The Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County, which helps connect small businesses and corporations with volunteer work, and Leadership Montgomery will host the picnic and pizza dinner from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Big Train, a summer team of college players from across the country, will play Youse’s Orioles at 7:30 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field in Cabin John Regional Park (10600 Westlake Dr.).
Organizers are asking participants to donate new or gently used soccer balls or basketballs to benefit IMPACT Silver Spring Long Branch Athletic Association.
Tickets are free for members of the Volunteer Council or Leadership Montgomery and $15 for non-members. Adventist HealthCare is sponsoring the event. For more information, or to register, visit the Volunteer Council’s website.
Flickr photo by Mark Briscoe
MobileMed provides volunteers to give primary care to low income, working poor and homeless people in the county, many who suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, allergies, orthopedic problems or cancer.
The Laugh Riot for MobileMed, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, will feature comedians Big Al Goodwin, DC Improve veteran Andrea Fuller and Shahryar Rizvi a one-time runner-up in the “Funniest Fed” contest.
Tickets are $50 for gallery seating and include two drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The show will take place in the Hyatt Regency Bethesda Ballroom (7400 Wisconsin Ave.).
For more information on the event and to buy tickets, visit MobileMed’s website.
A Bethesda nonprofit that holds support groups and mind-body classes for cancer patients showed off its new home in the historic Beaumont House on Thursday morning.
Hope Connections for Cancer Support moved to the space, on the Federation of American Societies for Experiemental Biology (FASEB) campus at 9650 Rockville Pike, on April 1. President and CEO Paula Rothenberg said the organization wanted to get out of its previous location, near the Grosvenor Mansion, before that land is redeveloped into a townhome community.
Through a connection to FASEB, Hope Connections was able to claim about a third of the Beaumont House, built in 1929 in a secluded, tree-filled area just south of Pooks Hill Road.
The result is a bucolic new location for the organization’s weekly and monthly cancer support groups, gentle yoga courses, knitting, stich and chat sessions and other free programming.
“We don’t do the medicine. We provide free programs of emotional support,” Rothenberg said. “We don’t charge a penny for the work we do because we don’t want this to be a choice for people. We want our doors to be open to anyone.”
Bonnie and Bernie Kogod started the foundation in 2005 to honor their daughter, Michelle Susan Kogod, who died of cancer at age 18. They were in attendance for Thursday’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
So was County Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) and Del. Bill Frick (D-Dist. 16). They both spoke about the value they felt Hope Connections brings to the area, one that is already full of medical facilities conducting research and treating a wide range of diseases.
A number of Montgomery County social service organizations are celebrating 25-year or 30-year anniversaries, something Bethesda Cares director Sue Kirk said many in the field did not expect would be happening when they started out.
“There was optimism in the very beginning that homelessness was a blip on the screen and that one set of social workers would probably solve a lot of these ills and we’d be looking for other things to do by now,” Kirk said. “Then homelessness didn’t go away.”
On Sunday, April 13, Bethesda Cares — the homeless prevention nonprofit that works with many of the roughly 75 chronically homeless in Bethesda — will celebrate its 25th.
The event, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Positano Ristorante Italiano (4948 Fairmont Ave.), will serve as a celebration of the group’s work but also as a reminder of what’s left to be done.
“It’s a chance to look back over a lot of the changes that were made and the people who have been housed because we’re here,” Kirk said.
Bethesda Cares provides counseling, referrals, some clothing and food services to Bethesda’s homeless through its headquarters on the bottom of the county’s Woodmont Avenue parking garage. It is not a housing provider, though, which has Kirk and outreach specialist John Mendez trying to convince local policymakers to make room for chronically homeless in government-sponsored housing programs.
Kirk said that around 2004, Bethesda Cares fully embraced the “Housing First” approach toward decreasing homelessness, a newer concept that advocates placing the homeless in permanent housing right away instead of putting them through counseling, homeless shelters and temporary housing first.
Kirk and Mendez have said that Montgomery County housing providers have been too slow to embrace the Housing First model, and that too many government-sponsored housing spots go to the working poor who might have other resources.
In the future, Kirk hopes Bethesda Cares can add some more medical services for some of the most chronically homeless in the area. A speaker from the 100,000 Homes Campaign that seeks to survey and shelter those most vulnerable to living on the street will take part in the April 13 event.
For more information and for tickets or donations, visit the event website.
Prominent Bethesda attorney Robby Brewer, who has represented the Lerner family through the White Flint Mall redevelopment process, will be honored at an event from a local housing nonprofit set for the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.
