Register Today for MLK Day of Service!
Celebrate Dr. King by Serving Our Community
On Monday, January 20, join thousands of other county residents in honoring the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in the Volunteer Center’s annual MLK Day of Service event, set for 1-3 pm at the Bethesda North Marriott and Conference Center.

Participants will be able to help with a wide variety of service projects suitable for volunteers of all ages, and students can earn MCPS student service learning (SSL) hours. Activities will include packaging food for the hungry, creating scarves for hospice patients, and crafting Valentine’s cards for seniors. In addition, the event will feature a volunteer fair where you can learn about ways to serve throughout the year. Plus, bring along new or used coats to donate to a special on-site coat drive, and you'll be helping neighbors stay warm.

This event is free, but space is limited and advance registration is required. Sign up for the North Bethesda event here.

Volunteer Center partner agencies are coordinating additional multi-project service events that day in Gaithersburg (9-11 am), Rockville/Aspen Hill (10 am-12 noon), Silver Spring (10 am-1 pm), Olney (11 am-1 pm), and Germantown (1-3 pm). These sites also require advance sign-up; click the link for each locale for details.

Looking for more ways to serve on MLK Day? Visit the Volunteer Center’s January calendar to find other opportunities to volunteer on Jan. 20 and throughout the long weekend.

25TH ANNUAL MLK DAY MUSICAL CELEBRATION AND TRIBUTE Make a day of celebrating Dr. King by heading over to Montgomery County's annual MLK Day performance event, set for 4 pm on Jan. 20 at the Music Center at Strathmore, just down the road from the Bethesda North Marriott. Free tickets will be distributed beginning at 3:30 pm, and attendees are asked to bring kids or adult socks to donate for a collection drive
Montgomery County Census 2020 Ambassadors
Helping to Ensure a Fair and Accurate Count
This year, the U.S. government will conduct its once-a-decade population count--the Census--of everyone in the United States. The results will not only determine how many representatives each state gets in Congress, but will also guide allocations of more than $675 billion annually in federal funding for local services such as schools, health care, libraries, and social services. Thus, ensuring a fair and accurate count is critical. 

In Montgomery County, volunteers can help in this effort. 2020 Census for Montgomery County, coordinated through the county's Office of Community Partnerships, is now recruiting 2020 Census ambassadors to educate the community about the Census and the importance of counting everyone in Montgomery County. After completing training, Census ambassadors will staff information tables at festivals, fairs, and other events across the county to engage with residents and distribute information about the Census. Multilingual volunteers are especially needed. 

Census ambassadors age 18 and older may staff information tables independently. Volunteers younger than 18 may participate when supervised by an accompanying adult who has also completed the Census ambassador training. SSL hours may only be awarded at events hosted by MCPS SSL organizations. 

To get started, complete the Census ambassador volunteer application. Then, go ahead and register for an upcoming training session. Currently, trainings are scheduled every two weeks at the Rockville Memorial Library, and volunteers only need to attend one session. Advance registration is required. Questions? Email Shawn Ellis or call 240-777-2558.

