THERE ARE TWO WAYS OF SPREADING LIGHT:
TO BE THE CANDLE 
OR THE MIRROR THAT REFLECTS IT.
-- Edith Wharton
MAY 2018
In This Issue
Montgomery Serves Awards
County Recognizes Top Volunteers
Montgomery Serves Awards winners & presenters
Congratulations to the volunteers and community leaders who were recognized for their outstanding service to our county at last week's annual Montgomery Serves Awards ceremony. We honored the individual (Jane Callen), youth (Esmirna Guttierez Campusano), group (Comfort Cases), and business (Apex Home Loans) volunteers of the year for their service in 2017, presented the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award for lifetime volunteer service to Chih-Hsiang Li and Sharyn Duffin, and bestowed the Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award to Tufail Ahmad, Brian Frosh, and Linda Plummer for their contributions to the county over the course of their lives. 

In addition, County Executive Ike Leggett recognized the sponsors and partners who make the event possible: Michelle Freeman of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, which sponsors the event along with the Fund for Montgomery; Imagination Stage, which hosts the celebration; Comcast, which creates videos highlighting awardee's service; and WUSA9 news anchor Andrea Roane, who emceed the event.

Visit the Volunteer Center online to learn more about all of the evening's honorees.
SPOTLIGHT ORGANIZATION
Helping Every Kid Get Into the Game 
Leveling the Playing Field aims to give underprivileged children the opportunity to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of youth sports participation. By collecting and donating used and excess sporting equipment to programs and schools serving low-income communities, LPF enables these programs and schools to spend less on equipment and more on reducing registration fees, expanding scholarship programs, enhancing existing athletic programs, and/or developing new ones. 

LPF was founded in 2011 to bridge the gap between excess sports equipment often found in affluent schools/youth programs and the lack of sports equipment in Title I schools, low-income after-school programs, and volunteer-run sports leagues. Since its inception, the organization has donated more than $2 million worth of new and gently used sports equipment to 450-plus programs in the Washington and Baltimore area.

LPF relies heavily on volunteers to collect sports equipment from their schools, offices, recreation centers, neighbors, teammates, family, and friends. To aid in the process, LPF can provide marketing materials and collection bins. Most volunteers drop off their collections at one of the organization's warehouses (in Silver Spring and Baltimore) and then stay to inventory/sort those donations, but a pickup can be scheduled if needed.

Volunteers are also needed to sort and inventory the many soccer balls, baseball bats, basketballs, cleats, and other equipment donations LPF receives daily. A basic knowledge of sports generally makes this process easier, but is not required. 

Volunteering with LPF is very flexible. It can be as hands-on or not as you prefer and can be tailored to fit your schedule. Some volunteers come in for a two-hour warehouse shift and others volunteers collect equipment at multiple sites, haul donations to the warehouse, and then stay for a few hours to sort. LPF is preapproved by MCPS for SSL credit hours and does not have an age minimum.

To volunteer with LPF, and help make sure every kid has the chance to get off the sidelines and into the game, complete the organization's online volunteer form and then sign up for shifts on its volunteer calendar. If you have questions about volunteering or running a collection drive, visit LPF's website or email info@levelingtheplayingfield.org.
FEATURED VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
It's the Perfect Time of Year to Volunteer
This month--and into the summer--there are lots of opportunities to volunteer at the many festivals and other events that pepper our region at this time of year. We've highlighted a few of them here, along with some of the hundreds of volunteer positions listed on the Volunteer Center's website. Check our 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. 
SSL preapproved
These opportunities are preapproved to provide MCPS 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 MAY & JUNE

SSL preapproved FLEA MARKET ASSISTANTS: Saturday, May 5, 7-11 am or 11 am-2 pm, Germantown. Help with setup/take-down, directing traffic, managing vendors, and providing Spanish language interpretation at the Germantown Historical Society's monthly community flea market. Additional opportunities available the first Saturday of every month through November. Minimum age: 14. Email Susan Soderberg or call 301-972-2707.

