It matters to this one is a weekly Laurel Community Volunteer Examiner column that lists support groups, health/social service resources and special events in and around the Laurel, Maryland quad-county area. Most services and support groups are free. Some fund raising events require a fee or free-will donation. Call and confirm dates, times and locations. Contact phone numbers are listed for each service or group.
Living Well Fair, April 10, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Fifth annual community health fair sponsored by Howard County Muslim Foundation and Howard County General Hospital. For more information, call 410-465-7400. [Credit: David Siqueira | stock.xchng stock photos]
Lupus Support Groups
- Anne Arundel County, second Saturday every month, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Location: 45 McKinsey Road, Severna Park
- Howard County, first Wednesday every month, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Location: 11055 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
- Howard County, second Saturday every month, 1:00 p.m. Location: Owen Brown Community Center, 6800 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Schedule may change; call leader Jamila Allouane 301-646-3608 before attending.
For other locations, see online calendar.
Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health monthly Webinars. High Noon WebCafe is a monthly online workshop series which provides information and sources of support for family members of people with mental health issues. Conducted during lunch hour [noon to 1:00 p.m.], participants watch and listen to presentations via their computer. Expert presenters from state and national organizations. Registration limited to 20 per workshop. Pre-registration is required and telephone conference calls are also available. For more information or to register, contact Carol at [email protected] To view past workshops click HERE.
Memory Ball, April 24, 7:00 p.m. to midnight at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore. Benefits the Alzheimer’s Association. For information about corporate sponsorships, ticket sales or to serve on a planning committee, call 1-800-272-3900 or e-mail [email protected]
Mentor, Encourage, Lift and Love, Inc. offers a support group for male and female teen parents on the second Saturday every month. The group meets in the Laurel Presbyterian Church, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Refreshments and childcare provided.
Mission of Love Charities, Inc. is a “a multifaceted health and human services organization dedicated to helping the undeserved and misfortunate by providing free programs and services designed to meet their immediate and short-term needs. MOLC is committed to addressing basic human needs by equipping people with the tools for long-term stability and growth. Based in Prince George’s County (Maryland), MOLC’s clients are vulnerable, at-risk families and individuals from various communities in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia.” [Credit: MOLC web site.] For more information or assistance, call 301-333-4440 or e-mail [email protected]
MOMS Club of Laurel, first Thursday each month, 7:00 p.m. social time; 7:30 p.m. meeting. Make friends, discover new things and celebrate community. All moms welcome! Our Savior Lutheran Church, 13611 Laurel-Bowie Road [Rt 197], Laurel.
Moms, Inc., second Tuesday each month, 10:00 a.m. Offers networking opportunities and support for stay-at-home moms who want to have a successful home business. Fellowship Hall of Linden Linthicum United Methodist Church, 12101 Linden Linthicum Lane, Clarksville.
Narcotics Anonymous, every Tuesday, 7:15 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 7607 Old Sandy Spring Road, Laurel.
National Alliance on Mental Illness:
NAMI for Family & Friends of adults with mental illness meets on:
Fourth Monday of each month from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Group meets at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 10755 Scaggsville Road, Laurel 20723.
Second Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Group meets at the Harmony Hall Retirement Center, 6336 Cedar Lane, Columbia 21044.
NAMI for Spanish speaking Family & Friends of adults with mental illness meets on the fourth Friday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia, 21044.
NAMI Parents & Caregivers of Children & Teens with a mental illness:
Second Monday of each month, noon to 1:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, 9325 Presbyterian Circle, Columbia. Bring a lunch.
Last Wednesday of each month, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Faulkner Ridge Center, 10598 Marble Faun Ct, Columbia, MD 21044.
NAMI Connection group [for adults with mental illness] meets every Tuesday, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia , 21044.
NAMI Sunday Suppers — People have been gathering for our Sunday Suppers program since 1982. Sunday Suppers is a social gathering for adults living with mental illness. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month at the Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia, 21044. Meals are prepared by local churches and organizations. For transportation concerns please contact Harvey at 410-730-3852.
For more information about any of these groups, call 410-772-9300.
