There are various ways we can help our church community, neighborhoods, and wider society through prayer, giving, and volunteering.
At difficult times, we become increasingly aware of the beauty and fragility of life, as well as our need for one another and for God. We call on God through prayer in recognition that God is with us in all circumstances and “is near to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18). We join with people of all faiths around the world in asking God to intervene in this pandemic, and bring healing to our world. We also ask that God will strengthen and guide each of us to find ways to bring love and hope to the around us.
1. Donate to the Cedar Ridge COVID-19 Fund
Let’s all look out for those we know are struggling financially, and share our resources as we are able. Our church leadership is reassigning some of our existing funds for the same purpose. We have also established a designated fund to provide financial support to Cedar Ridge community members facing particular hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can give to this fund at the button above.
2. Donate bagged lunches for Shepherd’s Table
If you are able to assemble some lunches and drop them off at Shepherd’s Table at 8106 Georgia Ave, right behind the Fire Station, Shepherd’s Table and its guests would be very grateful! Drop-off hours are 8:30am-5:30pm. Lunches should consist of:
- Sandwich (turkey and cheese are most popular, but peanut butter and jelly also works)
- A piece of fruit
- A single-serve bag of potato chips
- Juice box (optional)
- Granola bar (optional)
3. Donate supplies to the Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is collecting items for seniors and vulnerable populations. You can help by creating care packages from the security of your own home and safely dropping items between 9am and 4pm, Monday – Friday, at 20021 Aircraft Drive, Germantown. Please leave donated goods outside the front door and call or text 202-345-2238. Items needed include:
- Canned soups and other dry and canned foods
- Socks, hats, gloves and toiletries
- Large-font activity books like sudoku
- Diapers and baby wipes
- Sanitizing supplies
4. Donate games and art supplies for So What Else (family-friendly)
So What Else provides aid to 65 communities; collecting & distributing donations of catered meals, non-perishable food items, & educational games and art supplies. Sort out your cupboards and find games and art supplies in good condition to pass on to others. Weekend donations can be made to 11405 Guerlac Court, Gaithersburg.
If you have time to give, there are many organizations who would love to receive help. Below are some ideas. If you have additional suggestions to share with our community, please contact us.
1. Sew face masks for assisted living and nursing home staff
Companies like SEEC need facemasks for staff who are providing 24-hour support to people with disabilities in their homes. Volunteers with basic sewing skills, and access to a sewing machine can mail their creations to SEEC 8905 Fairview Rd. #300 Silver Spring MD, 20910. You may also drop off your creations in the Fairview office lobby on the first floor (please schedule a drop off time by contacting Melissa Michaels via email or calling 1-301-576-9000). Donations will be laundered and distributed by SEEC to SEEC staff and other direct support providers. Here are video tutorials of how to create the masks:
2. Deliver food for Manna Food Center (adults and students with a driver’s license)
Manna Food Center, our partner for farm food delivery, has expanded its program to help meet the needs of Montgomery County residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Volunteer food runners are now transporting “Stay Put Packs” from Manna’s warehouse to the homes of our food-insecure neighbors who can’t or shouldn’t travel to distribution centers. We employ no-contact delivery — food runners drop the food outside the door, ring the bell, and go. To sign up, visit Manna’s website here.
3. Shop for or drive seniors to critical health appointments (healthy adults aged 21-64)
The Senior Connection is in great need of volunteers to drive seniors to critical or life-sustaining medical appointments during this COVID 19 crisis. Critical rides may include trips for dialysis, radiation, chemotherapy, substance use disorder, or counseling. Clients will sit in the back seat of the volunteer’s car, preferably on the passenger side and volunteers will not be entering client’s home or medical buildings. Also needed are volunteers to shop and pick up prescriptions for our county seniors. The volunteer will get a list and money and do the shopping. The senior will not accompany the volunteer to the store. The volunteer will leave the groceries at the senior’s front door and not be entering their home. To volunteer for either of these tasks, please fill out the online volunteer application, or for additional information, please email Susan Girard. Qualifications: Agreement to undergo a basic background check and 3-year MVA driver record check. Automobile insurance coverage which meets Maryland Insurance limits. Two personal references. Liability insurance and virtual new volunteer training are provided.
4. Develop friendship with people with developmental disabilities (family-friendly)
Partner with the Jubilee Association of Maryland to communicate and develop relationships with people with developmental disabilities through the use of various technologies. Volunteers will have weekly check ins, participate in virtual activities, offer plans or activities to do, teach a new skill, and/or play a game. Qualifications include: access to a phone, tablet, or computer; access to internet service; willingness to learn and have fun; and being friendly and outgoing. If interested in this opportunity, please send your contact information to: email@example.com.
5. Email/mail to reduce loneliness and social isolation (family-friendly)
Sharing Smiles connects adults to youth through two different programs—one connecting groups of adults and youth and the other connecting individuals. With each program, people can find pen pals, write joint stories, create poetry, share artwork, inspire with motivational quotes, and creatively share our individual strengths. Complete an on-line form, and you will receive an email confirmation with suggestions for your communication and content, plus additional details. All communication will be sent through a trained, third party ensuring the content is appropriate. You are truly sharing a smile, and can be as anonymous as you like.
Book Share offers thousands of books to people with reading disabilities. As an online volunteer you can either scan books to be added to the collection or edit books that have been scanned. Check out the opportunities here.
7. Provide technical expertise to non-profit organizations
If you have technical expertise and significant time to give, check out Catch A Fire for a wide range of online volunteer opportunities.