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Votes

Charities

July 22, 2002

<bt>Getting involved with a charity can be a way for a newcomer to meet neighbors and start getting involved in the community. The following are some of the many organizations in the area:

Potomac Community Resources

9200 Kentsdale Drive

Potomac, MD 20854

301-365-0561

Provides social and recreational programs for teens and adults with developmental disabilities, information and support to their caregivers and works collaboratively with other agencies and Montgomery County on issues related to serving this population. Activities take place evenings and weekends. Citizens throughout the area are welcome.

Rotary Club of Potomac

President: Dr. Roger Packard

301-762-1511

Meets every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at Normandie Farm Restaurant on Falls Road.

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service. See www.rotary.org.

Rotary Club of Potomac-Bethesda

President: Ahmet Yucel

301-564-5624

Meets every Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Hunters Inn Restaurant at River Road and Falls Road. Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service. See www.rotary.org.

Bethesda Cares

7728 Woodmont Avenue

Bethesda, MD 20814

301-907-9244

Fax: 301-652-1781

Web site: www.bethesdacares.com

Bethesda Cares serves the county's homeless and working poor, providing critical services. The organization coordinates more than 450 volunteers, maximizing human resources and energy to meet the needs of the homeless. Its mission is to respond with compassion and creativity to the needs of homeless persons in the community, and to help prevent eviction for Montgomery County residents.

Volunteers are needed in a variety of ways, such as helping someone learn to speak English as a second language; to help someone learn to read and write; to pass the GED; to learn how to use a computer; to set and clean up the dining room during meals; to help with fundraisers; or to help with the organization's quarterly newsletter.

The Children's Inn at NIH

7 West Drive

Bethesda, MD 20814

301-496-5672

The Children's Inn is a center for patients being treated at the National Institutes of Health to stay with their families. Often, families arrive late at night and do not have food for dinner or breakfast or may not have sufficient funds to purchase food. The "Help Yourself" pantry provides food for families 365 days a year.

The following items are needed: small individual boxes of cereal, individual serving-size containers of applesauce, puddings, Jell-O, fruit, Parmalat long-life reduced-fat milk, Cup of Noodles, small juice boxes; cans of soup, spaghetti, and vegetables, pasta and sauces, and baby food.

During their stay at the Children's Inn, each child is presented with a special mailbox treasure each day. "Thoughtful Treasure" encourages groups or individuals to make/donate 50 items for the children's mailboxes. Some project ideas are pencils, bookmarks, craft projects, picture frames, stickers, cards, letters, soft toys, felt finger/hand puppets, Beanie Babies, puzzle pins and small stuffed animals. Gift donations during the holidays are also appreciated.

For more information about the above programs at the NIH Children's Inn, contact Suzanne Oberlander at 301-496-5672.

United Community Ministries

114 W. Montgomery Avenue

Rockville, MD 20850

301-762- 8682

The Community Ministry of Montgomery County's mission is to "pursue social justice with an emphasis on identifying and meeting the needs of the poor by leading and engaging Montgomery County's faith communities in advocacy, education, and direct service." The agency provides shelter and emergency assistance to the homeless. The agency also gives Latinos an opportunity to learn English.

Mental Health Association

1000 Twinbrook Parkway

Rockville, MD 20851

301-424-0656

This organization sponsors a number of programs including "Bridges to PALs," which offers support to children and adolescents in foster care as well as other at-risk children through a one-on-one relationship with a caring, responsible mentor. Raising the self-esteem of Little Pals is the primary goal. The Mental Health Association also runs "Pets on Wheels," in which volunteers are joined with their friendly, obedient pets on regular visits to nursing homes, group homes and other facilities. An emergency mental health hotline, run by the county, can be reached at 301-738-2255.