Kensington-based Rebuilding Together, which repairs and modifies homes for low-income families, will honor Brewer at its 2013 Honors Reception on April 3. Brewer, a land-use attorney at Bethesda-based Lerch, Early & Brewer for more than 35 years, is on Rebuilding Together’s Corporate Advisory Council and has been involved with a number of Bethesda community, nonprofit and business organizations over the years.
The Chevy Chase resident last year received the Randy Schools Outstanding Service Award from the Bethesda Big Train. Brewer served as counsel for the Bethesda Community Baseball Club from its incorporation in 1998 to its dissolution last year. BCC Baseball took over the Big Train.
The Rebuilding Together honor is for his community service with the organization and other nonprofits in the area.
“Robby Brewer is a rare gem for any nonprofit leader. He is someone willing to listen intently as a sounding board, mobilize his network for your benefit, and personally commit to work he feels important while also encouraging those in his sphere of influence to get involved, too,” said Rebuilding Together executive director Susan Hawfield. “We have been so fortunate to have Robby champion Rebuilding Together Montgomery County for nearly a decade, and his guidance has allowed us to grow as an organization and grow financially.”
Brewer’s firm has become the most prominent working in land-use and development issues in the area.
The event is open to the public and will benefit Rebuilding Together, which in its 23-year history has made repairs on more than 1,800 homes at a value of more than $16 million to help families remain living independently.
For more information and tickets, visit the event page on Rebuilding Together’s website.
Photo via Rebuilding Together
Farm to Freezer organizer Cheryl Kollin will talk about her group’s goals and how it is “Changing the Way We Eat” starting at 4:40 p.m. on a special webcast that can be viewed here. TED conferences are a set of live talks, described as a “clearinghouse for ideas” that by late 2012 had been viewed one billion times online.
Kollin started Farm to Freezer in 2012 with a network of volunteers who collected 300 to 400 pounds of donated produce from the Bethesda FRESHFARM farmers market each week. They then used various Bethesda church commercial kitchens to either preserve the food or make it into useable products such as tomato sauce.
The food and the products were given to homelessness prevention nonprofit Bethesda Cares, which will have enough food to feed its homeless clients through winter, said Kollin, who hopes to expand the program this year.
Bethesda Green will be hosting a free local viewing party starting at 10 a.m. (registration here) that will include presentations and discussions on local food programs and county zoning revisions might affect the farms that produce local food.
Photo via TEDxManhattan
County officials, nonprofit leaders and others held a press event today to celebrate the release of a report that shows 10 percent of Montgomery’s workforce is employed by nonprofits and the sector has nearly $4 billion in purchasing power.
According to the report, county nonprofits employ 43,371 people and pay out $2.2 billion in wages. That employment base grew 9.1 percent between 2007 and 2011 as overall employment in the county dropped by 2.5 percent.
“Although leaders in government and business may intuitively understand the value of the nonprofit community, this new report compellingly quantifies the return on investment that nonprofit businesses provide,” said Chuck Bean, executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, in a prepared statement. “This cutting-edge examination of the business of doing good in Montgomery County is the new model — now it’s time to do this analysis in every jurisdiction in our region.”
The county’s Department of Economic Development and Department of Health and Human Services funded the report.
Economic Development director Steve Silverman said nonprofits play “an essential” role in the county’s economy.
“The nonprofit sector is a significant and stable source of good jobs, and this report is a reminder that we should strive to attract and retain nonprofit businesses of all types and sizes, just as we do with for-profit businesses,” Silverman said in the release.
The event today was held at Discovery Communications in Silver Spring.
Flickr pool photo by AmyMarieMoore
There are more than 750 registered nonprofits in Bethesda alone, according to market research website Manta. They help create $2.2 billion in wages countywide, according to the report titled “Beyond Charity: Nonprofit Business in Montgomery County.”
County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), Council President Nancy Navarro (D-East County), Councilman George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park, and county Department of Economic Development director Steve Silverman and nonprofit representatives will hold a press gathering on Monday in Silver Spring to discuss the report.
According to one nationwide study, the growth rate of the nonprofit sector surpassed the rate of the business and government sectors from 2001 to 2011, increasing by 25 percent to more than 1.5 million organizations.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth, a D.C.-based nonprofit that until now has dealt largely with North Virginia transportation and sprawl issues, has turned its attention to Montgomery County and will host an event focused on the area next week in Silver Spring.
