VOLUNTEER NEWS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
Community Service Month
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Join residents across the area for Montgomery County’s annual celebration of volunteerism-- Community Service Month, which begins on Wednesday, Sept. 11, and runs through October. By engaging in one or more volunteer activities during the event, you’ll be part of a larger movement demonstrating the power and joy of serving others.
 
Choose a date-specific volunteer project from the Volunteer Center's September or October calendar or sort through the hundreds of ongoing volunteer opportunities using our website search filters to find the volunteer activities that are most meaningful to you.

Groups looking to serve together--scout troops, office teams, book clubs, or any other small or large gathering of individuals--can find appropriate projects by selecting the Group filter as part of their search. While we think every day is a good day for all types of volunteers, the Volunteer Center is particularly encouraging groups to participate in Community Service Month.

Montgomery County has been commemorating our community’s spirit of service since 1986, when we designated a single Community Service Day in October. This year, in recognition of the critical impact volunteers have on life in Montgomery County, we’ve expanded the event to cover an entire month that also aligns with the September 11th National Day of Service as well as Day to Serve, a movement started in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and DC to unite people with the shared goal of helping those in need.
SPOTLIGHT ORGANIZATION
Open Door Sports
Sports Programming for All Kids
athletes and volunteers
Open Door Sports (ODS) is a local nonprofit with a straightforward mission: to provide quality after-school sports programming to underserved children in the DC area, specifically children with disabilities and kids from low-income homes.

In Montgomery County, ODS programming is focused on serving children with a variety of special needs. including autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. The organization delivers adaptive after-school sports directly to several elementary and middle schools across the county, helping to bridge the current gap in access to such programs.

ODS coaches bring vital knowledge in adaptive sports and set the stage for an inclusive, supportive environment in which kids can thrive in sports. But the program is equally dependent upon the thoughtful assistance of peer buddies--middle and high school volunteers who partner one-on-one with ODS players to help them find success on the field and friendship off of it. In fact, the organization relies on the help of more than 175 peer buddy volunteers to help an average of 85 special needs players each season.

The experience of the peer buddy volunteers is often as rewarding as it is for the players. As longtime peer buddy Anjali Ofori says, “I really, really enjoy it. I love how you get to interact with the players. And I like teaching and helping kids player soccer. It’s really fun.” Further, families of ODS volunteers often note that their students are more engaged and thoughtful after working with ODS players. And the friendships that develop on the field between kids who likely would have never met contributes to a more ideal community at- large where all people can thrive. As an additional benefit, peer buddies can earn MCPS SSL hours for their time spent volunteering with the program.

Since its founding in January 2017, Open Door Sports has grown rapidly. Today, the organization offers soccer and basketball programs at 10 locations during the school year as well as free family community events and two weeks of evening soccer and bocce camps each summer. Peer buddies are needed at each and all of these programs and events.

To learn more about ODS and volunteer opportunities with the organization, visit the Open Door Sports website or email info@opendoorsports.org.
FEATURED VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
It's Back-to-Volunteering Time for Tutors!
The new school year is here, and many local organizations are now recruiting volunteer tutors, homework helpers, and mentors to help students in school-day and after-school programs. Interested in getting involved? Search the Volunteer Center's database of service opportunities for Education/Mentoring interests to find these types of activities in general, or search for keywords like " tutor" or " mentor" for narrower results. With either type of search, you can add more filters to further refine your search. 

Among the current opportunities you'll find are these:




