soldiers_home_holiday_cards

“Dear PoPville,

This holiday season we are collecting handmade holiday cards for the residents of the Old Soldiers Home/ Armed Forces Retirement Home here in DC. If you know a child, daycare, or school that would be interested in making holiday cards to bring some joy to these individuals who have spent years or a lifetime in service to all of us, please spread the word and help us hand out a card to every retired soldier we can this holiday season. Last year we handed out over 550 hugely appreciated holiday cards from all over the country. The cards are delivered along with some hugs, singing and lots of holiday cheer.

I will be happy to pick up the cards you make or you may drop them at my home sarchance10(at)aol(dot)com. The deadline for this small but meaningful way to help experience the joy of giving back in our own backyard is Friday, December 12th. In the event the number of cards exceeds the number of residents, all of the remaining art will be shipped to operation gratitude for placement in care packages of persons serving overseas. Please help spread the word and let’s make this year’s card drive a success!

Thanks so much/ Happy Holidays.
Sarah Gabriel
sarchance10(at)aol(dot)com”

BDAY-Homepage-Feature

From an email:

DC Public Schools is pleased to announce the 10th annual Beautification Day on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014, from 9AM-1PM.

Join over 4,000 volunteers for a variety of projects to help clean and spruce up schools in preparation for the students first day of school. Activities will include gardening and landscaping, organizing books and libraries, painting, flower planting and more.

· When? Saturday, August 23rd from 9AM to 1PM

· Where? When you sign up as a volunteer, you’ll be able to select your school choice. We recommend you register as ‘flexible” whenever possible to ensure all schools receive quality care.

· How? Here is the registration link.

· Why? As a valued member of our community, your presence matters! Show up, have fun, and foster meaningful relationships with schools and neighbors.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user caroline.angelo

From an email:

“Hill Center is proud to announce the second annual Volunteer Capitol Hill, a volunteer fair featuring over 35 non-profit organizations, on May 10 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Volunteer Capitol Hill will take place at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave, SE.

Volunteer Capitol Hill showcases the diverse range of community building activities being undertaken by nonprofit groups all over Capitol Hill and the greater DC area. Whether individuals are looking to make a difference in the community, develop new job skills, make new friends, or spend time together as a family, there is an opportunity for everyone.

With organizations spanning from youth development to dog rescue to food pantries and everything in between, volunteers will find something that fits their interests, availability, and skill sets. Participating organizations include: (more…)

dcps_mentor

From DCPS:

“Ever wondered how you can help out and make a difference? District of Columbia Public Schools is seeking local professionals to participate in an innovative mentoring program. Last year, DCPS launched an internship program for students with disabilities called the Competitive Employment Opportunities (CEO) Program. The CEO Program brings high school age students with various disabilities together with professional mentors who work in a range of occupations. CEO mentors help introduce our students to the working world and guide them through the career exploration process. To learn more visit our website dcpsceo.com or follow us on twitter @DCPSCEOProgram.

Over the past two years, CEO has provided DCPS students with professional development training, one-on-one mentoring, and paid summer internships throughout the district. During bimonthly one-on-one mentoring, which takes place on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 4:30pm – 6:00pm, students work with mentors on a career-focused project. This project and the summer internship open our students’ minds to the expansive and exciting working world, allowing them a first-hand experience in what it’s like to be a professional. Last year, one of our students worked with a mentor from the Architect of the Capitol on creating a 3-D design of a music studio. Another student worked with a mentor from NASA on a presentation about the landing of the Mars Rover. Our mentors have come from companies and organizations, large and small, all over the district, from Spooky Action Theater to The Discovery Channel.

Currently, we are looking for more local partner agencies in the DC community to add professional mentors to our team, in order to give our students more outlets for career exploration. It is an exciting time for the CEO program, as DCPS is looking to double our programming in 2015. Our goal is to recruit 20 new mentors through 15 new corporate/organizational partnerships by January 2015. If you are enthusiastic about your career, you can share that enthusiasm by becoming a mentor. If you work at a company or organization that would provide exciting options for our students, you can open doors by partnering with DCPS. If you are interested in mentoring or would like more information, please email raymond.hutchison@dc.gov.”

code_for_progress

From an email:

“What do a 51 year old grandmother of five from Anacostia, a local DJ, an entrepreneur and a DC transplant from Sierra Leone have in common? They’re all learning to code in the name of improving the lives of people in and out of The District.