“The Next Generation of Transit: The Key to Montgomery’s Green Future” is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 13 at the Silver Spring Civic Building and will feature County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac), Smart Growth America CEO Geoff Anderson, Montgomery County Planner Larry Cole and Purple Line project manager Mike Madden.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth helped host a happy hour on White Flint development last week. It will focus its message next week on what the group argues are the environmental benefits of transit projects:
Montgomery County residents care about the environment. The county has been a leader in progressive planning from its award-winning Agricultural Reserve and extensive stream valley parks, to affordable housing and the revitalization of Silver Spring.
Now, Montgomery County is at a crossroads. The county is expected to add over 200,000 new residents and over 100,000 new jobs in the next 20 years. Traffic and pollution will only grow worse if we don’t give people better options for moving around. Over 34% of greenhouse gas emissions in Montgomery County come from transportation. Linking transit and transit-oriented communities can make a major contribution to fighting climate change and reducing air pollution.
But among our transit projects, the Purple Line may fail for lack of funding, WMATA needs to continue restoring its aging infrastructure, and the county needs more rapid transit connecting more places. We need to act now as a community and support a three-part transit agenda linking the Purple Line, Metro and the proposed Rapid Transit System. Investing in transit alternatives will be critical for doing our part to solve climate change, improve our air quality, support sustainable development and create good green jobs.
Join us with Geoff Anderson of Smart Growth America and Roger Berliner of the Montgomery County Council to discuss transit and smart growth solutions to climate change. We’ll also get the latest updates on Montgomery transit projects and strategize with us about how we can do our part through investing in transit.
For more information, visit the event website.
Flickr photo by ACTransit.org
The Fields of Green Internship Fair is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the organization’s office at 4825 Cordell Ave. (above the Capital One Bank).
Some of the area’s leading environmental groups and green businesses will interview candidates on-the-spot and Bethesda Green is looking for more employers.
Positions offered so far include jobs at the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Department of Environmental Protection and Student Conservation Association. For more information on the event and participating organizations, visit Bethesda Green’s website.
Homeless prevention and assistance nonprofit Bethesda Cares will lead a survey and count of the area’s homeless tomorrow, part of Montgomery County’s requirement for homeless program grant funding.
Bethesda Cares director Susan Kirk said about 45 volunteers will help the organization do a joint point-and-time count and medical needs survey starting at 4:45 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday) to help fulfill the requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Groups of volunteers, government employees and nonprofit workers will be going out around Montgomery County tomorrow morning to conduct the count. HUD requires communities receiving Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant funding to complete an annual report on the homeless using sheltered facilities and a biennial report that includes those living in unsheltered facility.
Councilman George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park, chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, will volunteer for a homeless count in Gaithersburg. Leventhal has canvassed with Bethesda Cares before, where Kirk and outreach specialist John Mendez are lobbying for a Housing First policy of ending homelessness in the county.
The information collected in tomorrow’s counts will be part of the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), which studies the extent and nature of homelessness in the U.S. The report provides nationwide estimates of homelessness, including information about the demographic characteristics of homeless persons, service use patterns and the capacity to house homeless persons.
“Our County is committed to reducing the prevalence of homelessness, with the ultimate goal of placing homeless residents in permanent housing and better lives overall — eventually eradicating homelessness altogether,” Leventhal said in a statement released Tuesday.
In 2011, Bethesda Cares criticized the operations of the county’s Housing Opportunities Commission at one Hampden Lane facility, where Mendez felt not enough of the most vulnerable and chronically homeless were placed.
Last year’s point-and-time count recorded 72 chronically homeless on the streets of downtown Bethesda, Friendship Heights and White Flint.
Bethesda-based Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen and her Give An Hour nonprofit had a big 2012, but her mission may only be increasing in importance.
In 2005, Van Dahlen founded Give An Hour, a network of mental health professionals who volunteer to donate their counseling services to troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Since, the group has grown into a nationwide collection of 6,500 psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists and others.
In April, Van Dahlen was named as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.” She was invited to the White House as one of five winners of the Joining Forces Community Challenge and also attended the Clinton Global Initiative conference last summer in Chicago.
Yet even as U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq has decreased, the number of veterans seeking Give An Hour’s help has grown.
“We expect as the folks come home, as the service members are cut back because of budget cuts, we have more people dumped into communities who were serving multiple tours who don’t have a focus like they did before,” Van Dahlen said. “They’re often transitioning. We expect to see the ripple effects for the next five years.”
Give An Hour has gone from giving at least 3,000 clinical hours a quarter to at least 10,000 hours in the last few quarters of 2012.
“Our country thinks, ‘OK, the wars are over, this is great,’” Van Dahlen said. “But for those of us who are in this work, we all talk about how we’ve got this window until maybe a year from now when the country is going to turn away and think everything is done.”