SSL preapproved FOOD DRIVE VOLUNTEERS: Saturday, May 12, several shifts available between 3:30 and 9 pm, and Sunday, May 13, 9 am-12 noon, Kensington. Pick up, sort, and pack food donations collected through the US Post Office's annual Stamp Out Hunger program. Sponsored by Mid-County United Ministries, which operates a food pantry and is a recipient of the program. Minimum age: 14. Email Larry White, call 301-929-8675, or sign up online.

HISTORIC HOME TOUR GUIDES: Saturday, May 12, 12:30-3 pm or 3-5:30 pm, Rockville. Direct visitors, set up, and/or clean up Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation's 2018 Homes Tour of houses and gardens. Volunteers receive free admission to the tour before or after their shifts. Minimum age: 18. Email Nancy Pickard or call 301-762-0096. 

SSL preapproved AWARDS EVENT HELPERS: Thursday, May 17, 4-8:30 pm, Rockville. Set up and clean up the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program's annual dinner celebration for college students who have been selected as scholarship recipients. Minimum age: 15. Email Jessica Doran or call 301-518-7710.

SSL preapproved CELEBRATE TAKOMA FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS: Saturday, May 19, Takoma Park. Assist the City of Takoma Park with it annual commemoration of the diverse people and cultures that make up the community. Tasks may include setup/break-down, running arts & crafts activities, and helping visitors at the information booth. Minimum age: 16. Email Alexis Blackwell or call 301-891-7100. 

SSL preapproved 5K RUN ASSISTANTS: Sunday, May 20, 7-10 am, Bethesda. Serve as a course marshal, finish line monitor, first-aid helper, safety assistant, water station volunteer, and more for Girls on the Run of Montgomery County's celebration race. Email Amy Lopez, call 301-881-3801 x 103, or sign up online

SSL preapproved WASHINGTON FOLK FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS: Saturday & Sunday, June 2-3, multiple shifts available between 12 noon and 7 pm (plus additional opportunities throughout the previous week and weekend), Glen Echo. Set up tents and stages, support performers, serve on the stage crew, sell CDs, guide visitors, and help with breakdown of this annual event sponsored by the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture. Minimum age: 15. Email Kim Cuthbert, call 301-634-2222, or sign up online
ONGOING & FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES

VICTIM OUTREACH VOLUNTEERS: Assist sexual assault and domestic violence victims and their families by providing crisis counseling and companion services at local hospitals and police stations. Sponsored by the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program. Volunteers commit to serving on-call for 12 hours per week for at least one year, and must be 21 or older, be Montgomery County residents, and have a valid driver's license and immediate access to transportation. Specialized training provided. Email VASAP or call 240-777-1355.

SSL preapproved FARMERS MARKET ASSISTANTS: Greet visitors, answer questions, set up/break down market tents, and help with children's activities at the Derwood Market in Rockville, Saturdays throughout the spring, summer, and early fall. Sponsored by Impact Silver Spring. Minimum age: 14. Email Milk Lady Markets or sign up online

SSL preapproved MORNING WALK COMPANIONS: Stroll around the lake (or play some indoor sports, as the weather dictates) with adults with developmental and intellectual differences as part of the Upcounty Community Resources Walking Club, which meets two mornings a week in Germantown. Minimum age: 15. Email Jenn Lynn or call 240-614-0444.

