Register Today for Our MLK Service Event
Celebrate Dr. King by Serving (Virtually)
Honor the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in the Volunteer Center’s annual MLK Day of Service event, this year held virtually and for the entire week surrounding the holiday, Jan. 16-24.

Volunteers will be able to help with a variety of service projects suitable for people of all ages. Activities include creating toys for service dogs, sending well wishes to COVID patients, and donating books on diversity for students. MCPS students can earn student service learning (SSL) hours for most projects except donations. Specific information about SSL hours and project drop-off are detailed within the signup page for each service opportunity.

This event is free, but space is limited for some activities and registration is required.

In addition to the Volunteer Center’s virtual MLK service activities, several partner agencies are coordinating service projects and other activities for MLK Day 2021. Check them all out!

  • Sign up to watch Sharing Smiles, a virtual youth concert coordinated by Empowering the Ages and aimed at senior audiences, which will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2 pm.

Begin 2021 as a Volunteer
Ready to start the new year with service? The Volunteer Center can help! Here are just a few of the hundreds of volunteer positions that local nonprofits and government agencies are currently recruiting for. Use the search box at the top of this email or on any page of the Volunteer Center website to search for more ways to serve.
VACCINATION SITE VOLUNTEERS: Provide support at COVID-19 vaccination sites in Montgomery County. The Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps is recruiting volunteers with current medical licenses to administer vaccines, as well as those with and without health care backgrounds to assist with client registration, logistics, and data entry. Register online, email Jessica Pryor, or call 240-777-1107.
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FOOD BOX PACKERS: Thursdays, 1-3 pm, Wheaton. Package nonperishable groceries to be distributed to households in need by the Mid County Hub at Hughes United Methodist Church. Volunteers must wear masks, follow physical distancing protocols, and follow other health precautions. Minimum age: 14. Sign up online, email Aranzasu Gasca, or call 301-678-4969.
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ONLINE CHESS INSTRUCTORS: Teach a small group of seniors supported through the Bethesda Metro Area Village how to play chess. Experienced players are needed to prepare and lead classes via Zoom or another online platform weekly, biweekly, or monthly--as determined by the volunteer teacher. Familiarity with tutoring and working with seniors preferred. Email Elizabeth Haile or call 240-630-2628.
CAREER & EDUCATION MENTORS: Counsel teens and adults living in subsidized housing who are pursuing college or vocational training. The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program seeks volunteers age 25 and up to mentor individuals through virtual interaction. Email Amy Kim or call 301-525-1034.
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SKATE PARK ASSISTANTS: Assist paid staff at the City of Gaithersburg Youth Services' skate park with managing the facility or teaching youth participants skateboarding skills in a formal group setting. Volunteers are selected through an interview process and must be at least 14. Email Maura Dinwiddie or call 301-258-6350.
DRIVERS FOR SENIORS: Help a senior supported through the Villages of Kensington get to a medical appointment, the grocery store, or similar local spot. Drivers age 18 and up are needed to provide older adults with a ride a couple times a month, typically during the regular work week. Security check and training required. Email Michael Landa or call 301-509-0191.
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ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDS: Grab a trash bag and gloves and clean up whatever patch of the Rock Creek watershed you choose. The Rock Creek Conservancy has limited its group cleanup events during the pandemic, but is coordinating individual cleanup efforts throughout the 80-square-mile watershed. (Volunteers interested in becoming a stream team leader can also attend virtual training on Feb. 3 and 6.) Register online, email Alayna Smith, or call 301-579-3105.
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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.
Nominate Top Volunteers for Montgomery Serves Awards
Nominations are now open for the 2021 Montgomery Serves Awards, our county's highest honor for volunteer service. This prestigious annual awards program recognizes volunteer efforts during the previous calendar year (or, for the Neal Potter Award, during the nominee's lifetime) in the following categories:

Nomination forms (linked above for each award) must be completed and submitted online no later than Friday, March 12.
Free Program Explores Volunteering & Education
Learn Ways to Thrive This Winter
How do you keep your mind active and make a real difference during these challenging times? Get ideas from the Volunteer Center and Montgomery College's Lifelong Learning Institute at a free Zoom event on Thursday, Jan. 14, 10 am-12 noon.

Learn about new classes at the Lifelong Learning Institute, hear from instructors, and explore the Volunteer Center's resources for identifying virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities. The program will also highlight how the Volunteer Center's 50+ Volunteer Network provides residents with personal guidance to find their best volunteer fit.

Register at bit.ly/ThriveLLI. Once registered, you will receive a link to attend. Email Natasha.Sacks@montgomerycollege.edu with any questions.
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 episode highlights Montgomery County's two annual MLK Day events: the Volunteer Center's virtual service event and the Office of Human Rights' performing arts program, presented by live-stream on Monday, Jan. 18, 5-6 pm.
Taking Care While Being a Good Neighbor
As you reach out to help others during the pandemic, please protect yourself and those you are serving by taking the following precautions developed by Montgomery County’s Office of Emergency Management and Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Stay home from all activities when you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, which may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
  • Keep away from others who are sick.
  • Limit close physical contact with others as much as possible, keeping at least 6 feet away and using a face covering when that physical distance can't be maintained.
  • Call, email, or text your neighbors who may need help.
  • If they are in need of immediate emergency care, call 911.
  • Limit your help to non-contact activities. For example:
  • Leave groceries on the doorstep. (Do not enter their house.)
  • Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands before touching anything you deliver to them.
  • To promote social interactions and combat loneliness, speak with neighbors on the phone or by video chat (versus going into their homes) on a regular basis.
  • Conduct research on their needs and provide them with resources or connect them directly with help such as feeding, transportation to medical appointments, animal services, etc.
  • Alert authorities if you think that a neighbor is in danger.
  • Do not act on your own.
  • Create an online network for your community.
  • Remember to protect yourself first! Do not put yourself or others at risk.
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
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