A California native, Van Dahlen moved to the Washington to get her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland and settled in Bethesda, where she first saw a need to help troops returning home.
“I grew up during the post-Vietnam era. I didn’t want that again. I didn’t want a whole new population of veterans on the streets,” Van Dahlen said. “I knew if I would be available to do this, there was a possibility that this would catch fire.”
Before the holidays, Give An Hour signed a formal agreement with the National Guard. Providers register with the organization, which then connects them with veterans in their area in need of help.
Last year, Give An Hour offered services to victims of Hurricane Sandy and those affected by the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Van Dahlen said she had providers offer to fly to the town on their own dime to help.
The simplicity of the process and the need for help has meant tremendous growth and visibility.
“I think the overall concept is very appealing and very easy,” Van Dahlen said. “We’re already looking at expanding into other populations. There’s kind of no end in sight.”
Video via Time 100
Montgomery Community Media recently profiled a Bethesda nonprofit that helps kids navigate the complicated path to college or college scholarships.
Collegiate Directions Inc. helps students from their junior year in high school through college graduation, first with gaining admission to colleges and also with managing the transition to campus life.
Some of the group’s students may not have had the guidance otherwise. Many are the first in their families seeking a college degree. College Directions Inc. helps them wade through the rigorous standardized testing process, apply for schools and scholarships and continues with academic tutoring and support during their college careers.
For more on Collegiate Directions, visit its website.
Video via Montgomery Community Media
Farm to Freezer, the Bethesda nonprofit that prepares and donates leftover Farmers Market goods for the homeless, won a national contest to speak at a conference on sustainable food programming.
The TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” conference on Feb. 16 in New York will be viewed by like-minded nonprofits across the country and should afford Farm to Freezer some widespread recognition.
The program, organized and created by Cheryl Kollin, started this year with a network of volunteers who collected 300 to 400 pounds of donated produce from the Bethesda FRESHFARM farmers market each week. They would then use various Bethesda church commercial kitchens to either preserve the food or make it into useable products such as tomato sauce.
The food and the products were given to homelessness prevention nonprofit Bethesda Cares, which will have enough food to feed its homeless clients through winter, Kollin said.
Kollin hopes the program expands in 2013. The group received about 600 of the 2,000 votes on a number of programs up to speak at the event.
“I am thrilled announce that Farm to Freezer won the TEDxManhattan speaker challenge! Winning a speaking opportunity at TEDx will provide critical visibility and hopefully, lead to funding that will support this social enterprise,” Kollin wrote in an announcement.
She will present on Feb. 16 and will again organize a local viewing party in Bethesda at the offices of Bethesda Green.
Photo via TEDxManhattan
Farm to Freezer, a nonprofit that prepares and donates frozen food leftovers to homeless people in Bethesda, is up for a chance to speak at the TEDxManhattan event for “changing the way we eat,” in February.
After starting the effort this year, the group is one of five national finalists for the event that will be broadcast to local viewing parties of similar nonprofit groups and could open up some new opportunities.
Cheryl Kollin and Sue Kirk, executive director of the homeless prevention nonprofit Bethesda Cares, got together to create the program with a wide net of partners including area church commercial kitchens, Whole Foods grocery store and farmers who sell at the weekly Bethesda FRESHFARM farmers market.
Kirk told Kollin that Bethesda Cares had more fresh produce donated to them by farmers at the market then they could use without it wasting.
So she built a volunteer network that collected between 300 and 400 pounds of donated food a week and saved a portion of it in freezers either by making it into tomato sauces or by using other preservation methods.
After 20 weeks of the project, Farm to Freezer successfully gleaned 5,100 pounds of food from the market (much of it from Pennsylvania’s Spiral Path Farm) and left Bethesda Cares with 1,500 pounds of food in its freezer that will be used in hot meals served every day this winter to some of Bethesda’s more than 70 homeless people.
“It starts to connect all these various parts of what I call rebuilding our sustainable food systems,” said Kollin, who is a business consultant.
The farmers get tax deductions for donations, the homeless get food and the community gets informed about the homeless problem in Bethesda, Kollin said. The group also partnered with Montgomery County’s pre-release program. County prisoners months away from being released came to the market to help weigh and distribute items for preparation as a way to satisfy their community service requirements.
Kollin and Bethesda Green have hosted a local viewing party for the TEDxManhattan talks the past two years.
Now, Kollin has a chance to give it when it happens in February. She also hopes to bring back and perhaps widen the program next year.
For more information on Farm to Freezer and to vote, visit the website.
Photo via TEDxManhattan