CLERICAL AIDES: Scan paper documents and upload electronic files to a new database to help the Office of Consumer Protection's licensing department move to a paperless system. Requires meticulous attention to detail, the ability to research documents to properly name files, and comfort with Adobe software. Opportunity located in Rockville. Email Tracy Rezvani or call 240-777-3636.
Plan Now for Summer Volunteering
If your goals for the warmer months include volunteering, be sure to check out the many opportunities available to serve the community this summer. Search the Volunteer Center website for the keyword "summer"  to find dozens of volunteer positions at camps, schools, nonprofit offices, recreation centers, and more. Here are just a few:

Montgomery County's Therapeutic Recreation Program needs counselors and other assistants to help children with disabilities participate in summer camps, clinics, and fun center activities at locations throughout the county. Requires a one-week minimum commitment and training. (There is a small fee for training.) Minimum age: 14. Email Marco D'Ottavi or call 240-777-6891.

Montgomery County Public Schools Summer Program seeks middle school and high school student volunteers to assist younger children with math and literacy skills at several elementary schools across the county, July 9-Aug. 10. Half-day and full-day shifts available, depending on location.  Application deadline: May 18. Email Jennifer Herman.

Montgomery Parks is recruiting volunteer summer camp counselors to serve at nature centers in Boyds, Wheaton, Rockville, and Bethesda. Volunteers must commit to at least one week of full- or half-day camp. Minimum age: 14. Training provided. Email Lynn Vismara or apply online

Share Our Strength, which provides nutritious meals throughout the summer to children who rely on school lunches during the academic year, needs volunteers to help serve lunch (and, if possible, also lead a learning activity) weekdays at its summer meal sites in Silver Spring. Minimum age: 18; younger volunteers accepted when accompanied by an adult. Email Tiffany Haynes or call 410-456-6778.
NEWS & RESOURCES
Nominations Open for State Volunteer Awards
The Maryland Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Governor's Service Awards, which recognize residents for their volunteer contributions to Maryland communities and people. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, June 1, and can be completed online

There are 15 award categories, including lifetime achievement, youth service, emerging leader, individual service, member of the board, and nonprofit volunteer program, all recognizing service completed in 2017 (except lifetime service award).
50+ Volunteer Network
Find Your Best Volunteer Fit
Are you looking to serve your community, in need of guidance, over age 50, and:
  • Retired or planning for retirement and thinking about your next step?
  • An empty-nester or at a stage in life where you have additional time and a desire to be more engaged?
  • Searching for a way to make a significant contribution of time and talent to serve your community?
  • Have always thought you'd like to volunteer but don't know where to start?
The Montgomery County Volunteer Center's 50+ Volunteer Network can help you find volunteer opportunities that fit your particular combination of skills, interests, and availability. The program's advisers will help you determine not just what you can do, but what you want to do, and will then suggest some possibilities for you to choose from.  Then, once you decide which opportunities you want to pursue, advisers will connect you with the agencies and continue to provide follow-up services as needed. For more information, email the 50+ Volunteer Network managers.
Organizations Across Region Join Together for 24-Hour Giving Campaign 
Do More 24--set for Thursday, May 17, to Friday, May 18--is an annual 24-hour fundraising campaign that unites nonprofits and people across the Washington area in support of the most pressing needs in our community.

Visit the event website to find and learn more about participating organizations sorted by their missions, location, name, or keyword. Then, return between 12 noon on May 17 and 12 noon on May 18 to give to those you'd like to support. If you're afraid you'll forget to come back at the right time, you can click one button to have it added to your calendar and/or simply schedule an advance giving donation.

Do More 24 is organized by the United Way of the National Capital Area.
Watch the Ways to Make a Difference
Make a Difference , a monthly County Cable Montgomery program, highlights the contributions of stellar volunteers and organizations that contribute positively to our community. In honor of May's designation as Older Americans Month, the latest episode highlights the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (coordinated locally through the Jewish Council for the Aging), which provides health insurance guidance for people with Medicare.  Watch it online here.
Follow Us on Social Media and Get the Latest!
Learn about new and last-minute service opportunities, volunteer news, and information to inspire on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center Facebook page. If you haven't already done so, Like us to get the latest information in your Facebook feed. 

You can also stay connected through these links:
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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 these activities.

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Montgomery County Volunteer Center 
240-777-2600