Montgomery Serves Awards
Volunteers Receive Top Honors
Montgomery County has named five individuals and organizations as recipients of the 2022 Montgomery Serves Awards, the County's highest honor for volunteerism.

The honorees are:

  • Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award (for lifetime service by residents age 60 and up): Charlotte Holliday and The Honorable Chung K. Pak
  • Volunteer of the Year: Schai Schairer
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year: Samantha Jayasundera
  • Volunteer Group of the Year: Mercy Health Clinic Volunteer Medical Providers

Learn more about the honorees here.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Wednesday evening, June 15 at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To register, please click here.
CaringMatters Helps Families Cope With Grief
Facing the end of life or death of a loved one is often an isolating and difficult process. People often don't know where to turn with their grief. CaringMatters offers hope and a caring community with a host of services related to end-of-life or bereavement. CaringMatters provides adult and child bereavement and caregiving services free of charge. It also serves children, adults, and families facing life-threatening illnesses.

CaringMatters increases community awareness and advocacy about end-of-life concerns and advanced care planning. Their vision is a community where death is seen as a part of life, where the processes of dying and grieving are embraced without stigma, everyone has access to free support services, and no one dies or grieves without support. Workshops, film screenings, and webinars cultivate constructive conversations about end-of-life and grief-related issues for volunteers, clients, community partners, and health and mental health professionals.

Programs include adult bereavement support groups, Family Nights, school-based Good Grief clubs that help children ages K-12 explore feelings and develop coping strategies for their grief, and Camp Erin, an overnight weekend camp serving grieving children and teens ages 6-17.

The small staff of CaringMatters is dependent on a dedicated volunteer pool, and CaringMatters fosters a true sense of community with its volunteers. Volunteers are screened and must complete at least three full days of specialized training and receive ongoing guidance.

To learn about current volunteer opportunities through CaringMatters, visit the MCVC database.
Volunteer Opportunities, Inside and Out
Whether you enjoy spring weather or need to avoid the heavy pollen season, we have volunteer opportunities for you! Here are just a few of the volunteer positions listed 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.
WRITE CARE CARDS FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS on Saturday, May 15 in honor of National Hospital Week and Global Youth Service Day. The card writing event will be held at 15800 Crabbs Branch Way, Suite 300, Rockville, MD from 2 pm to 5 pm. For SSL hours, make sure to use the sign-up here.
ENJOY CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF WHILE SUPPORTING FOOD SECURITY on May 4-8. Help So Others Might Eat at the Wells Fargo Championship TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Please contact Peter at swevolunteer@gmail.com or call 240-421-9271 to secure your shift. Students 14 and over must complete these hours outside of school time.
BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL RESCUE INTERN (for ages 18 and older) July 5, 2022-July 3, 2023. The deadline is May 14. The internships are unpaid, but interns have the opportunity to work directly with refugees to teach or help them accomplish tasks needed to live successfully in the US. To learn more, apply here.
HELP WITH SCHOOL CARNIVAL AND FAIR, VIERS MILL ELEMENTARY on May 21. Students will help with games, prizes, snacks, arts and crafts, and other activities. The event is outdoors. Register by May 18.
AROUND THE WORLD EMBASSY TOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED on May 7: Be a Cultural Tourism DC Volunteer during the Around the World Embassy Tour. This event is an exciting way to learn about the diplomatic community in DC. More than 40 embassies open their doors to DC residents and visitors, presenting aspects of cultural heritage including food, art, dance, fashion, music, and more. Volunteers will be at information booths at Dupont Circle, Van Ness, and the National Cathedral guiding participants to embassies. Register here.

COMMUNITY CAR WASH TO BENEFIT THE PARKINSON'S FOUNDATION, Saturday, May 14 from 10 to 2 pm at Cadence Living Olney. Volunteers are needed at this family-friendly volunteer opportunity to wash vehicles. Sponsored by The Olney Chamber of Commerce with its members Oasis Senior Advisors.
Looking to volunteer this summer?
Search our database June-August for great opportunities!

What are your plans for the long days in the warm months ahead? If they include volunteering (and we hope they do!), be sure to check out the Volunteer Center website to find a wide variety of opportunities available to serve throughout the community this summer. Search for the keyword "summer" to find dozens of volunteer positions at camps, schools, parks, recreation centers, and more. To narrow the list, filter for opportunities by interest area, distance from a particular zip code, SSL status, and outdoor locations, among other search filters. You can also find single-day service opportunities by viewing the volunteer calendar for June, July, and August.
Round House Theatre Summer Teen Educators needed June 21-August 26. Teen Educators work in the K-6th grade camps, acting as classroom assistants. Must work a minimum of two weeks during the Summer. Experience with children is a plus, but not required. Accepting applications now for camps that begin June 21!
Strawberry Festival Volunteers are needed for the Sandy Spring Museum June 9-13. This is a favorite community event in its 40th year that brings hundreds of people. Help set up tents, sell tickets, and run kids' games, among other needs. Sign up here.
Washington Folk Festival Event Volunteers are needed from June 4 through June 5 from noon to 7 pm. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks including helping with set-up and break down, stage management, performer check-in and support, info tables and CD sales, trash crew, and hospitality. More information is found here.
A Very Fond Farewell
We bid a fond farewell to Deborah Missal who retired from the small but mighty Montgomery County Volunteer Center team after 11 years. She joined as a volunteer running the Pro Bono Consultant Program and in 2018 became a Senior Fellow/Program Manager. She co-founded the Volunteer Center's innovative and award-winning 50+ Volunteer Network with Senior Fellow Gretchen Zekiel. Since its creation, this program has connected more than 250 skilled volunteers with meaningful opportunities at 125 different nonprofits and agencies.

In addition to the 50+ Volunteer Network, Debby has been involved in all the Volunteer Center events, including MLK Day of Service and the Montgomery Serves Awards. "Your service to us and the wider community has made such an impact," says colleague Donna Kleffman. She will be missed.
Summertime Is A Great Time to Earn SSL Hours!
Summertime is a great time for student volunteers to serve and earn SSL hours! SSL remains a state graduation requirement, as students are required to earn 75 SSL hours to graduate from high school. There are many SSL opportunities in the Montgomery County Volunteer Center database, and several are listed in the newsletter. Many agencies have also begun posting volunteer opportunities for the summer months. We encourage student volunteers to check them out!

MCPS will continue to allow nonprofit organizations to host virtual/remote SSL opportunities for students, -- in addition to traditional in-person experiences -- beyond this school year. The MCPS SSL guidelines for virtual/remote service will remain in place moving forward. Nonprofit-hosted virtual/remote SSL opportunities may be found here

Please reach out to the SSL office directly if you have any questions about the MCPS SSL guidelines for virtual/remote service.
Due to extenuating circumstances related to the pandemic, any unsubmitted SSL Forms for service completed after June 1, 2019, will be accepted by schools’ SSL coordinators until the required deadline of June 3, 2022. Please note that after June 3, 2022, SSL forms will no longer be accepted from the 2021-2022 school year or previous school years. A complete list of SSL coordinators may be found on the MCPS SSL webpage.
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.
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. Learn about great nonprofit organizations and how they use volunteers.
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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.

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