ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 11 to Oct. 10 as “Day to Serve” month in Maryland.
As part of the announcement, he encouraged all Maryland citizens to choose a day to participate in a volunteer activity. The Day to Serve initiative includes Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Virginia; and West Virginia, each of which tracks statistics such as number of volunteers, hours served and pounds of food donated in a friendly competition.
“The Day to Serve initiative is an excellent opportunity for Marylanders to join together in volunteer efforts, as well as highlight the incredible service and volunteerism that occurs year-round in our state,” Hogan said in a news release. “Our citizens take great pride in our shorelines and beaches, our communities and our state, and by working together, we can continue changing Maryland for the better.”
Hogan will kick off Day to Serve on Sept. 11 at the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training in Baltimore. Volunteers from the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, state agencies, and the local community will work alongside the homeless veterans who live at MCVET on various projects to help uplift and revitalize the center.
In an effort to promote responsible stewardship of the environment and keep Maryland’s shorelines and beaches litter-free, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives is organizing a statewide waterway cleanup event for Maryland’s waterways, which will take place Sept. 14 and 15. With events taking place in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City.
To further promote the spirit of volunteerism, Hogan has once again granted four hours of administrative leave for state employees to participate in a volunteer activity of their choice from Sept. 11 to Oct. 10. In addition to the many state employees who will be participating as individuals, several agencies plan to organize projects throughout the state to encourage employee participation.
“As our office travels to meet with communities around Maryland, we have seen firsthand the incredible impact volunteerism can have by addressing important issues and building lasting bonds,” Steve McAdams, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, said in the release.
New this year, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives announced the Day to Serve Challenge. Volunteers can participate by uploading pictures from their service activity with the hashtags #MDDTS2018 and #iServeMD to Facebook and/or Twitter and “tag” three individuals and/or organizations with an invitation to participate. Individual(s) and/or organization(s) with the most “likes” on their post by Oct. 20 will win a prize. Go togoci.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/08/2018-Day-to-Serve-Social-Media-Campaign.pdf to learn more about the challenge.
Past Day to Serve service events have included cleaning up parks, streams and beaches; creating care packages for military troops; and feeding the hungry. Marylanders looking for volunteer opportunities are encouraged to check the Day to Serve event map periodically — at www.daytoserve.org/map — as events will continue to be added. Volunteer service event organizers are requested to register events at http://www.daytoserve.org/addyourevent.
To learn more about Day to Serve, go to goci.maryland.gov/dts.