Tessa Loazer, a junior at Glenelg High School, has collected close to 1,000 books for Sarah's House, a housing program at Fort Meade for up to 60 homeless families to help her earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. (Submitted photo / March 11, 2012)

Members of the Dayton 4-H Club kicked off 2012 by getting involved in two special service learning projects. The 4-H club met Jan. 26 at Linden Linthicum United Methodist Church. Each member brought fleece to make blankets and then the members tied the ends of their blanket.

At the end of the meeting, more than 20 blankets were collected and then taken to Johns Hopkins Children's Center. These blankets are snuggly companions for the children who are patients at the hospital.

At their Feb. 23 meeting, members participated in the annual Socks for Sundaes service project. Organized by the Ennis family, at this meeting, each member brings in a pair of socks in exchange for an ice cream sundae. The members enjoyed making their own sundaes with all the fixings – and families in need got some new socks in exchange. Several laundry baskets full of new socks were donated to My Brother's Keeper.

In early February, I shared news of Tessa Loazer, a Glenelg High School junior who is working on earning her Girl Scout Gold Star award. Tessa has been conducting a book drive to help revamp the children's library at Sarah's House at Fort Meade, a housing program for up to 60 homeless families.

Tessa has spent many Saturdays over the past six weeks delivering and shelving books at Sarah's House. Through the end of February, Glenwood Middle School and Dayton Oaks Elementary School helped to collect more than 700 books for Sarah's House. Dayton Oaks provided the majority of those books.

By early March, adding in donations from Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School, Tessa had managed to collect close to 1,000 books, exceeding the library shelf space at Sarah's House. Tessa worked with the shelter, along with Catholic Charities, to identify additional locations where the books can be delivered — receiving terrific interest from several other not for profit, co-op preschools and shelters.

Tessa has been amazed and overwhelmed by the generosity of so many western Howard County families as she works to complete this project. In addition to the many donors, Tessa would also like to extend a big thank you to each of the local school contacts who have helped to make this project such a success: Courtney Moore, media specialist at Glenwood Middle; Sue Dagley, media specialist at Dayton Oaks Elementary; and Jessica Metz, a second-grade teacher at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary.

The Glenelg High School Boosters Club will hold its annual Spring Gala March 24 at the Glenwood Community Center from 7 to 11 p.m. This year's theme is a Wine and Beer Tasting Extraordinaire, complements of Glenwood Wine and Spirits.

There will be more than 100 wines and 30 beers available for sampling. Putting on the Ritz will provide the catering. In addition, the evening will feature a silent auction, disc jockey and dancing and door prizes (including a Kindle).

Tickets are $50 per person. To purchase tickets for the event or for additional information, go to http://www.glenelgboosters.com.

Applications are now available for Journey 2012. Journey is a weeklong residential leadership development program for Howard County girls entering eighth and ninth grades this fall, sponsored by the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County.

Journey will run from June 24-30 at Washington College, in Chestertown. The cost of the camp is $600. Financial assistance is available. Requests for financial aid should be mailed by March 17. The application deadline is March 31. Applications are available in middle school guidance offices and online at http://www.womensgivingcircle.org and http://www.mlw.org.

For more information, email office@mlw.org.