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Nominate Volunteers for County Awards
Act Before March 12 Deadline!
Nominations are now open for the Montgomery Serves Awards, our county's highest honor for volunteer service. This prestigious annual awards program is coordinated by the Volunteer Center and recognizes volunteer efforts in the following categories:

To nominate deserving volunteers, complete the appropriate online nomination forms linked above no later than Friday, March 12, at 5 pm.
Volunteering Does a Heart Good
The benefits of volunteering are broad and can include positive impacts on volunteers' physical and emotional health. Experience these yourself by filling any of the volunteer needs below--or any of the hundreds of other volunteer positions that local nonprofits and government agencies are currently recruiting for. Use the search box at the top of this email or on any page of the Volunteer Center website to search for more ways to serve.
VACCINATION SITE VOLUNTEERS: Provide support at COVID-19 vaccination sites in Montgomery County. The Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps is recruiting volunteers with current medical licenses to administer vaccines, as well as those with and without health care backgrounds to assist with client registration, logistics, and data entry. PPE appropriate for volunteers' roles are provided. Register online, email Jessica Pryor, or call 240-777-1107.
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SANDWICH MAKERS: Create individually bagged, ready-to-eat sandwiches for Small Things Matters' Kokua Foods Program, which aims to address food insecurity in our community. Donations must be dropped off on a designated date and time in Takoma Park; upcoming drop-off scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19, 7:30-8:30 am. Email Roxanne Yamashita or call 202-669-8550.
CHAIR BUILDERS: Assemble an Adirondack chair during one of Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland's virtual community build days, Saturday, Feb. 20, or Saturday, March 20. Volunteers will follow along online with the organization's home repair manager to build the chair from a kit; completed chairs can be donated back to Habitat to raise funds for its affordable housing mission. Order kits online, email Sandra Limjuco, or call 301-990-0014 x18.
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HORSE CARE ASSISTANTS: Help feed and groom the horses at Lifeline Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation in Gaithersburg. Volunteers are needed every day throughout the year and also assist with cleaning stalls, haying, and tack cleaning. Minimum age: 12. Email Leila Hertzberg or call 301-318-1686.
FOOD PANTRY VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR: Help recruit and manage volunteers to pack and deliver food for hungry families served by Rainbow Community Development Center, an all-volunteer organization in Silver Spring. This position will require a commitment of a few hours a week; good organizational and technology skills helpful. Additional opportunities available for donors, food packers, and drivers. Email info@rainbowcdc.org or call 301-625-2561.
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ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES: Learn about international diplomacy regarding the environment and develop a letter-writing campaign to advocate for an issue related to freshwater conservation. This diplomacy simulation and advocacy program, sponsored by the Washington Center for International Education, will be held online/at home this month. Interested students between the ages of 15 and 19 must apply for limited participant space. Email communityservice@washingtoncie.org or call 301-718-3575.
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TRANSLATORS: Translate social media posts aimed at educating the public about stroke prevention and healthy living into Arabic, Korean, Farsi, or Gujarati. Sponsored by Circle of Rights. Volunteers must be able to speak, write, and fully understand the language and will perform this service remotely. Ability to format Facebook posts in Canva or another graphics application especially helpful. Email Isha Lallsa or call 240-477-9787.
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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.
Exploring Black History Through Service
Just in time for Black History Month, some organizations in our area are offering special service learning opportunities that enable participants to examine a range of elements related to the Black experience in the United States and other parts of the world. These include:

Looking for more ways to serve related to Black history? The Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery is now recruiting docents as young as age 14 to begin training to provide visitor assistance. And Button Farm Living History Center, which depicts 19th century slave plantation life and the story of the Underground Railroad, needs volunteers to help with a variety of tasks at its Germantown site, even during this farming off-season.
In Case of Snow ...
Snow is beautiful and fun for some of us, but it can pose serious difficulties for the elderly and disabled, who may not be able to get out and shovel. If you are able to help your neighbors during the next snowfall, please do! Just be sure to do it from a safe distance and while wearing a mask if you might come within six feet of others. If you're not sure who might need assistance, you could start a discussion on your community listserv offering to help. It's volunteering at its simplest and most local!
MLK dog toys
Residents Honor Dr. King Through Virtual Volunteering
Across Montgomery County, residents of all ages and backgrounds honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy by participating in the Volunteer Center's annual MLK Day of Service--this year a week-long event incorporating a variety of virtual, at-home, and socially distanced volunteer activities.

While this year's format was very different from our usual large-scale, in-person service event, the community's response was as strong as ever. Thousands of volunteers participated in projects coordinated through the Volunteer Center and our partner agencies--Seneca Creek Community Church; City of Rockville; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Montgomery County Chapter; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Eta Pi Zeta Chapter; and Journey's Crossing. Together, but working apart, they cleaned up parkland, wrote letters to seniors, made toys for service dogs (pictured above), donated groceries for food pantries, and much more.
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 ways that residents can serve pressing health, education, and housing needs through the Medical Reserve Corps and Community Reach of Montgomery County.
Taking Care While Being a Good Neighbor
As you reach out to help others during the pandemic, please protect yourself and those you are serving by taking the following precautions developed by Montgomery County’s Office of Emergency Management and Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Stay home from all activities when you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, which may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
  • Keep away from others who are sick.
  • Limit close physical contact with others as much as possible, keeping at least 6 feet away and using a face covering when that physical distance can't be maintained.
  • Call, email, or text your neighbors who may need help.
  • If they are in need of immediate emergency care, call 911.
  • Limit your help to non-contact activities. For example:
  • Leave groceries on the doorstep. (Do not enter their house.)
  • Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands before touching anything you deliver to them.
  • To promote social interactions and combat loneliness, speak with neighbors on the phone or by video chat (versus going into their homes) on a regular basis.
  • Conduct research on their needs and provide them with resources or connect them directly with help such as feeding, transportation to medical appointments, animal services, etc.
  • Alert authorities if you think that a neighbor is in danger.
  • Do not act on your own.
  • Create an online network for your community.
  • Remember to protect yourself first! Do not put yourself or others at risk.
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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