Feel your heart grow when you thank a volunteer [Maryland City]

Volunteering and donating in the community always provide a smile to someone: people in the organization you are helping, a student, a teacher, even yourself. The actions, no matter how big or small, deserve the recognition and thanks of those of us in the community. You see, volunteering and donations allow organizations to provide many more services to many more people. Think of the favorite holiday cartoon, "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," and how he learned that helping others made his "heart grow five times bigger that one day!" Our community's heart grows bigger every week and every year. 

The Maryland City Recreation Council thanks its numerous volunteers who help run the organization; coach soccer, football, basketball, baseball and cheerleading; paint and line fields; empty trash cans; paint and repair buildings; clean bathrooms; organize banquets. For those of you who don't know, MCRC is a 100 percent volunteer organization providing sports opportunities to more than 1,000 children a year. So the next time you see a coach on the field or someone cleaning up, please tell them thank you and if your heart feels the need to grow, offer to help them out with whatever they are doing.

The Laurel Moose Lodge 1504 has a group of motorcycle enthusiasts with extra heart. The group, known as the Laurel Moose Riders, said they formed a few years ago as a way "to support the lodge, raise money to benefit children's charities, pay homage to our nation's fallen heroes and enjoy time together." In early September, three members of the group, Chris Davis, Shane Cooper and Dale Coyle, rode their Harley-Davidson motorcycles into the parking lots of both Brock Bridge and Maryland City elementary schools ready to adopt both schools. The principals each received a $100 check as well as a Tommy Moose mascot and a Laurel Moose Riders placard. The organization vowed to continue support throughout the year with additional monetary donations and volunteer support for the schools' fundraising programs. 

Brock Bridge Elementary Principal John Noon acknowledged the Moose Riders' donation and looks forward to working with them, inviting them to bring their motorcycles out and visit with the students during special events like Kite Day and Field Day.

Maryland City Elementary Principal Karen Soneira welcomed the monetary donation and looks forward to the continued support during the school year. Maryland City plans to use the funds to purchase items for their weekend Backpack Buddies program, which currently supports 30 students by providing weekend meals to families in need. The principal also invites other community organizations or individuals to support this important program by donating food such as soup, macaroni and cheese, cheese and crackers and other food that is microwaveable. Cash donations will be used to purchase backpacks and additional food supplies for the growing program. Volunteers are also needed on a weekly basis to prepare the backpacks. To learn more about ways to support the Backpack Buddies program at Maryland City Elementary, please call the school at 301-725-4256.

Another volunteer organization in our area that each of us depends upon daily is the Maryland City Volunteer Fire Department. We each rely on the volunteer firefighters and EMTs being ready in an instant to help us out in any emergency. This weekend, take time out to stop by the firehouse and thank them all as they host their annual Open House on Sunday, Sept. 29 from noon to 4 p.m. at 3498 Fort Meade Road. Bring the family out for a fun afternoon. Check out the fire trucks and ambulance, enjoy some firehouse chow for lunch, tour the building and meet our volunteers. The kids can enjoy free pictures, face painting and more and moms and dads can learn how to best protect their families. You can even get information on how to become a volunteer yourself.

Plan another visit to the firehouse to support the monthly Longaberger and Vera Bradley bingo fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 5. Doors open at 5 p.m., with games starting at 7 p.m. Ticket prices start at $21 with discounts given for reservations. Along with the regular games, you also have the opportunity to participate in two jackpot games, two King Tutt pull tabs, two prize raffles, one 50/50 cash raffle, Mighty Balls and pull tabs for cash prizes. Reservations are accepted on the MCVFD Facebook page or by calling 301-483-4985.

As you can see, we have many volunteers among us. Take time to thank those giving of their time to make our community a better place to live. And continue to search for all of those willing to let their hearts grow five times larger by helping others.

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