April 2021
This week we celebrate volunteers all over the world but in particular we are taking this time to celebrate our very own M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation volunteers. We really appreciate your service with us and every second you spend giving your time to help make us a better organization for the community. You, our volunteers, are our backbone and help keep us strong and powerful.

We look forward to welcoming you back to service. On July 6, click here to see available volunteer opportunities and to sign up.
The Spotlight
Aisha Ferguson
Aisha Ferguson (2020)
We are highlighting track and field volunteer -turned M-NCPPC employee-Aisha Ferguson. Aisha started as a volunteer with the Track and Field Summer Day Camp at the Wayne Curry Sports and Learning Center in 2018. She began volunteering with hopes of obtaining her student service learning hours needed to graduate from Dr. Henry Wise High School in 2020. Aisha says her assignment was to work with children during camp hours. “I might learn something, so I tried it. And, I actually liked it,” said Aisha. It was something new but turned out to be the perfect opportunity. “I actually enjoyed working with kids, so it was a good experience for me.,” said Aisha. The experience even helped her figure out what she wanted to study in college. Currently she is enrolled at Anne Arundel Community College majoring in Nursing. Her volunteer opportunity was so enjoyable that she applied for a paid summer position. “It's like I am getting paid for something that I actually want to do,” said Aisha. Aisha was later hired as a seasonal employee for the Daycare Center at the Sports and Learning Center. Even as a volunteer for Aisha, M-NCPPC felt something like home. “I feel like I came into a big family. Everyone was already working together, they really brought me in,” she added. “The thing that really sold me was working with kids,” she said. 
Aisha is a great example of someone who started off not knowing what to expect, gave it her all as a volunteer and now is a paid employee within our organization. Looking to the future, she says she can definitely see herself growing within the organization.
News Flash
It’s true that volunteers make a big difference in the lives of others, but did you know volunteering also makes a huge impact on the volunteer’s personal life as well? Studies have proven that volunteering has major health benefits as well as positive outcomes on improving your social and people skills. Research conducted by the Mayo Health System say participating in this type of service, either within your community or with organizations, an individual may experience a helper’s high and increased trust in others. Lower stress levels are another health benefit as well as a boost in self-confidence. Other health benefits include the decreased risk of depression and giving a person a sense of purpose. For older adults, volunteering can be life changing. The Longitudinal Study of Aging proved that people who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not. Research shows that people with severe illnesses and diseases may experience declines in pain when volunteering with others who also have chronic illnesses. Since volunteering typically keeps you on your toes, moving around and using you critical thinking, you will be more physically and mentally active. That’s a pro that works in the favor of young adults and senior citizens. Volunteering can not only be fun but also add years to your life!
In the Loop
What's Open
Did You Know?
10 Interesting Volunteer Facts 
  1. Volunteerism improves health by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress.
  2. Individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 are the most likely to volunteer their time according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  3. Those who volunteer regularly have a 27% better chance of gaining employment.
  4. 60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruitment decisions according to a study performed by Career Builder.
  5. Volunteers under the age of 24 accounts for 22.6% of all volunteers.
  6. Benjamin Franklin started The Union Fire Company, in 1736, the first volunteer-run firehouse worldwide.
  7. Women currently volunteer more than men (by about 6% more) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  8. The idea of volunteering goes way back in history! Women used to volunteer their time during the American Civil War to sew supplies for the soldiers off at war.
  9. Adults who took part in volunteering when they were younger are twice as likely of doing it in their adult lives than those who didn’t. 
  10. Most international volunteers come from the United States of America.
Student Service Learning
One Application, and plenty of opportunities. You only have to create an application one time. You can sign up for multiple opportunities using the same username and password that you created when you applied. Record your hours here!
If you have questions about volunteering or student learning hours contact jo-ann.martinez@pgparks.com.
If you have any ideas for upcoming newsletter features contact andrea.braswell@pgparks.com.