Day of Service Coming Up Jan. 15
Save the date! On Monday, Jan. 15, people across the United States will celebrate the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a day of service. In Montgomery County, the Volunteer Center will hold its annual large-scale service event--featuring a wide variety of family-friendly service projects, plus a volunteer fair--at the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center 1-3 pm that day. In addition, there will be multi-project events at our partner sites at the Silver Spring Civic Building (10 am-12 noon) and Seneca Creek Church (9-11 am). 

Watch this newsletter or visit our MLK Day of Service page for more details as they become available.
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 program features representatives from Senior Connection, which operates programs and services dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors. Watch it online here, beginning Nov. 4 .
Follow Us on Social Media and Get the Latest!
Learn about new and last-minute service opportunities, volunteer news, and information to inspire on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center Facebook page. If you haven't already done so, Like us to get the latest information in your Facebook feed. 

You can also stay connected through these links:
Facebook Twitter Button website
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