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‘Fun with a Purpose’

New moms group has community service goal.

Rebecca Kahlenberg thinks of it as “fun with a larger purpose.” A mother with children in the Walt Whitman High School cluster, Kahlenberg wanted to teach her children the virtues of community service.

It was best, Kahlenberg decided, to demonstrate by example. She recently founded Moms Volunteering Experiences (MOVERS), a moms group with a bent toward community service projects.

There are 35 area moms who are in the group, and Kahlenberg welcomes new members. “The projects are geared toward moms, but there are many projects where kids are welcome,” Kahlenberg said.

The group’s initial projects included packing gift baskets for cancer patients through Books, Bears and Bonnets, and serving dinner at The Children’s Inn at NIH and the Community-Based Shelter in Rockville.

Carolyn Walsh, also a Whitman mom, joined the Community-Based Shelter project on April 9. The moms and several children cooked dinner and planted flowers for the shelter.

“It’s an outgrowth of our social groups,” Walsh said, and she thinks the group is good for those who may be juggling a variety of responsibilities. “I really doesn’t take a lot of time, and it really does make a difference.”

MOVERS has several projects lined up for the upcoming months. They will support a cheering station at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in May, and will help the annual festival for Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) in June.

Kahlenberg said she has gotten most of her project ideas through word of mouth, and she would like to hear from local organizations that need help from volunteers. She’d like to maintain a clip of about 15 projects per year, and keep them as diverse as possible.

“It kind of gives people a flavor of a wide number of volunteer opportunities,” Kahlenberg said.

<1b>— Alex Scofield