Every now and then, it's nice to hear about the efforts of people who go the extra mile to do something good.
Just the other day, I talked with a woman who lives in Finksburg about her great-grandson and her granddaughter and how proud she was of their latest accomplishment.
The great-grandmother, Louise Laufer, told me that her great-grandson Jay Caples and her granddaughter Kathleen Theriault had recently completed the two-day Chesapeake Bay Bike Tour sponsored by the Maryland chapter of the American Lung Association.
Jay, a 14-year-old sophomore at Westminster High School, and 25-year-old Kathleen have asthma. It was their desire to participate in the tour and to collect pledges to help others like themselves.
"We went to Salisbury State College, where the bike tour began," said Ms. Theriault. "The first day we rode 70 miles through Salisbury and onto Assateague. The second day we went 38 miles, giving us a total of 108 miles for the two days."
The cousins were able to raise more than $700 -- Kathleen $478 and Jay $250 -- for the American Lung Association.
The start of school is several weeks away, but those students trying to accumulate or to plan some hours toward their community service this summer will be happy to know there are opportunities.
Many nonprofit agencies and organizations throughout the county are looking for people willing to give of their time.
My column for the next two weeks will feature several volunteer needs and the organizations seeking help. Depending upon your age, there are a variety of needs that volunteers can fulfill.
There are no monetary rewards, but the satisfaction you receive by giving freely of your time is worth its weight in gold.
This week, we will focus on opportunities with the Carroll County Arts Council and the Carroll County Farm Museum.
The Arts Council is always looking for people to help with its activities and programs throughout the year.
Hilary Hatfield, executive director of the Arts Council, said, "We are usually looking for kids at the high school level to do gallery sitting, reception work, phone polling, working at festivals and general gallery-related duties. These are tasks that could be performed on a weekly basis or project specific."
The Arts Council offers opportunities not only for students seeking community service credit, but also for students at the college level working to fill other types of graduation requirements.
"We also work with local colleges and their students who are looking to receive internship credit in arts administration," said Mrs. Hatfield. "These might include credit hours in the areas of marketing, public relations, film and video."
There are also some volunteer projects for middle and high school students at the Carroll County Farm Museum.
Carol Shook, volunteer coordinator for the Farm Museum, said students must make their interest known early to join a particular program.
"Right now we are starting a mailing list for kids who are interested in our Living History Club. When we have openings, we will take ages 12 years and up who can become apprentices learning a variety of 1880s heritage trades," Mrs. Shook said.
"The child can call us and tell us their interest area, and we will put them on our list for future classes in heritage arts."