Monday, March 31, 2014

Awesome Howard County

Last week, I had a few opportunities to learn more about Howard County's charitable side. It's not completely surprising as I've been lightly involved in the local scene for a couple of years.

I volunteer at our top-notch Howard County Library periodically & Luke & I joined the Friends of HCL. I try to help at Lil's school. Lil's work with Ballet Mobile affords me the opportunity to help the sick/injured/elderly communities around central Maryland. But I've decided to explore more in the recent year.

I attended the annual Women's Giving Circle wine tasting & learned about their Response Network, which connects people in need to the right community service for their particular need & assists with monetary aid as well.  They're focused on programs that benefit girls & women in Howard County.

On Friday, Jessie, part of the team of HoCoBlogs, invited me to attend the Association of Community Services Annual Audrey S. Robbins Awards courtesy of Coshi Productions. Speaking of Coshi, they produced lovely video packages of friends & beneficiaries who have worked with the winners of this year's awards. The videos provided a glimpse into the people who work so hard for our community as well as an introduction to the group. Combined with Dick Story's professional emcee voice, this was a well-done event.

NeighborRide is a service for seniors unable to drive. Howard County is such a car-dependent area so this matches up drivers to take people to doctor appointments, the grocery store, etc. That car dependence was on display as I arrived at Ten Oaks on this rainy day, I parked in the middle of the parking lanes.  I'm thinking about doing NeighborRide myself - it would also be good for my car cleaning habits! But I've had many foot surgeries on my right food & been unable to drive.

One can say many things about the potential self-congratulatory aspect of charity awards. But to me, it was two hours on 1 day out of 365 days to celebrate the contributions of our community members & give them a pat on the back.

I learned about how giving Howard County is. How many people serve our community for free or at reduced salaries to help the less fortunate around us. There were a LOT of people in that room. A lot of people who care.

The Atholton High School coordinator of the Head Start assistance program brought 7 or 8 of her high school volunteers. She had each of them hold up a card with a number as she announced their names. The first student had 300, the next 600 & so on to around 2,000. Those 8 students represented more than 2,000 of their Atholton classmates for the past 10 years. 

Just like she couldn't bring all of her students, this room couldn't begin to hold the true amount of people who volunteer in Howard County.


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