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Category: Community Service Page 1 of 2

Grocery Giveaway, and Turkey Drive

Grocery Giveaway
Please save the date for another Grocery Giveaway next weekend on Sunday, Nov 14th #grocerygiveaway. The event is open to all! Please spread the word. Thank you

Turkey Drive

Also, please help families in need this Thanksgiving! Donate a small frozen turkey and help us meet the goal of distributing 250 turkeys 🦃! The College Park Food Bank will be collecting frozen turkeys Friday, November 12, and Friday,

November 19 from 4 to 6pm. Thanks for helping reduce hunger in our communities!

👉 Please pledge to donate here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a44ada62daaf85-turkey . Thank you for your support!

 

Jack Perry Award for Community Service

John "Jack" Perry

At tonight’s worksession, the Council will discuss establishing an award in recognition of late Council member John ”Jack” Perry. John Edward “Jack” Perry moved to College Park in March of 1969 and was active in his community until his death in 2012.

Over the years, Jack Perry served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Berwyn District Civic Association, as President of the College Park Boys and Girls Club, and on numerous other boards, coalitions, task forces and committees.

Jack Perry served on the College Park City Council from 1979 – 1983 and from 1989 to 2011, for a total of 26 years, tied with Mayor Davis as the second-longest serving official in the City’s history. Jack Perry volunteered his time in countless ways to improve the quality of life in College Park, fostered neighborhood pride, participated in public discussion in an informed and fair-minded way, and provided leadership at all levels of city life.

Members of the Berwyn community and the Berwyn District Civic Association, Inc. met and discussed the creation of a City award to honor Jack Perry’s contributions to his neighborhood and the City; and the Mayor and Council of the City of College Park share the desire to honor the memory and legacy of Jack Perry through an Award to a deserving member of the community.

Any resident, neighborhood association or organization located in the City of College Park may submit a nomination for the Jack Perry Award. Nominations shall be submitted in writing to the City Clerk for the City of College Park.

The nomination period shall be open annually from May 15 (Jack Perry’s birthday) to July 15. The Jack Perry Award will recognize a person who has participated to an extraordinary degree in neighborhood, civic, or municipal affairs within the City in a manner that improves public spaces, fosters community cohesion, eradicates blight, informs discussion of public issues, provides leadership, and/or furthers the best interests of the City as a whole.

Although our community may never again see as public-spirited a citizen as Jack, his spirit and example should be honored and emulated. It is in the interest of the City to periodically recognize a resident who embodies the qualities Jack so admirably lived. To be eligible, a person must be at least 18 years of age, and a registered voter or legal resident.

The Jack Perry Award shall be conferred when and if an eligible member of the community is nominated and found to be deserving of the Award. The Award will be advertised annually but there is no obligation to grant the award each year. Nominations will be reviewed by a subcommittee of at least three persons appointed by the Mayor.

The subcommittee shall include a member of the Perry family. The subcommittee’s recommendation will be forwarded to the full Council for approval by majority vote. This is a non-monetary award to be given to the person selected by the Council at a regular meeting in September or October.

Winter Clothing Drive Update, Thank You!

Clothing bin at the Pizza Roma, Winter clothing drive, 2011-2012

Thanks to everyone for your kind donations of warm winter clothes in this year’s Winter Clothing Drive. We’ve collected several boxes of clothes this year. You help will go a long way to help the needy ones.

Like last year, we’ll soon sort the clothes and send them to local charities. In the past years we sent them to Pregnancy Aid Center in College Park (children clothes), ThriveDC (adult clothes) and the Arc Thrift Stores (toys etc.).

If you still want to make donations, please give me a call me at (301)659 – 6295 or email me at faz.kabir@gmail.com / fkabir@colegeparkmd.gov

Volunteerism in Action: Gazette Features NCP Resident

Lisa Eally, featured in Gazette

This week’s Gazette has featured Lisa Ealley a long time resident of north College Park.

Lisa has been well known for her volunteering works, especially her almost daily services at the Meals and Wheels program. The program runs off United Methodist Church at the Rhode Island avenue and serves subsidized foods to low income residents, mostly in College Park and the neighboring cities.