Nixle, a FREE, secure, electronic community information system, notifies Laurel residents about area traffic, weather, school closings and other emergency or unscheduled events in a timely manner via e-mail or text message to a cellphone. Register online.
North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center – Located in the Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center at 9150 All Saints Road, Laurel. Open Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Several social service organizations share the space for the benefit of the community. Groups represented include the Community Action Council, Howard County Department of Social Services, Domestic Violence Center, Foreign Born Information and Referral Network (FIRN), Family and Children Services, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Legal Aid, Howard County Workforce Development, WIC and Parents as Teachers Program. Programs currently available include the following:
- Financial Counseling, every Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Call 410-880-5917 for an appointment.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. a support group meets on a drop-in basis. Offered to Hispanic family members of people with a mental illnesss.
- Howard Community College advising and counseling on January 9, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Call the college [410-772-4140] to reserve a space or stop by.
- Women, Infant and Children’s Program for WIC clients, every Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Call 410-880-5917.
Online On the Homefront – The following organizations are for women who have family members either actively serving, or who are considering serving, in the military. Each web site has links to other organizations, related information, and access to photos, videos, blogs, forums and chat groups.
- Blue Star Mothers of Maryland has monthly meetings in Laurel for mothers supporting sons and daughters in all branches of the military (active duty, reserves, honorably discharged). 301-490-5358 or 410-978-2979.
- CafeMom – Blog for U.S. Air Force wives and moms
- Military Moms
- Navy For Moms
- Proud Army Moms
PATH of Howard County, third Mondays each month, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. – A community support organization for families raising children, serving Howard County, Maryland and the surrounding area. [Credit: PATH web site.] For meeting locations, call 410-992-9291 or E-mail [email protected]
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
All programs are FREE , however, donations to The Friends of Patuxent are greatly appreciated! Programs DO require advance reservations. Reservations are taken by calling 301-497-5887 . Please advise us of any special needs so that we may accommodate you. Visit us on the web: www.pwrc.usgs.gov/ for program updates and more info. [Credit: Amy Shoop, Patuxent Research Refuge, 1 December 2009]
Programs Held at the North Tract The North Tract is located on Rt. 198 between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Rt. 32.
Winter Walk, Sunday, Jan. 24th, 9-11:30am, All Ages. Join us for a winter walk through the forest to learn how to identify trees and seedheads. Discover what may be blooming this time of year! Field guides are recommended.
All programs are FREE, however, donations to The Friends of Patuxent are greatly appreciated! Programs DO require advance reservations. Reservations are taken by calling 301-497-5887. Please advise us of any special needs so that we may accommodate you. Visit us on the web: www.pwrc.usgs.gov/ [Credit: Amy Shoop, Patuxent Research Refuge, 29 December 2009]
Programs Held at the National Wildlife Visitor Center The Visitor Center is located on Powder Mill Road between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Rt. 197.
Winter Bird Walks, Wednesday, Feb. 10th and 24th, 8-10am, Ages 16+ Come in search of wintering birds on the refuge. Field guides and binoculars are recommended.
Wake up! Saturday, Feb. 13th, 10:30am-12pm, Ages 5-7 Come learn who is waking up from a long winters nap in the forest. Take a hike to discover who or what is stirring by looking for signs of animals and little green shoots.
Nature Tots: Owls Outside, Thursday, Feb. 18th, 10-11am & 2-3pm, Ages 3-4 Introduce your preschooler to wonderful world of owls through songs, stories and crafts in this interactive program. It’s a hoot!
Explore Your World, Sunday, Feb. 21st, 2-3pm, Ages 16+ Explore the transient nature of all living things with phenology journals and observations. Discover cycles such as flowering, breeding, and migration within your own special natural space.
Programs Held at the North Tract The North Tract is located on Rt. 198 between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Rt. 32.
Winter Trees & Seeds, Saturday, Feb. 6th, 1-3pm, All Ages Learn to identify trees and their weedy counterparts. Discover the winter roles trees and weeds play and search for any sign of spring!
Bird Walk, Sunday, Feb. 7th, 8:15-10:15am, All Ages Search for birds in several refuge habitats on this guided hike. Field guides and binoculars recommended.
