Get Outside and Volunteer During
Great Outdoors Month
It's Great Outdoors Month, a time to step outside and enjoy the natural world
around us. In addition to hiking, swimming, and playing outdoors, don't forget to volunteer outdoors!

You'll find a wide range of volunteer opportunities that take place outside by searching the Volunteer Center website using the Outdoors filter. These include:

New activities are added daily and popular opportunities fill up fast, so be sure to register quickly when you find an activity you love and check back frequently if you don't!
Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring
Say Yes to the Dress, Nonprofit Style
When you think of June, you might think of brides. And brides might make you think of wedding gowns. But do wedding gowns make you think of volunteering? 

For those who serve or shop at Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring it probably does. This 501(c)3 nonprofit boutique in Rockville aims to offer brides the opportunity to purchase designer wedding gowns at steep discounts while being pampered in a warm and friendly environment-- and to donate net proceeds from sales to selected charities and scholarship funds. 

All dresses sold at Fairytale Brides have been donated--by individuals as well as by other bridal boutiques or designers. (When the nonprofit first opened its doors in August 2013, it received a donation of 12 gowns from Kleinfelds NYC, the bridal salon featured on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress.) And all staff at the boutique are volunteers. This allows the organization to offer gowns at prices well below retail and to use the proceeds to support several charitable organizations. Current charity recipients include Suited for Change and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation campaigns. In addition, Fairytale Brides has awarded three scholarships for Rockville High School students to attend Montgomery College. 

Volunteers at Fairytale Brides can choose to fill a variety of needs--including serving as bridal consultants/receptionists (weekend assistance especially needed), online sales specialists, social media coordinators, and interior decorator/window designers--all of which offer learning experiences in sales and marketing, bridal events, and customer service, as well as providing a look at what it's like to manage a nonprofit organization. Many of the organization's volunteer positions are open to those age 16 and up, in addition to adults, with MCPS student service learning hours available.

Plus, Fairytale Brides volunteers often find that serving at the boutique wraps them in the joy of their customers. As one recently noted, “I love working here; everyone is always so happy, upbeat, and in a good mood!"

