One way to beat the winter blues is by serving the less fortunate. Join others at the Finksburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library for Roar Like a Lion – An Afternoon of Community Service on Sunday, Jan. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Vicki Mahr, a member of the Roaring Run Lions Club, said the club is sponsoring this day of service in partnership with the library. A variety of hands-on activities and projects will be assembled, including creating cards for Veterans Administration hospitals, Operation Welcome Home, and birthday cards for foster kids and kids in the hospital; making hospital Busy Bags; Linus blankets, creating dog and cat toys for animal rescues; packing Care Bags; fleece scarves for the homeless; and First Responder Appreciation Bags that Mahr said will go to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the Westminster barracks of the Maryland State Police, and for firefighters and EMTs at local fire companies.
“We had this idea of, how do we get more people into service and open their eyes about what they can do for others?” Mahr said. “We also wanted to get the Roaring Run Lions Club name out into the community, so I thought we could do this.”
Mahr presented the idea to the club, listing ideas for each project area. Members stepped forward, volunteering to make a sample of each of the five projects and to lead their project on the day of the event, guiding others in the process.
“It will be a drop–in thing. You don’t have to register,” Mahr said. “Anyone of any age can drop by and work for whatever amount of time they have available.”
Mahr said get well cards made that day will go to veterans hospitals, but will also go into Busy Boxes for kids who are in the hospital. The club came up with the Busy Box idea on their own. Each box will be filled with age appropriate activities for kids in the hospital.
“It will have maybe a coloring book or a puzzle or a sticker book — something to take their mind off whatever they are in the hospital for, with activities they can do in the hospital. We have felt cutouts they can rearrange, too, nothing too complicated. The activities are things they can sit on their bed and do. We’ll reach out first to Carroll Hospital … and if they are not interested we will reach out to other hospitals in the greater area,” Mahr said of where the boxes will be distributed.
Mahr enthusiastically spoke of some of the get-well card designs she found online, including one with a person made from a Band-Aid with googly eyes.
According to Mahr, club member, Linda Auerbach reached out to the organization On Our Own to learn what they could do to help the homeless in our community and bags and scarves made will go to this organization.
Pieces will be precut for the scarves for the homeless and for dog toys that will go to animal rescues.
“The dog toys are made from old T-shirts that are cut into strips and braided. We are hoping this will be fun for people of all ages,” Mahr said. “There will be something there that everyone can do.”
Cards made on the day of service will also go to Operation Welcome Home, a nonprofit that Mahr is very familiar with. This charitable organization brings in people to meet and welcome home incoming servicemen at airports across the nation.
“My husband and I do this about once a month or every six weeks,” she said. “They give each military person coming in a gift bag with a bottle of water, snacks like crackers, candies or cookies and a handmade card that other organizations make. The cards welcome them home and thank them for their service.”
Mahr said she is excited about the January 28 event and she appreciates the Finksburg library working with them to make it happen.
“I’m like someone hosting their first party, nervously waiting and wondering if anyone will show up. My goal is to run out of supplies,” she said with a laugh. “Service hours will be available for anyone above fifth grade who needs them, but this is for adults too. Doing good or [performing] service is not just a kid thing, and it’s not just an adult thing. The Lions Club motto tells us we should serve our communities. We want to work with others to multiple the impact.”
The Finksburg branch library is located at 2265 Old Westminster Pike in Finksburg.
“In the middle of this cold winter, come to the library and feel the warmth of service and doing good,” Mahr said, encouraging all to come.
For more information, call Vicki Mahr at 410-292-5738.
Carroll Singers seek voices
Do you like to sing? Carroll Singers is looking for voices in all ranges to participate in their spring gospel concert — I Sing Because I’m Happy — which will be held on May 5 and 6 at the Westminster High School.
Rehearsals began on Jan. 16, but new singers are still being welcomed for several weeks. Rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the choral room at Westminster High School.
When the Carroll County Choral Society folded, former members wanted to keep their song alive, so Carroll Singers was formed in 2005. Member Glenn Patterson said they have 40-some members at this time, but they have had as many as 50 to 55 members in the past. He encourages those who love to sing to join them.
“We enjoy singing and want to provide that opportunity to others within the community,” Patterson said. “We are open to anyone high school age through adults, especially if you like to sing. That is the major purpose of our organization, but we do give a scholarship to a graduating high school senior each year and make gifts to nonprofits in the area as well.”
Westminster High School is located at 1225 Washington Road.
For more information call 410-900-4422 or 410-259-4738.
First Saturday Night Bluegrass
Zion United Methodist Church is running their First Saturday Night Bluegrass sessions at the church, 2716 Old Washington Road in Shipley, just outside of Westminster.
The series kicked off on the first Saturday in January with the bluegrass band, Fair Mountain. Look for the Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition to have toes tapping at the church on Saturday, Feb. 2.
All are invited to come out and enjoy the music, refreshments and fellowship. Admission is free but a free-will offering will be taken. Look for desserts and beverages for sale throughout the evening.
While adding this Feb. 2 date to your calendar you may want to note the March 3 band as well, the Hanover Express Bluegrass Band.
For more information call the church at 410-857-4444 or Barbara at 410-795-3585.