Many of these opportunities are geared toward adults, but some allow students to help other students. Those that meet the guidelines for MPCS SSL hours feature the graduation cap banner.
Local Agencies Need You!
All kinds of nonprofit and government organizations are now in high season for volunteer recruitment. 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.
HIGHLIGHTS IN SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER
SELFLESS SATURDAY PARTICIPANTS: Saturday, Sept. 14, 9 am-1 pm, Baltimore. Serve food, organize and distribute clothing donations, or assist at the shower truck at Generosity:Global's monthly community reach program serving those in need. Minimum age: 4. Email Danielle Ibarra or call 614-961-9167.
FUTUREFEST VOLUNTEERS: Sunday, Sept. 15, shifts available 8 am-6 pm, Silver Spring. Set up, clean up, and help run activities at the Silver Spring Regional Center's annual family-oriented event celebrating our power to build a better future through STEAM learning activities and an exploration of the diverse cultures in our community. Sign up online.
ACTIVE AGING EVENT ASSISTANTS: Wednesday, Oct. 2, shifts available 8 am-2:30 pm, Wheaton. Setup/take down event space, check in attendees, guide participants on walks through Brookside Gardens, and monitor trash and recycling at Montgomery County's Acitive Aging Week kickoff event. Sponsored by Montgomery Parks. Minimum age: 14. Sign up online, email Lynn Vismara, or call 301-495-2504.
HARVEST FESTIVAL LEADERS & HELPERS: Saturday, Oct. 5, 10 am-4:30 pm, Derwood. Assist Montgomery Parks with presenting crafts, games, food, and other activities at this program offering participants a taste of historic farm life. Training, lunch, and a t-shirt provided. Volunteers are expected to serve the entire 6.5-hour shift. Minimum age: 14 (or 12 if accompanied by a parent volunteer). Those age 18 and up can become team leaders, with additional advance training. Sign up online, email Lynn Vismara, or call 301-495-2504.
WALK TO END ALZHEIMER'S VOLUNTEERS: Saturday, Oct. 12, shifts available 8 am-12:30 pm, DC. Help with setup, sign placement, information services, t-shirt distribution, cheerleading, route monitoring, and more for this annual event sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association National Capital Area Chapter. Minimum age: 10, if accompanied by an adult. Email Ben Donnelly or call 703-766-9007.
ONGOING & FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES
DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCERS: Learn to use digital media as a tool for self-expression and community activism and collaborate with peers to create short documentaries or public service announcements about issues important to you. Gandhi Brigade Youth Media offers weekly service learning programs for high school students at libraries in Aspen Hill, Kensington, Rockville, Wheaton, and Silver Spring (and for middle school students at White Oak Library), Sept. 23-Dec. 13. Email Emma Whitty or call 301-592-1900.
READERS FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED: Read current local and national publications, advertisements, television listings, and theater listings for broadcast over closed-circuit radio or a telephone dial-in service operated by Metropolitan Washington Ear for disabled listeners. Volunteer readers commit to serving two hours per week at the organization's studios in northern Silver Spring. Minimum age: 18. Email Rene Schecker or call 301-681-6636.
GIRLS FITNESS COACH/MENTOR: Help girls in grades 3-8 develop skills designed to prepare them to become happy, healthy, self-confident adolescents and adults. Coaches and junior coaches (high school junior or seniors) for Girls on the Run of Montgomery County commit to serving once or twice a week at a school convenient to them for the fall season, which runs Sept. 23-Nov. 27. Training and supplies provided; running experience not required. Apply online, email Amy Lopez, or call 301-881-3801 x103.
STEM CLASSROOM ASSISTANTS: Be matched with a local elementary, middle, or high school teacher to help deliver STEM-oriented lessons. STEM/AAAS volunteers are typically retired scientists or engineers who can commit to serving one day a week throughout the semester to work directly with teachers and students at the grade level of their choice. Minimum age: 21. Learn more at an orientation/recruitment event on Tuesday, Sept. 24. Email Robert Thomas or call 301-570-2811.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE & EFFICIENCY ANALYST: Evaluate the structure of Community Reach of Montgomery County and make recommendations to help the Rockville-based organization be more efficient, with clearly defined processes, lines of communication, and decision-making policies. The volunteer consultant ideally would begin now and present recommendations before the end of 2019. Project is expected to require 50-70 hours to complete. Email Andrea Kempner-Wink or call 301-637-0730 x239.
NEWS & RESOURCES
Explore Volunteer Options for Vital Living
Are you age 50+ and looking for help finding the best volunteer fit for your life and interests? Learn how at one of the upcoming special library-sponsored presentations set for
  • Monday, Sept. 9, 10-11 am, at the Connie Morella Library, 7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda, and
  • Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2 -3 pm, at the Twinbrook Library, 202 Meadow Hall Drive, Rockville.

These sessions will examine the Montgomery County Volunteer Center's rich resources for exploring volunteer opportunities, including the 50+ Volunteer Network, which offers personal consultations and guidance in finding an opportunity that's the right fit. Attendees will also hear about actual volunteer experiences with local nonprofits and will receive a free copy of the 50+ Vital Living Networker packed with information about local resources. The events are free and no registration is necessary.

For more information, email 50plus@montgomerycountymd.gov. Deaf and hard-of-hearing services are available; email MCPL.DeafAccess@montgomerycountymd.gov. Call the Bethesda Library at 240-777-0970 or Twinbrook Library at 240-777-0240 for other accommodations.
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 Montgomery Parks, focusing on ways in which volunteers can serve as docents at local historical sites operated by the park system, including the Oakley Cabin African American Museum in Olney.
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
240-777-2600
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