Every March, we have our own brand of madness at Volunteer Maryland. It doesn’t involve brackets, Badgers or Blue Devils, but it does involve a wide array of interesting teams or, more accurately, organizations. Each year, round about March 20, Volunteer Maryland Partnership Applications are due. In the months, weeks and days leading up to that exciting due date, there are many correspondences, conversations and info sessions, all about how a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator might just be a game changer for a particular nonprofit, school or government agency.
Now that we have those applications in hand, speculative conversations about what we could accomplish have given way to substantive partnership negotiations. We already know that a number of our current partners, including Steppingstone Farm Museum in Havre de Grace, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County, Crossroads Community, Inc of Centreville, and Seeds 4 Success of Annapolis, will be back for second year of partnership that will allow us to build on the great work of the first year.
And over the next two months, Volunteer Maryland staff will be visiting new partnership applicants all over the State. In one day alone we’ll be in both Elkton and Elkridge! And before all is said and done, we’ll visit Leonardtown, Port Deposit, Salisbury, Jefferson, Woodbine, Reisterstown, Rockville, Westminster and many, many more Maryland communities.
On these visits, we’ll hear organizational origin stories about founders who saw community problems — hunger, homelessness, the achievement gap,environmental degradation, lack of transportation for seniors, lack of jobs for people with disabilities, and many more — and decided to take action. Not only that, but we get to plan an 11-month collaboration with these visionary community leaders, a collaboration that leads to deeper community engagement on all fronts, to individuals in need connecting with individuals who want to give.
Watch this space for stories about our new 2015-2016 partners — their mission, their volunteer opportunities, and our shared vision for volunteer engagement in their communities.