Owl Prowl, Sunday, Feb. 7th, 5:30-7:00pm, Ages 5+ Explore the refuge at night while looking and listening for owls.
Signs of Spring, Sunday, Feb. 21st, 9-11:30am, All Ages Come and search for the first signs of spring sprouts such as skunk cabbage and spice bush on this guided walk. Field guides recommended.
The following workshops for Scouts are being offered during 2010 and will cover all requirements for the badges indicated. These workshops are free; however, donations are greatly appreciated and can be donated through the Friends of Patuxent. Space is limited, and registration is required by calling 301-497-5887. Registration will not be accepted until 9:15 AM one month prior to the date of the workshop (i.e., the workshop is on October 3rd, registration will not be accepted until 9:15am on September 3 rd). A maximum of 10 scouts will be accepted from each pack and/or troop. Participants must stay for the entire workshop. All workshops will be held at the National Wildlife Visitor Center, rain or shine. Please bring a bag lunch and dress for the weather. Please note that all workshops are subject to change or cancellation dependent upon availability of staff and/or low registration numbers.
Scout Workshops 2010 – [Credit: Amy Shoop, Patuxent Research Refuge, 15 December 2009]
Juniors Earth Connections – Become an ecologist in this hands-on workshop by looking closely at nature and discovering ways you can help the environment. Offered: Saturday, February 27th, 10am-4:30pm
Cadette and Seniors All About Birds – Spend the day learning about bird ecology, identification, migration, banding, and find out how you can help protect and provide habitat for birds in your area. Offered: Saturday, April 17th, 10am-4:30pm
Brownie Try-it Day! – Two workshops in one day just for Brownies! We will cover requirements for the Animals and Eco-Explorer Try-it’s. Sign up for one or both. Offered: Sunday, May 16th; Animals – 9:30am-12pm and Eco-Explorer- 1-3:30pm
Juniors Wildlife – Get up close and personal with wildlife and their habitat while learning ways to protect and conserve them in this exciting all day workshop. Offered: Sunday, October 3rd, 10am-4:30pm
Webelos Forester and Naturalist – Our most popular workshops are now together in a whole day event! This workshop will focus on a variety of topics including tree identification, knowing your venomous animals and poisonous plants, and much more. Offered: Saturday, June 5th, 10am-4:30pm and Saturday, September 25th, 10am-4:30pm
Peace for Pieces, quarterly luncheon and panel discussion about Autism. Open to parents of children with Autism and other related special needs. Play area for children. Sponsored by One World Center for Autism, Inc. and Partners for Success Parent Center of Prince George’s County Schools. To inquire about the next luncheon or RSVP, e-mail [email protected] For more information, click HERE.
Phelps Senior Services Center, 701 Montgomery Street, Laurel. For links to more information, calendar and downloadable newsletter, click HERE.
Blood Pressure Screening, second Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. to noon. Co-sponsored with Laurel Regional Hospital.
Diabetic Support Group, third Wednesday of each month, 10:00 a.m. for ages 55 and older. Program co-sponsored with the Prince George’s County Health Department. Call 301-883-3526.
Polar Bear Plunge, January 30 at Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis. Registration at 8:00 a.m. Plunges at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Special Olympics Maryland. Participate or attend and cheer on the volunteers from the Maryland State Police. According to the Special Olympics Maryland January 11 press release, “Wanna-be Plungers need only raise a minimum of $50 in ;pledges (or as a personal donation) in order to be a part of the fun. For that contribution, all participants receive a commemorative Plunge sweatshirt, lunch courtesy of new Plunge sponsor The Greene Turtle and a photo gift. Additional event premiums are available for those raising $500 and above.” To register, click HERE.
Prince George’s County Health Department – The Addictions & Mental Health Services’ Men’s Intensive Outpatient Program offers treatment for men with drug or alcohol addictions or mental health issues. Call 301-856-9400.