Meet Jason, Terri, Cassidy and Selina — the 2014 Code for Progress fellows. These four Washingtonians are about to make some major changes to historically underserved communities here in town.

Terri Acker has been on the board of Bread for the City for years, and you can’t go anywhere in Anacostia and find someone who doesn’t know her. She’s a 51 year old mother of five and a grandmother of seven who has lived in public housing her entire life. After witnessing people in her community slowly being pushed out of their neighborhoods do to rapid gentrification, she decided to make a change. Terri will be using her 17 week fellowship to learn how to code an app that will make it easier for Washingtonian’s to access low-income housing in their areas.

Selina Musuta DJs all over town. She has been working in social justice issues for years, mostly in the broadcast industry. She even incorporates her sound recordings into her DJ sets! Selina is taking her knack for technology to Code for Progress where she seeks to learn how to code an app that will connect SNAP beneficiaries in DC to stores near them using GPS. Even better—each location on the map will have a “healthiness rating”.

Cassidy Henderson was born in Sierra Leone, but now lives in Washington DC. She is a transgender woman who is hoping to improve the lives of other LGBT people in the US by connecting them with safe spaces and social services through the app she creates.

Jason Towns has been involved in policy and social entrepreneurship in the District for a long time. He will be using his Code for Progress fellowship to teach DC underprivileged youth how to use technology and code to create opportunity for themselves.

Pretty cool, right? Check out more about what they’re doing at codeforprogress.org.”

Pretty cool indeed!

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Photo by PoPville flickr user quemac

“Dear PoPville,

I have had a really hard time finding volunteer opportunities. I want to volunteer very much, but almost all of the sites I’ve found have restrictions that I can’t fulfill: they take place during the work day, they need certain qualifications, they require a commitment of five days a week, they’re located at places where people like me without a car cannot easily access, etc. One nonprofit I used to volunteer for has a waiting list for volunteers at the only site I have access to.

I’m sure issues like mine have arisen in different PoP venues, so if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them. But what I’d really love is to challenge the PoP community to come up with a site that allows you to select certain parameters– neighborhood, days available, type of volunteering– and then spit out opportunities. I don’t know if it’s possible to make a site like that, but it would be awesome. People like me wouldn’t give up so easily and think that there’s nowhere for us to volunteer.”

“Dear PoPville,

My son attends Creative Minds International DCPCS. This school is amazing and is full of equally awesome students and teachers. Unfortunately, one of the superkids, a little boy, is very sick. He is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

From 3:30-5:30 TODAY at Creative minds (Corner of 16th St. and Park Rd., across from Sacred Heart Church, the building that has the half circle driveway and looks like Hogwarts a little) the non-profit Be The Change will be holding a swabbing event in hopes of finding a marrow match for this sweet little guy.

Be The_Match (PDF)

anacostia_river_clean_up
Photo by PoPville flickr user maria jpeg

From the Anacostia Watershed Society:

“Join us and 2000 volunteers as we remove thousands of pounds of trash from neighborhoods, streams, and the Anacostia River!

Cleanup
Date: April 5, 2014
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (Times vary by location)

Location: Approximately 20 sites around the Anacostia Watershed in Washington DC, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland. Registration is required for the cleanup.

Celebration
Date: April 5, 2014
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Location: The post-cleanup celebration event will be held at RFK Stadium

The celebration will include free food and drink prepared by Seafarers Yacht Club, our long-time Earth Day partner. There will also be live music, local exhibitors, and notable speakers. All volunteers are welcome! Registration is not required for the celebration.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user NCinDC

From DCJCC:

“On Christmas Day, 1,000 volunteers will spread out across the Washington area to prepare food for the homeless, visit senior citizens, decorate and host Christmas parties at shelters, serve meals to those in need, donate blood, provide needed maintenance and repair at community centers, wrap gifts, and help children experience the magic of the holiday season. For the 27th year, the Washington DCJCC is convening volunteers of all ages for planned Christmas Day service activities through D25.

“D25 is a chance for everyone – whether children, teens, college students, adults, or families or groups of friends to find a way that speaks to them to share the holiday spirit with others in the community,” said Erica Steen, Director of Community Engagement at the DCJCC, who is in her eighth year of directing the event. “What better way to be thankful for what we have and to consider how we can better the lives of our neighbors than in coming together in service on such a special day?”

Details on D25 follow. A list of projects can be found at the Washington DCJCC’s D25 homepage. Volunteer opportunities include on-site activities at the DCJCC as well as at more than 60 social service agencies throughout Washington and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Most activities are two to four hours.”