Community organizations throughout Howard County have worked around the clock to meet the increased need for their services arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center for Service Learning is pleased to provide the HCC community with a directory of opportunities to directly support these organizations’ vital work.
The opportunities listed here are exclusively for voluntary participation by individuals and are not associated in any way with academic courses or professional development credit through HCC.
Community Action Council (CAC) of Howard County
The CAC works to diminish poverty, enable self-sufficiency and advocate for low-income families and individuals. Serving low-income Howard County residents through four core program areas: food assistance, energy and weatherization assistance, housing assistance and early childhood education.
The CAC’s Howard County Food Bank is currently in need of canned food donations that they can make immediately available to their clients.
Additionally, CAC’s Early Childhood Education program has a variety of needs for their classrooms and families. Please visit their Amazon Wish List here to support them: https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/XOK0AN5W8LW6/guest-view.
Finally, under the current restrictions and guidance from the county health officials, the CAC's ability to take on new volunteers is still incredibly limited but those interested in volunteering can get more information here: https://www.cac-hc.org/get-involved/volunteer/
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland works to enable people to live independently at home through the provision of nutritious meals, personal contact and support services, so that they may age in place with dignity. They are one of the largest Meals on Wheels programs in the country, serving thousands of people daily with six regional offices throughout central Maryland.
Throughout this crisis Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland has continued to serve some of our most vulnerable community members. At this time they still need help in their kitchen preparing meals for delivery. More information on how to volunteer can be found here: https://www.mealsonwheelsmd.org/our-covid-19-impact/
Additionally, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland is looking for substitute delivery drivers for their Columbia, Catonsville, and Silver Spring locations. They are also looking for help with grocery shopping for clients, as well as calling clients to reduce social isolation as part of the Client Wellness Call program.
Howard County Office on Aging and Independence
The Office on Aging and Independence promotes the full inclusion of persons with disabilities, and supports the desires of citizens to remain independent as they grow older. As the 50+ centers in Howard County had to close their physical doors in March, they have remained committed to serving the seniors in our community and helping to connect them with much needed resources.
As the Office on Aging and Independence continues to monitor the changing landscape and evolving needs of Howard County's seniors, they are asking anyone interested in volunteering their time to sign up through Howard County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD). Howard County COAD was created through a direct community response to the pandemic and continues to be active as the county reopens.
Additionally, the Office on Aging and Independence is currently recruiting volunteers for their Inter-generational Virtual Facilitator volunteer opportunity. The opportunity can be found on their Volunteer Website
Grassroots provides 24-hour crisis intervention, suicide prevention, shelter, and outreach services to individuals and families experiencing a personal, situational, mental health, or shelter crisis. They operate the Howard County's Mobile Crisis Team, supporting response to psychiatric emergencies and family crises in the community. Other services include the Maryland Crisis Hotline, the Runaway Intervention Program, outreach and educational programs.
Grassroots has a current need for particular items to continue serving and supporting the community. They are in need of individual bags of chips and juice boxes for kids, and individual packs of sugar (not sugar substitutes) for the shelter. They also are in need of personal hygiene products such as body wash, alcohol-free mouthwash (3.2oz - 16oz), and deodorant in particular, and cleaning supplies such as bleach, dryer sheets, and laundry detergent pods. Canned soup, fruit, and veggies and canned meats and pastas will help fill pantries at the Hotline Center and the Day Resource Center.
My Sister's Place Women's Center
My Sister's Place Women's Center is Baltimore City’s longest-serving women’s day shelter and resource center for women and children experiencing homelessness and poverty. They provide a safe haven for women in Baltimore City, a place to receive love and support as they work to overcome their barriers. They empower those they serve to overcome their situations through their services, which include extensive workshops centered on the 8 realms of wellness: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational, and social wellness.
My Sister's Place Women's Center has an immediate need for particular products during this time. These include disinfectant sprays and wipes, hand soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizers, latex gloves and PPE, toiletries such as deodorant and shampoo/conditioner, and food products such as bottled water, canned veggies, bagged lunches, or casseroles. A complete list of items needed for immediate donation can be found at https://www.catholiccharities-md.org/services/my-sisters-place-womens-center/
My Sister's Place Women's Center's volunteer portal, www.cc-md.org/volunteermspwc, has also been updated to reflect the virtual and remote opportunities to provide you new ways to offer support from your own home and within your community. They are also looking for meal sponsors/volunteers. The sponsored meal can be given in four ways: cooked at home, or with friends, and delivered the day of or day before service; Divided up components (entree, side, etc.) among a group, with one person collecting and delivering; A catered meal from a restaurant; In the form of grocery store gift cards to help purchase items. If you would like to become a meal sponsor, please email Julie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate.
Maryland Caregiver Service Corps Initiative (CSC)
The Maryland Department of Aging has implemented a new statewide Caregiver Services Corps (CSC), with the goal of enabling older adults to remain in their homes with the support systems in place to do so. They are looking for healthy volunteers to help older adults across the state. The Caregiver Services Corps has been established to provide volunteer caregivers for older adults who need urgent assistance with everyday tasks because they do not have a family member or friend available.
Volunteers are needed to perform both in-home tasks for older adults as well as logistical support for the program. This includes in-home tasks such as assisting with the individual’s self-administration of medications; Helping with ambulation or transferring; Assisting with bathing and completing personal hygiene routines; Educating older adults on how to use video technologies to connect with loved ones or healthcare providers. Logistical support tasks include no-contact tasks such as transporting supplies, and delivering prescription medications and essential food.
Blue Water Baltimore
Blue Water Baltimore's mission is to restore the quality of Baltimore’s rivers, streams and Harbor to foster a healthy environment, a strong economy, and thriving communities. They work towards a future where our waterways are safe and enjoyable for all.
Blue Water Baltimore offers an eclectic variety of advocacy and volunteering opportunities and educational workshops. To learn more visit, their event calendar -- https://www.facebook.com/BlueWaterBmore -- and follow them on Facebook -- https://bluewaterbaltimore.org/events -- and Instagram -- @bluewaterbmore, https://www.instagram.com/bluewaterbmore/