The Pro Bono Counseling Project operates throughout Maryland. It makes sure that “uninsured or under-insured, low-income families and individuals in need of mental health care are linked with licensed mental health professionals who provide care on a volunteer basis at no cost. PBCP, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation which began in 1991.” [Credit PBCP web site.] For more information, visit their web site. Contact them at 410-323-5800 or toll free 1-877-323-5800.
Quest For Authentic Manhood, every Tuesday, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. and Winning at Work and Home, every Monday, 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, 8940 Route 108, Suite D, Columbia. Small group discussions for men about what an authentic man is and how to win at home and work. For any man 18 and older. Contact Joe Pacifico at [email protected] or 301-776-0302 for more details and directions.
Rebuilding Together Howard County, April 24 and 25 throughout Howard County. Community sponsors and volunteers will help county “residents who have worked hard to own their own homes but whose failing health or fixed income does not allow them to cover the extraordinary costs of home repair.” [Credit: Rebuilding Together web site.] To become a sponsor, volunteer or for more information, click HERE.
For additional volunteer opportunities, check out the following organizations in the Laurel quad-county area:
- Anne Arundel
- Christmas in April*Prince George’s County
Relay For Life Howard County, June 4 – 5 at Hammond High School, Columbia. Contact Jason Copley at 410-781-4316 or visit online at www.howardrfl.com
Relay For Life Laurel, June 12 – 13 at McCullough Field, Laurel. For information, registration, donations, upcoming fundraising events and more, click HERE.
First RFL Team meeting is February 22 at the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department. Time to be announced later.
Relay For Life Laurel Fundraiser, ongoing. When you make a purchase at Gifts For One GIfts For All using the web address below, 30% of your purchase price will be donated to the Laurel Relay For Life Chapter. For a purchase over $30.00, receive a FREE gift card that can be redeemed to make an additional purchase to support this cause. To have 30% of the purchase price donated to this chapter, type LAUREL RFL as you go through the checkout at the Shop For A Cause page. Sim Young, Owner. Gifts For One Gifts For All Email: [email protected] Phone: (866) 991-GIFT (4438) Web site: www.giftsforonegiftsforall.com/
Russett Branch Library, in cooperation with AARP tax-aide volunteers, will be offering FREE Federal and State Tax Assistance to seniors and low-income residents. AARP membership not required. Volunteers available on Wednesdays beginning February 3 and continuing through April 14, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. No pre-registration for this drop-in service; however, residents are assisted on a first-come, first-served basis.
For other current program information call 301-725-2390 or visit their web site.
Savage Library – Call 410-880-5980 for information.
- Asian American Literature book club meets on third Mondays, 7:00 p.m.
- Mystery book club meets every Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
- Nonfiction book club meets on third Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m.
- Writers’ Circle – Second Mondays each month, 7:00 p.m. Share original writing with other aspiring authors for positive, mutual support and feedback. Next meeting is February 8. No registration required.
- Civil Law Clinic, third Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
Seniors Against Domestic Violence and Stalking, every Saturday, 11:00 a.m. Free support group. Call Barbara J. Givens at 301-277-3775 for location. For more information about the organization, read The Gazette article “Volunteers work to curtail abuse, stalking of seniors.”
Serenity Center, Talbot Springs Community Center, 9660 Basket Ring Road, Columbia. A group of people in recovery established the Center in 1993 as a place where members of various Twelve Step support groups could meet and provide support for each other. Meetings are hosted in both English and Spanish. There is space for four groups to meet simultaneously, along with a lounge and large kitchen. Some of the many groups that meet here are: Al-Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous.
Online calendar of meetings, dates and times.
General information and a map
Sheppard Pratt at Howard County, Way Station support groups. Location: 9030 Route 108, Suite A, Columbia. To register for any support groups listed below, call intake at 410-740-1901 to confirm insurance authorization, then press zero to set-up a pre-group interview with Denise Katz. For general info, call Denise at 410-740-1901, ext 7761.
Bi-Polar Group: Therapy, Support, Education. A new weekly group, for adult men and women, Wednesdays, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Women’s Therapy Group (ages 40 and above), every Thursday, 6:00 to 6:55 p.m. Discuss mood and anxiety issues. Also, focus on stress-management techniques, relationship and problem-solving skills.
