Plan Now!
Volunteer at Spring Break and Summer Camps
camp counselors
Spring is around the corner, with summer right behind it. That means it's time to start planning volunteer activities for spring break and summer--especially if you're interested in serving at a camp program or similar multi-day volunteer commitment.

Use the Volunteer Center website to help find these opportunities. Search for the keyword "spring break" and check out the April volunteer calendar to learn about ways to serve during next month's MCPS spring break. For summer-specific volunteer opportunities, search for the keyword "summer" and look through the volunteer calendars for June, July, and August. Most of these opportunities are geared toward students (and meet the criteria for MCPS student service learning hours), but some are specifically in search of adults and a few are appropriate for families to volunteer together.

If you don't find the right volunteer position the first time you look, be sure to check back as new opportunities are added regularly.
Warrior Canine Connection
Be a Hero for a Hero
Raise a Future Service Dog
WCC dog
Interested in helping veterans who have sacrificed so much for all of us? One way is to volunteer as a puppy parent with Warrior Canine Connection, a local nonprofit that breeds, trains, and places much-needed service dogs with veterans with visible and invisible wounds.

Puppy parents raise WCC service dogs (all Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers) for approximately two years before the dogs graduate and are placed with veterans to help with myriad needs--from coping with anxiety to accommodating mobility issues. During that time, the dogs are trained using WCC's own Mission Based Trauma Recovery method, a unique program that enlists recovering veterans to train service dogs for their fellow warriors as part of their own therapy. That means one dog can positively impact up to 60 people along its two-year training period. In fact, by placing 62 assistance dogs with veterans through the years, Warrior Canine Connection has positively impacted more than 4,000 service members and veterans. 

Puppy parents will be the first to tell you that the time, attention, and love they give these future service dogs is incredibly rewarding and joyful. “It’s unbelievable what these dogs are doing with the service members and veterans. Seeing their faces light up is awesome," says Bruce Guth, WCC volunteer. “The dogs just have an intelligence and unspoken emotion about them that has a great capacity to heal." 

If being a puppy parent is too long of a commitment, Warrior Canine Connection is also in need of “puppy watcher” volunteers to help whelp upcoming litters. Duties include day and overnight supervision of future litters, cleaning, and responsibilities related to supporting WCC’s breeding program.

All that’s required for volunteers is time, patience, and a genuine love of dogs. For more information about volunteer opportunities with Warrior Canine Connection, email volunteer@warriorcanineconnection.org or visit the Warrior Canine Connection website.
March Into Action
Here are just a few of the hundreds of volunteer positions listed on the Volunteer Center website. Check our online 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.
OUTDOOR CLEANUP VOLUNTEERS: Saturday, March 9, 9 am-12 noon, Gaithersburg. Rake leaves, pick up branches, put down mulch, and help with other cleanup activities for the Lois Green/Sligo Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America property. Email Mike Thomas or call 301-330-5970.
PAINTING PARTY PARTICIPANTS: Saturday, March 16, 9 am-12 noon, Rockville. Help set up, clean up, and paint the walls (including murals) at a community center. Sponsored by So What Else. Minimum age: 14. Email Talia Ramey or call 240-386-9890.
LITTER REMOVAL CREW: Saturday, March 23, 9-10:30 am, Takoma Park. Collect litter and recyclables along a one-mile stretch of New Hampshire Avenue, helping on behalf of the Takoma-Langley Crossroads Development Authority. Gloves, bags, neon vests, and refreshments provided. Minimum age: 12. Email Jackie Rivera or call 301-445-7910.
PARK STEWARDS: Wednesday, April 3, 2-4 pm, Boyds. Pull invasive weeds, pick up trash, help with gardening, and more at Montgomery Parks' Black Hill Regional Park. Minimum age: 14 (or as young as 3 if accompanied by an adult). Sign up online, email Lynn Vismara, or call 301-495-2504.
"SENIOR PROM" VOLUNTEERS: Sunday, April 7, 1:15-4:15 pm, Rockville. Set up, clean up, and engage with older adults at JCA Heyman Interages Center's "senior prom," featuring music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments. Minimum age: 13. Email Cathy Nestoriak or call 301-255-4239.
CHILDREN'S BEREAVEMENT BUDDIES: Provide caring support for a child or teen who has recently experienced the death of a loved one at Camp Erin, an overnight weekend camp sponsored by CaringMatters. Camp is held May 3-5 in Frederick, with required training on Saturday, April 15. Minimum age: 21. Email Leigh Bluestein or call 301-869-4673.
HOSPITAL INFORMATION VOLUNTEERS: Greet visitors and answer calls at the main information desk at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney. Volunteers particularly needed to serve the 4-8 pm shift. Minimum age: 16. Apply online, email the volunteer coordinator, or call 301-774-8629.
PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT MENTORS: Help a torture survivor set career goals, navigate the U.S. job market, network, and get back into his or her professional field. The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition matches professionals with mentees across the DC area and is particularly in need of mentors with backgrounds in medical services, finance, agriculture, engineering, and computer technology. Email Colleen Daly or call 202-529-2991 x1.
CHILDREN'S SNACK PROGRAM AIDES: Unload smart snack packs and assist with administrative tasks for Family Services Inc.'s Linkages to Learning program at Washington Grove Elementary School in Gaithersburg every Wednesday, 2:45-3:45 pm. Apply online, email Mary Murphy, or call 301-840-3183.
BUTTERFLY EXHIBIT ASSISTANTS: Support staff at Brookside Gardens with its annual live butterfly exhibit held April through September in Wheaton. Training provided. Minimum age: 13 (or 11 if volunteering with a registered and trained adult). Email Tara Gosine or call 301-962-1429.
Tidying Up? Donate Your Discards
Have you been inspired by Marie Kondo to rid your home or office of items that don't spark joy? Or are you simply de-cluttering as part of your spring cleaning? Either way, if you're ready to donate items you no longer want, the Volunteer Center can help connect you to local nonprofits and government agencies that may need them.

Visit our online donation resource page for a quick guide to organizations and the types of donated goods they receive--everything from books and clothing to garden supplies and athletic equipment. In addition, you'll find details on how to list furniture, office equipment, medical devices, craft supplies, and other items you may have available for donation in Hotlink, our weekly e-newsletter sent to the 1,200 nonprofits and government agencies registered with the Volunteer Center. 

Listing donations in Hotlink is simple and easy. Just email the Volunteer Center with a complete description of your items (including condition), the city or town where they would need to be picked up from, and your preferred contact information. Organizations then contact you directly to express interest; you can work with any you choose to arrange pickup. Hotlink does not list donations of clothing, books, old-style (not flat-screen) televisions, or food, and all items must be in at least good condition.
Don't Let SSL Hold Up Your Graduation!
High school students: Have you completed your student service learning hours required for graduation? All diploma-seeking Montgomery County public school students must earn at least 75 SSL hours between the summer after 5th grade and the end of 12th grade (or a reduced number of hours for those who entered MCPS after 6th grade).

If you or someone you know still needs more service learning hours in order to graduate, you can find hundreds of volunteer opportunities across the county that meet the guidelines for student service learning on the Volunteer Center website. In addition, students may be able to earn hours by serving at their high schools or the feeder middle and elementary schools.

To learn all about student service learning in Montgomery County, visit the MCPS SSL Program Overview online.
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 contribute positively to our community. This month's program features representatives from the Montgomery County Therapeutic Recreation, which is dedicated to providing accessible recreation programs for people of all ages throughout the county.
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
Copyright © 2019. All Rights Reserved.