She also is the treasurer of Girl Scout service unit 23-5, which encompasses Greenbelt, Berwyn Heights, University Park and College Park, and trains area troop leaders.

She spends most evenings, about four hours a week, trying to balance the organization’s books, a task that’s gotten more difficult as the economy has slowed, she said. College Park Meals on Wheels provides food for up to 60 homebound individuals daily. – The Gazette writes.

Congratulations, Lisa! Keep up the good work!

See the full Gazette article here.

Thank You, North College Park

I’d just like to thank all the community members who gathered yesterday in our annual north College Park neighborhood cleanup event.

Some 40 neighbors volunteered in a day of community service to cleanup a major part of Hollywood neighborhood. The event started at 10 am with breakfast at the the REI/MOM’s/Pizza Roma shopping complex. Volunteers were then divided into 9 groups and spread out to pick trashes from the surrounding neighborhood streets.

We’d also like to thank to our sponsors of the event. MOM’s Organic store provided water, Pizza Roma for the pizza and College Park Public Works for the bags and gloves. Also, our special thanks to county council member Mary Lehman and College Park council member Marcus Afzali for taking part in the event.

I took a few pictures of the event. Please enjoy them here.

Profiles of Service: Part 4 – AlHuda School Soup Kitchen

School volunteers at the Soup Kitchen

The school may not have its own kitchen to serve its students daily lunch, but that did not  stop a group of school volunteers to make trips to downtown DC to serve food to folks in a homeless shelter.

AlHuda school, located in the east end of Hollywood neighborhood, began volunteering with Thrive DC! (formerly known as DPHW, the Dinner Program for Homeless Women) in 2007.  The school volunteers help with preparing the food, serving, and cleaning dishes.  Typically, there are between 50-100 people that come in the evening for dinner.

The program runs on a monthly basis, so volunteers head to the soup kitchen on the first Monday of every month. The recipients are primarily African-American women, but there are also several women and children from Spanish, Chinese, and Caucasian descent.

It is truly a humbling experience for the volunteers when they come to serve.” said one school student who volunteers at the kitchen regularly. “Even though they are only coming for a couple of hours, the homeless women show a lot of gratitude and appreciation while they are being served and as they interact with the volunteers. Towards the end of the program, a lot of them end up helping the volunteers clean up and put up the tables.” – the student added.

There is a special feeling of community in the program; it is customary to see elderly folks dispensing their advice to the younger ones amongst them. There are children milling about happily and playing with others while their mothers look on after them with sad smiles on their faces. There are disabled people that are chatting animatedly with other homeless women that help them with their various duties. There are quiet individuals either lost in their thoughts, filling out crossword puzzles, or reading books, while there are loud and boisterous people right beside them laughing away and/or causing much commotion in the crowd.

In the midst of all of this are the volunteers trying to provide the attendees with a sense of normalcy as they work alongside the organizers in the homeless shelter’s soup kitchen to serve an often-neglected component of society.

Making Volunteerism a Success in the New Year

Volunteering - Working Together

Today is the first day of yet another year. Like my first post of the last year, I’d like to talk again about volunteerism, which is one of my most favorite topics.

There is a sense of self rewarding experience when we volunteer – it’s all about giving to our community where we live together. You and I may be privileged ones, who don’t need others’ help, but there are many who do. Then there are work that need collective help, the City and local governments can only do so much in its limited budget.

  • The first thing is to find a list of projects that you can work on. You will be surprised to see the number of projects out there that need your help. If you have an idea of starting out a new project, please take a look at the existing ones, before starting your own. Some of the projects I’ve seen in our part of the town include: working in neighborhood watch program, food and clothing drive and community cleanups. There are also a bunch of City committees that you can volunteer to work.
  • The next step would be about managing time in our busy schedule, which I think is extremely important. Many of the projects are ongoing in nature; thus it should be easy for you to plan ahead when and where you will be volunteering. 
  • I also suggest you to getting other members of your family in this volunteering projects. Getting involved the family members can help you in having important and quality family time together. I’ve always seen younger ones in the family find volunteering extremely fun. You may also be helping them to start a lifelong journey of volunteering by getting them work with you.

Please let me know if you need more information on how to volunteer in College Park.