Clutter and Hoarding with Mood Disorders Therapy and Support Group, Tuesdays, twice a month, Noon to 1:00 p.m. Do you feel like it’s just too much, but you’re afraid to let “it” go? Try our new group for people just like you who need support, patience and understanding. Lots of tips and most of all lots of camaraderie as we face life’s challenges together. For adult men and women.
Women’s Therapy Group (for ages 25-39), every Wednesday, 7:00 to 7:55 p.m. Discuss mood and anxiety issues. Also, focus on stress-management techniques and problem solving skills. Learn to improve relationships with social skills and communication techniques.
Society of Military Widows, fourth Sundays every month, brunch at Fort Meade’s Club Meade. New members welcome. Call Daisy Jackson, 410-730-6194 or e-mail [email protected]
Stop Smoking, free 8-week classes, Wednesdays, January 20 through March 10, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Howard County Health Department, 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia. Individual counseling also available. To register or for more information, call 410-313-6265.
Stop the Silence is an international non-profit organization dedicated to stopping child sexual abuse and to promoting healing for the victims and survivors. For information or to make an on donation.
Stress Care & Stress Relief workshop. March 2010 course forming now. This six-part workshop sponsored by NAMI Howard County presents the importance of self care and stress relief. “Through creative activities, as well as sharing with others, participants will learn skills to relax, gain insights and access personal power.” [Credit: NAMI Howard County brochure]. For details, click HERE. For scheduling information and to register, contact Vanita Leatherwood at 401-772-9300.
Take Pounds Off Sensibly [Chapter TOPS #MD 0192] meets every Monday, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pythias Hall, 620 Montgomery Street, Laurel. A membership fee funded weight-loss support group. Annual $26 fee covers mailing costs and $1.50 weekly fee covers meeting room rental. Call Cookie Darsey 301-498-9031.
The Teen Challenge Thrift Store sells gently-used and new quality clothes and household items. All proceeds benefit people at the Teen Challenge residential housing facility and also for Teen Challenge’s extended services programs. Store location: 13819 Baltimore Ave [U.S. Route 1, Laurel – across from Laurel Lakes shopping center].
TracFone Launches SafeLink Wireless to aid low-Income households in State.
Annapolis-based TracFone Wireless, a prepaid cell phone provider, has launched SafeLink Wireless — the first and only completely free offering of Lifeline — a U.S. government supported program that ensures telephone service is available and affordable for eligible low-income households.
The service will provide eligible low-income households a free cell phone, mobile access to emergency services and 64 free minutes of airtime, monthly, for one year. The cell phone offers in-demand features: voicemail, text, call waiting, international calling to more than 60 destinations and caller ID.
“For the over 378,000 households that qualify for Lifeline services in Maryland, SafeLink provides a modern necessity that could help them secure employment, communicate with their child-care provider, reach hospitals, fire departments, or police in the event of an emergency, and they would receive that help at absolutely no cost,” said Jose Fuentes, director of government relations for TracFone. “No other company is doing that.” [Credit: BizWeekly, 17 November 2009]
TriColumbia LIFEFest, April 25, sponsored by the Columbia Triathlon Association, Inc., Blossoms of Hope, The Ulman Cancer Fund and the Howard County Office of Tourism and Promotion. For detailed information about all the various events, visit online HERE.
Winter Concert, January 31, 5:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 7607 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel. The Senior Choir, JoyBells handbell choir, and Jubilation! Contemporary ensemble, as well as soloists and instrumentalists, will help celebrate Dr. Lynn Monkres twenty years of service as music director. The music will be both serious and not-so-serious, but the evening will be fun-centered. The concert is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be accepted for LARS (Laurel Advocacy and Referral Service). Reception will follow the concert.
Women’s Philanthropy event and The Power of the Purse purse auction, March 3, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Spear Center, General Growth Properties Building, 10275 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Sponsored by the Columbia Foundation and Women’s Giving Circle, all proceeds go to help women and girls in the area. Keynote speaker, Sondra Shaw-Hardy. Cost: $50, with $40 optional donation in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Columbia Foundation. For more information, call 410-730-7840. Register online HERE.