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In honor of Global Hand Washing Day, Carroll Hospital Center Clinical Manager Christine Bish stopped by the Charles Carroll Elementary kindergarten story time to read a story about "glitterbugs," a fanciful way to talk about the germs that collect on little hands and fingers. Public health officials have long emphasized hand washing as one of the best ways to prevent illness, especially during cold and flu season. Even when it comes to some of the world's nastiest pathogens —colds, flu and even Ebola — hand washing can drastically reduce the possibility of becoming infected, local health officials said.

United Way of Central Maryland employees and one member of the nonprofit's Carroll County board volunteered at the Westminster Rescue Mission on Wednesday, part of United Way's Day of Action, a biannual event in which volunteers with the organization and from around the area perform service at nonprofits throughout the state. While rain hampered plans to do work outdoors at the mission, they were able help clean up a freezer that had sprung a leak and had hindered the organization's ability to feed its residents or the more than 500 households that it distributes food to each month.

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This holiday season will be the last for the Neighbors in Need holiday program of Human Services Programs Inc. The nonprofit announced that it will end the program — which pairs needy families with donors who "adopt" them and provide holiday food, clothing and gifts — after more than 30 years, citing reduced resources and increasing levels of need. HSP's other Neighbors in Need program, Neighbors in Need Year Round, will continue, however, helping clients with basic needs throughout the year in accordance with HSP's core mission. HSP officials are hoping another group or organization will pick up the program and take it into the future.

When Leigh Brownell first came to McDaniel College, she began spearheading an initiative to launch the school's first Rotaract Club, a club for adults ages 18 to 30 that is sponsored by local Rotary Clubs. The club organized by Brownell, who now is in her junior year, has recently been acknowledged and chartered by Rotary International, expanding the group and allowing its members to undertake new service projects. The McDaniel Rotaract Club has organized a winter-term trip to Ecuador via the Rotary Club, taking students who have experience with Spanish and child care. They've also helped with the local Rotary's Oktoberfest fundraising event and developed an unsung heroes program at the school to recognize underappreciated staff on campus.

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