Email Donna Vaccarezza or call 301-468-2000 to learn more about getting involved.
Fill the Longer Days With More Service
With more hours of daylight, you may find you have a bit more energy than usual at this time of year. Put it to good use as a volunteer! Here are just a few of the hundreds of 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.
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.
CAREGIVER EVENT ASSISTANTS: Saturday, June 15, 9 am-4 pm, Silver Spring. Welcome and guide attendees, assist conference presenters, and help with other event coordination tasks for the Caregiver Outreach Community Event for family caregivers sponsored by Montgomery County's Caregiver Support Program. Minimum age: 18. Email Lylie Fisher or call 240-777-3037.
KIDS TRIATHLON VOLUNTEERS: Sunday, June 16, 6:30-11:30 am, Bethesda. Help direct participants in Just Tryan It's 10th annual kids triathlon, cheer them on, and clean up after the race. Additional volunteer hours may be available prior to the event. Minimum age: 14. Email Leanne Till or call 301-233-0042.
SUMMER FOOD PACKAGERS: Wednesday, June 19, 10 am-3 pm, Landover. Assemble boxes of food for distribution to economically disadvantaged clients of SHARE, a nonprofit dedicated to offering nutritious groceries at a roughly 50-percent discount. Volunteer opportunity organized by Catholic Charities. Minimum age: 18. Sign up online or email Maggie O'Neill.
SENIOR BRAIN GAME FACILITATORS: Friday, June 21, 2-4 pm, Gaithersburg. Guide residents at Asbury Methodist Village through a variety of games, socialization, and laughter at an event focused on brain health. Minimum age: 14. Email the Asbury volunteer program or call 301-216-4955.
JULY 4TH FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS: Tuesday, July 4, 8 am-1 pm or 6-10 pm, Takoma Park. Assist at information booths, distribute flyers, and help with various setup and cleanup activities for the City of Takoma Park's annual 4th of July celebration, featuring a morning parade and evening celebration. Volunteers should be between the ages of 14 and 18. Email Tara Egan or call 240-863-8837.
SENIOR ART CLASS ASSISTANTS: Pair up with a nursing home resident at Charles E. Smith Life Communities in Rockville for "Opening Minds thru Art," a weekly art class created for people with mild to moderate memory loss. Sessions run Wednesdays, July 10, through Aug. 14, 10 am-12 noon and 1-3 pm, and volunteers can sign up for either or both time slots. Volunteers should be between the ages of 16 and 22. Email Monica Mayer or call 301-770-8333.
HOTLINE SUPPORT VOLUNTEERS: Serve as a supportive listener for a 24/7 hotline, online chat, and text support service coordinated by EveryMind. Volunteers serve in Rockville to provide confidential crisis prevention and intervention services and connect callers with relevant information, referrals, and resources. Minimum age: 18. Required training is provided free of charge; next training session begins Wednesday, July 31. Email Rameela Tuladhar or call 301-424-0656 x541.
YOUTH BASEBALL COACHES: Work with kids new to baseball on fundamentals at YBA Play, a program of the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, which aims to make baseball accessible to children in DC who might otherwise be priced out of the sport. YBA Play runs 6-8 pm, Mondays through Thursdays, June 24-Aug. 2, at three recreation centers in DC. Minimum age: 13. Email Rose Broberg or call 202-827-8960 x6020.
SUMMER LUNCH VOLUNTEERS: Distribute and clean up summer lunch meals for children served by TESS Community Action Center in Silver Spring. Volunteers also place food orders through an MCPS program, log data about the number of meals distributed, and support educational activities for the children who participate in the program. Program runs 10:30 am-1:30 pm, Mondays through Fridays, throughout the summer, and volunteers are asked to commit to working two days per week. Email Maureen Larenas or call 240-773-8260.
CLIMATE STRATEGY WORKGROUP VOLUNTEERS: Work with other community members as well as Montgomery County government staff to review county climate reports/plans, investigate best practices from other jurisdictions, and recommend strategies that have high potential to meet the county's greenhouse gas reduction goals in an equitable manner. Volunteers can apply to serve on workgroups focused on energy use in buildings, the transportation sector, or clean energy activities. Apply by email with a letter of interest and resume by Sunday, June 30.
FARM HANDS: Help the Button Farm Living History Center--a Germantown farm depicting 19th century slave plantation life--with various needs, including gardening, animal care, general site maintenance, and event support. Volunteer opportunities available for groups as well as individuals. Email Tony Cohen or call 202-903-4140.
Age 50+ and Eager to Make a Difference?
Face-to-Face Help for Finding Your Best Volunteer Fit
Do you want to use your talents, skills, or interests to help a nonprofit or government agency, but don't quite know where to begin? Start by contacting the Montgomery County 50+ Volunteer Network. This Volunteer Center program has helped hundreds of residents find meaningful volunteer opportunities that meet their needs. Through individualized, in-person consultations with experienced advisers, these volunteers are now successfully serving at a broad range of organizations as tutors and mentors, program managers and assistants, client intake specialists, board members, consultants, communications specialists, administrative support, and more.

Email 50plus@montgomerycountymd.gov today to get started on finding your best fit volunteer opportunity. 

To celebrate the work of the Tax-Aide volunteers, Asbury Methodist Village hosted an appreciation brunch at which County Executive Marc Elrich presented a certificate of appreciation to Lynn Kinch in recognition of her five years of volunteer service as district coordinator of the Senior Corps RSVP/Tax-Aide Program serving Montgomery County. Although she is stepping down from this volunteer leadership position, she will continue volunteering as a tax counselor.
Senior Corps Volunteers Help County Residents Receive Millions in Tax Refunds
More than 150 volunteers with the Senior Corps RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program--coordinated through the Volunteer Center--recently wrapped up another successful tax season, preparing federal and state tax returns at no charge for 6,217 low-to-moderate-income county residents, many of them seniors. These efforts generated more than $4.4 million in refunds and saved participants an estimated $1.4 million in tax preparation fees. 

Interested in joining this hard-working and congenial team next tax season? Visit the Tax-Aide Volunteer web page to learn how to get involved as a tax counselor, client facilitator (greeter), or scheduler. Or email the Tax-Aide Program for more details. Volunteer information is distributed in the fall.
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 program focuses on two local programs that provide tax return assistance to low-to-moderate income residents: the Senior Corps RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program (which provides special attention for those age 60 and up) and Community Action Agency's VITA Program.
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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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Montgomery County Volunteer Center
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