Nonprofit organizations across Frederick County work each day to meet the needs of this community. During the holiday season and throughout the year, many organizations need volunteer support. If you’re looking for ways to encourage the spirit of volunteering within your family, discover a few of these organizations in need of assistance.
Frederick County Humane Society (FCHS) offers volunteer opportunities as an extension of its mission “to advocate for animal welfare in the community and provide affordable services, resources and programs to help responsible pet owners keep their pets healthy, happy and in lifelong homes,” according to the FCHS website.
FCHS is currently offering a number of ways to volunteer. These opportunities are the Emergency Pet Food Bank, the Unsung K9 Hero Project, Quick Fix for Cats program, Pet Overpopulation Program (POP), Well-Care Assistance Program, Emergency Medical Assistance and the Shanklin Fund for Seniors.
FCHS partners with Pam Wahl to support the K9 division of law enforcement as a part of the Unsung K9 Hero Project. The Quick Fix for Cats program is a biannual clinic set up for spay and neutering at a reduced price. POP is similar to the Quick Fix for Cats Program with the exception of working with local veterinarians to provide the spaying and neutering for all pets, not just cats. The Shanklin Fund for Seniors offers a $100 voucher to help low-income seniors 65 years and older with vaccines and annual exams for their pets.
The organization is looking for immediate assistance with filling stockings in partnership with Meals on Wheels and getting help to arrange a pet food drive at a local grocery store in the Frederick County area. Volunteers can also assist with general office work.
Food and Wellness
The city of Frederick offers several volunteer opportunities geared toward family participation. Families are welcome at Frederick Community Action Agency’s (FCAA) sponsored soup kitchen and the food bank. These volunteer opportunities are a great way to get the family started in volunteering.
Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. Those volunteering will allocate their time between serving in the soup kitchen and performing duties at the food bank.
According to the Frederick Community Action Agency website, duties for the volunteers include sorting food, restocking shelves, light cleaning, serving food, and recordkeeping to track the number of families using the food bank. More information on these opportunities can be found on the FCAA website.
The FCAA operates out of the George L. Shields Food Bank, serving between 600 and 800 households each month. The food bank provides a three- to five-day food supply to each household. Households can consist of low-income families that regularly use its services or moderate-income families experiencing economic hardship.
Helping the Homeless
Homelessness is a difficult condition to encounter as an adult, but it can impact children in big ways too. Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) is looking for volunteers to help with planning and hosting events. One of these events calls for volunteers to assist in collecting donations of health and hygiene items during the donation drive. Locations for donation boxes are on the SHIP website.
By volunteering, you can help SHIP fulfill its mission “to lift up Frederick County’s homeless youth so that they can realize their potential, complete their education and be poised to break the cycle of poverty they find themselves in,” according to SHIP’s website.
Helping People with Disabilities
The Arc of Frederick County also relies on dedicated volunteers to help people with disabilities. Several volunteer opportunities include serving as a photographer, as fundraiser event volunteers and volunteers for the monthly Parents’ Day Out event.
Parents’ Day Out is a day for volunteers to spend time socializing and having fun with Frederick County residents with disabilities while parents who care for their loved ones with disabilities have the chance to take some time for themselves.
Shauna Mulcahy, Director of Community Engagement for the Arc of Frederick County, says the organization “provides support and services to over 600 children and adults with developmental disabilities in the Frederick community.” The Arc has many opportunities listed on their website to be a part of this contribution to Frederick County.
Affordable Housing Volunteer Opportunities
Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County, Maryland, wants to build affordable homes for those who need it. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Restrictions apply based on age as it corresponds to different volunteer positions for the organization.
The organization offers six primary positions: construction, construction crew leaders, Habitat ReStore events, committees and office administration. Members of the committees create the plans for projects and are responsible for the completion of the project. Volunteers working in Habitat ReStore will handle materials, customer-service duties and in-person interactions. Younger volunteers will be limited to office administration tasks based on the office.
Miscellaneous Volunteer Opportunities
The Volunteer Center at United Way of Frederick County arranges for projects to support Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) households or serve the general Frederick County community. United Way’s Volunteer Center also hosts projects ranging from the Volunteers in Tax Assistance (VITA) program to the Stuff the Bus school-supply drive and Summer Serve.
VITA uses the skills of volunteers to help local residents with their taxes. Individuals or groups can stay updated by subscribing to United Way’s newsletter or checking the website for more information regarding volunteer opportunities with United Way of Frederick County.
Shauna Mulcahy, director of community engagement for the Arc of Frederick County, says the organization “provides support and services to over 600 children and adults with developmental disabilities in the Frederick community.”
These are only some of the nonprofit organizations within Frederick County making a difference in the lives of local residents. If you know about more nonprofits we have not mentioned, please reach out to us at Frederick’s Child magazine.