Profiles of Service: Part 3 – Pregnancy Aid Center

Pregnancy Aid Center

The yellow frame building looks like just another house in the city – until you take a closer look at the tiny sign at the entrance of the building.

Located at 4809 Greenbelt Road (please see map below), the Pregnancy Aid Center  (PAC) opened its door some 36 years ago.

I stopped by the PAC office last week to drop off  boxes of clothes that we collected as part of our annual winter clothing drive for the infant and children who receive services at the center.

Initially, PAC provided places where you can get pregnancy test done and options counseling, food, clothes, and referral services. In 1986, with seed money from the Meyer Foundation, PAC’s services were expanded to include a prenatal care clinic. Family planning services were initiated in 1995, and, with a grant from the Freddie Mac Foundation, PAC started an adolescent outreach program.

Profiles of Service : Part 2 – Meals on Wheels

Volunteers serving food (the Gazette)

College Park’s oldest food serving program is celebrating 35 year this year.

Based in the United Methodist Church on Rhode Island Avenue, the program feeds between 60 to 65 people three meals a day, Monday to Friday. The College Park Meals on Wheels is one of the 5000 local similar chapters in the country.

The group has volunteers ranging from teenagers to octogenarians and serves residents in College Park, Berwyn Heights and parts of Beltsville and Greenbelt. It buys its own ingredients; delivers items including fish, fruits, vegetables and sandwiches; and also gives customers non-perishable food packages for weather emergencies, according to this Gazette article.

Ms. Lisa Ealley is the treasurer of the program. She said in an email to me that the need (for the program) is great. “There are so many people that call us from areas that we don’t serve that we have to turn down,” she added.

In years past, the group has relied on federal funding, the cities of College Park and Greenbelt, local politicians, community organizations and private donors to help cover more than $100,000 in annual costs.

In recent years the rough economy forced the group to raise its weekly price for recipients from $20 to $25 in February. The group also had to buy a new $3,500 refrigerator after the old one stopped working this winter.

The program has received grants of as much as $2,500 from the College Park City Council in past years, but Ealley convinced council members to allocate $3,500 in this year’s city budget. Meals on Wheels volunteers are still hoping they’ll be able to ride out the difficult economic times and continue preparing meals and carrying them to residents for years to come.

“Our main criteria [to give someone food] are that they are unable to prepare food for themselves. So some of our recipients are only clients for a few weeks and some have been with us for years!” – said Ms. Ealley.

Ms. Ealley said the group is also in need of people who can help to deliver meals or work in the kitchen. “We have many volunteers (many of our volunteers qualify for our meals!) but they are unable to work every day so there are days that we have a very small set of helping hands.”

She said the group is the only face that some recipients see for weeks on end. “We are their “lifeline” and have had instances where we have been the ones calling for an ambulance. “

If you would like to help out Meals on Wheels either by your donations or spending time, please contact Lisa Ealley at l_ealley@msn.com. “Working with this program is extremely rewarding and we are fortunate that we can continue to provide for our clients” – said Ms. Ealley.

Winter Clothing Drive Continues…

Clothes in boxes ready to go

First, thanks a bunch to all of you who have kindly made donations to the 2010 Winter Clothing Drive. So far, we’ve collected some 18-20 boxes of clothes from three locations – NCPCA meeting at Davis Hall, AlHuda school and Pizza Roma store.

Last night, we dropped 7 boxes of infant and children clothes to College Park’s Pregnancy Aid Center (PAC). PAC’s Executive Director Mary Jelacic was very appreciative to your kind donations. Thanks also to PAC volunteer Lloyd, who helped us to take the boxes to their storage facility. Lloyd said “There is a great need for infant and children winter clothes. Many of the kids who receive donations were born right here in the center.”

We’re also in the process of sending your donated items to the designated charities very soon.

In case you did not get a chance to donate in the three locations, you can still do that at the Berwyn Baptist Church from January 2-6; there will be a box placed inside the Sanctuary.

You can also donate directly just by sending an email either to me or Kennis Termini (kennis.termini@yahoo.com). Just let us know when you want us to collect the donations from your place; we’ll NOT share your information with anyone else.

Thanks again for your continued support.

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