Day to Serve month now un­der­way in Mary­land

The Dundalk Eagle - - SPORTS AND RECREATION -

Gov­er­nor Larry Ho­gan to­day is­sued a procla­ma­tion declar­ing Septem­ber 11 through Oc­to­ber 10 as Day to Serve month in Mary­land, and en­cour­ages all Mary­lan­ders and state em­ploy­ees to choose at least one day to par­tic­i­pate in or host a vol­un­teer ac­tiv­ity. The Day to Serve ini­tia­tive unites Mary­lan­ders in their vol­un­teer ef­forts and rec­og­nizes the ex­cep­tional com­mu­nity ser­vice that oc­curs year-round in the State of Mary­land. In re­sponse to this year’s pub­lic health chal­lenges, for the first time, op­por­tu­ni­ties to vol­un­teer will be avail­able both in per­son and re­motely.

“As we con­tinue to nav­i­gate the pan­demic and the many di­verse is­sues fac­ing our com­mu­ni­ties, unity and ser­vice have never been more im­por­tant or needed,” said Gov­er­nor Ho­gan. “Mary­land is a lead­ing state for vol­un­teerism be­cause of our com­pas­sion­ate peo­ple and their ded­i­ca­tion to join in ser­vice with our neigh­bors and our com­mu­ni­ties.”

The Day to Serve ini­tia­tive in­cludes Mary­land, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Vir­ginia, and West Vir­ginia, each of which tracks sta­tis­tics in­clud­ing the num­ber of vol­un­teers, hours served, and the pounds of food and sup­plies do­nated in the spirit of friendly com­pe­ti­tion. In 2019, more than 15,000 Mary­lan­ders ded­i­cated more than 60,000 hours for com­mu­ni­ties across Mary­land. Among the four re­gions, there were a to­tal of 361 ser­vice ac­tiv­i­ties, mak­ing Mary­land the fore­run­ner with 271 to­tal vol­un­teer ac­tiv­i­ties.

“We are grate­ful to serve in an ad­min­is­tra­tion that sup­ports and en­cour­ages vol­un­teerism in our state,” said Steven McA­dams, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice of Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tives. “Our out­reach into Mary­land com­mu­ni­ties has given us an op­por­tu­nity to ob­serve, first-hand, how vol­un­teers from all back­grounds can build stronger com­mu­ni­ties. The peo­ple of Mary­land bring great pride to our state.”

In con­junc­tion with Day to Serve, the Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice of Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tives, along with the Mary­land Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, is part­ner­ing with the Hap­pi­ness for He­roes cam­paign. The cam­paign is de­signed to share mes­sages of sup­port, grat­i­tude, and hope to the 186 as­sisted liv­ing res­i­dents and 286 skilled­nurs­ing res­i­dents that call Char­lotte Hall their home. As part of this ini­tia­tive, com­mu­nity mem­bers are also en­cour­aged to share their grat­i­tude and sup­port for Mary­land’s first re­spon­ders and front­line work­ers.

A list of ideas is avail­able on the Day to Serve web­site.

To fur­ther pro­mote a spirit of vol­un­teerism, Gov­er­nor Ho­gan has once again granted four hours of ad­min­is­tra­tive leave for state em­ploy­ees to par­tic­i­pate in a vol­un­teer ac­tiv­ity of their choice from Septem­ber 11 to Oc­to­ber 10. In ad­di­tion to the many state em­ploy­ees who will be par­tic­i­pat­ing as in­di­vid­u­als, sev­eral agen­cies plan to or­ga­nize projects through­out the state to en­cour­age em­ployee par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Vol­un­teers are asked to post pic­tures from their ser­vice ac­tiv­ity with the hash­tags “#MDDTS2020” and “#iServeMD” to Face­book and Twit­ter and tag @ Mary­landGOCI.

Mary­lan­ders seek­ing vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties are en­cour­aged to check the Day to Serve event map pe­ri­od­i­cally, as events will con­tinue to be added.

Vol­un­teer ser­vice event or­ga­niz­ers are asked to register events on the Day to Serve web­page.

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