For more information about the 2020 Census and other ways to get involved, visit montgomerycountymd.gov/census.
New Decade, New Ways to Volunteer
Is one of your new year's resolutions to volunteer more? We can help! Here are just a few of the hundreds of volunteer positions you'll find on the Volunteer Center website. Check our online volunteer 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 ways to serve.
Opportunities marked with the graduation cap icon meet the MCPS guidelines for 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.
LUNCH COOKS & SERVERS: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 9:30 am-1 pm, Gaithersburg. Help cook, serve, and/or clean up a special new year's lunch for participants in Family Services' day program for adults living with chronic mental illness. No experience necessary; volunteers just need a desire to make others feel special with a delicious meal. Minimum age: 18. Email Mary Murphy or call 301-840-3183.
MLK DAY OF SERVICE PARTICIPANTS: Monday, Jan. 20, 9-11 am in Gaithersburg, 10 am-12 noon in Rockville/Aspen Hill, 10 am-1 pm in Silver Spring, 11 am-1 pm in Olney, 1-3 pm in North Bethesda, and 1-3 pm in Germantown. Work on your choice of hands-on projects designated for a wide range of organizations serving the community. At the North Bethesda location, also learn more about ways to help nonprofits all year at a large volunteer fair. Coordinated by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center and open to all ages. Email servicedays@montgomerycountymd.gov or call 240-777-2600.
HOMELESS COUNT VOLUNTEERS: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 11 pm-4 am, county-wide, plus training beginning at 9 pm in Rockville or Silver Spring. Canvass the community in small groups of volunteers to connect with and count homeless neighbors during the county's annual Point in Time Homeless Count. This activity is coordinated through the county's Health and Human Services and helps government agencies determine the level of services needed to serve those experiencing homelessness. Minimum age: 18. Sign up online, email HHSPIT@montgomerycountymd.gov, or call 240-777-4565.
CRAFT KIT CREATORS: Saturday, Jan. 25, shifts available 10 am-6 pm, Mt. Airy. Make pillow craft kits for hospitalized children through Anna's Gift Foundation. All materials and tools provided. Minimum age: 5. Email Elizabeth Tomalis or call 443-745-3343.
MAPLE SAP FIRE MONITORS: multiple shifts Saturdays and Sundays, Feb. 1-23, 9 am-12 noon or 12 noon-3 pm, Wheaton. Start and maintain the fire at Montgomery Parks' Maple Sugar Days demonstrations of cooking down maple sap. Minimum age: 15; all volunteers under 18 must have an accompanying adult volunteer who acts as the lead fire monitor. Sign up online, email Lynn Vismara, or call 301-495-2504.
JAPANESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL ASSISTANTS: Sunday, Feb. 2, 9:30 am-3:30 pm, DC. Assist in the game and toy booths at this annual new year event sponsored by the Japan Commerce Association of Washington in conjunction with the Japanese Embassy. Minimum age: 12. Email Chie Berkley or call 202-838-3333.
FIRST AID PROVIDERS: Get trained in healthcare provider CPR and emergency medical response, and then staff first aid stations at community events for the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad, Explorer Post 742. Volunteers should be between the ages of 14 and 20, but adult leaders also needed. Training is about 120 hours and takes place on Sundays over about four months. Email Lucinda Ramsey or call 301-966-0020.
BASKETBALL SCOREKEEPERS: Keep score for MADE Sports Unlimited's winter league basketball games, held on Saturdays and Sundays through March 7. Minimum age: 14. Email Tori Moten, call 301-452-4040, or text Alea Boyd at 202-615-3965.
FRONT DESK ASSISTANTS: Greet visitors, answer phone calls, and work with the staff and other volunteers at the McLean offices of the Alzheimer's Association National Capital Area Chapter. Two-hour weekly shifts available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Minimum age: 18. Email Ben Donnelly or call 703-766-9007.
SHELTER MEAL PROVIDERS: Provide meals to homeless women residents at one of Interfaith Works' group homes in Rockville or Gaithersburg. Some locations allow volunteers to cook on-site, while others require meals to be prepared in advance. Minimum age: 14. Complete an online volunteer application, email volunteer@iworksmc.org, or call 301-315-1107.
50+ Volunteer Network
Get Face-to-Face Help to Find Your Best Volunteer Fit
Eager to use your talents, skills, or interests to make a difference in 2020 ... but not quite sure where to begin? If you're age 50 or up, you can start by contacting the Montgomery County 50+ Volunteer Network, which has helped hundreds of residents like you find meaningful, on-going volunteer opportunities that meet their needs and desires.Through individualized, in-person consultations with experienced advisers, these volunteers are now successfully serving at a broad range of organizations representing a host of causes as tutors and mentors, program managers and assistants, outreach and advocacy specialists, board members, communicators, administrative support, and more. Plus, the 50+ Volunteer Network receives new opportunities and registers new nonprofits weekly.

Email 50plus@montgomerycountymd.gov today, and get started on finding your best fit volunteer opportunity. 
Nominate Top Volunteers for Montgomery Serves Awards
Nominations open this month for the 2020 Montgomery Serves Awards, our county's highest honor for volunteer service. This prestigious annual awards program recognizes volunteer efforts during the previous calendar year (or, for the Neal Potter Award, during the nominee's lifetime) in the following categories:
  • Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award, for lifetime service by residents age 60 and up
  • Volunteer of the Year Award, for extraordinary volunteerism by an individual 
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, for remarkable volunteers age 18 and younger 
  • Volunteer Group of the Year Award, for a group's noteworthy volunteer efforts
  • Business Volunteer of the Year Award, for outstanding community service by a business

Online nomination forms will be available Wednesday, Jan. 15, and must be submitted no later than Friday, Feb. 28.
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 work to better our community. This month's episode highlights the Volunteer Center's MLK Day of Service activities, as well as Montgomery County's 25th annual MLK musical tribute (coordinated by the Office of Human Rights) to be held at the Music Center at Strathmore at 4 pm, Monday, Jan. 20.
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 with these activities. 

Follow these links to subscribe to our other partner agencies' electronic publications:
Montgomery County Volunteer Center
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