Service Spotlight

Share your service projects each month by completing this brief Google form and uploading four or five pictures to a Google folder.   Even if the service project is not the “highlight of the month,” MASC wants to share your work to help students around the state follow your lead! Complete the Google form to submit a description and photos of your project at any time throughout the year. Your SGA can also support service work initiated by other student groups and organizations, then complete the form to share the story of this collaboration with MASC!

 

 

February 2023 – Celebrating Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans to the advancement of the United States and the global community. It is an opportunity to honor the legacy of African Americans and to recognize the progress that has been made in advancing racial equality. As an individual, there are a number of ways to honor Black History Month, from supporting black-owned businesses to donating to local black non-profits and attending Black History Month events. 

Here are three ways YOU can celebrate Black History Month:  

1 – Support Black Owned Businesses  

One of the most impactful ways to honor Black History Month is to support black-owned businesses. In today’s world, the economic gap between black and white Americans is still significant, and one of the best ways to bridge this gap is to invest in businesses owned byAfrican Americans.  By patronizing black-owned businesses, individuals can show their support for African American-led initiatives and help to create a more equitable economic playing field. Not only is this a tangible way to honor Black History Month, but it also helps to ensure that African American businesses are able to stay afloat and continue to contribute to the economy.   

2 – Donating to local black nonprofits  

Individuals can honor Black History Month by donating to local black non-profits. Nonprofits are essential for creating and sustaining a vibrant African American community, offering services such as job training, education, housing assistance, and more. By donating to a black-run non-profit, individuals can show their support for African American initiatives and help to ensure that these organizations are able to continue their important work.  

3 – Attending Black History Month events  

Finally, individuals can attend Black History Month events. These events, which can range from community celebrations to lectures and film screenings, are a great way to learn more about African American history and culture while celebrating the achievements of African American individuals. By attending Black History Month events, individuals can honor the legacy of African Americans while also engaging in meaningful conversations about the progress that has been made and the work that still needs to be done in order to achieve racial equality.   

These are just a few ways to participate in Black History Month. As an individual, it is essential to use this month as an opportunity to recognize the progress that has been made in advancing racial equality and to show support for African American initiatives. 

January 2023 – New Year of Service

The New Year is a great time to form new habits. This new year make a resolution to give back to your community. Set goals for how you want to give back for the entire year. Through volunteering and donating, you can make an impact throughout the year. 

Here are three ways YOU can help out this new year: 

1  Donate Items from your HomeA common New Year’s Resolution is to organize. This new year find items around your house that you do not use anymore and are still in good condition. Examples can be clothes, books, and furniture. Donate these items to a local shelter, habitat for humanity, or a thrift store that helps the community. This is a great way to donate to others that may need these items.

2  Volunteer with a New OrganizationThis new year, find more ways to give back. Whether you already volunteer in your community or you are looking for ideas, partnering with an organization you have never worked with before is a great way to further your impact in the community. Do the research and think about the skills you already have, or that you want to develop in the new year, and find a way to use them to help the community. 

3  Plan to Serve Throughout the YearThis new year, make a plan to do service throughout the year. Whether that is helping with a project you have been interested in, making a goal to volunteer monthly, or leading a service project. Set goals for service so you can do what you can to volunteer in the community this year.

These are all great ideas you can do individually or collectively within your school or county’s SGAs. Use this month to set goals and form new habits for service throughout the year!

December 2022 – Giving back during the Holiday Season 

The holidays are about sharing, compassion, and showing your appreciation for others. Use this season of giving to help out those in your community. Many families in unfortunate situations can not afford to purchase their own holiday goods. Through volunteering and donating, you can improve the holiday season and transform your community into a happier place. Let’s make the holidays special for everyone!

Here are three ways YOU can help out during the holiday season: 

1 – Donate goods

This includes donating goods like canned food, deserts, etc… to your organization of choice. You can also seek to collect non-food-related items for donation. An example of this includes hats, scarves, gloves, etc… Other items you can collect would be toys/presents for children. Many organizations like Toys for Tots will collect these and donate them to a family in need. 

2 – Support Your Community

As you go gift shopping for your family and friends, consider who you are purchasing from. Are you mainly purchasing from larger businesses like Amazon or Walmart? If so, try switching it up and buy items from small businesses and local shops. This allows you to support members of your community by boosting the sales of small business owners. Also try to purchase from organizations that support good, charitable causes like helping endangered animals, supporting the homeless, or improving the living conditions of families in high-poverty areas.

3 – Spread the Cheer

Smile, be kind, and spread joy to those around you. Tell people how thankful you are for them and how important they are. Offer to pay for the food of someone behind you in a drive-through and tip slightly extra at restaurants. These are easy ways to make someone’s day and contribute to a happier environment. If you want to take the extra mile, you can make holiday cards and give them to people you appreciate like doctors, teachers, firefighters, etc… 

These are all great ideas you can do individually or collectively within your school’s/county’s SGA’s. Be sure to help out those in need this holiday season!

November 2022 – Honoring Veterans

Veterans Day is November 11, and it is a nationally observed holiday for honoring military veterans of the United States. This month is a great time to show veterans you appreciate them. A veteran is someone who previously served in the military. Below are ways YOU can honor veterans

1 – Make Care Packages or Cards

To show your appreciation, you can assemble care packages for them. Some ideas of what you can put inside are candies, snacks, gift cards, activities, a blanket, or other items.. You can also make cards for veterans. This is an easy way that everyone in your council can participate to show their appreciation.  If making packages of cards for a special group like veterans in a long-term care facility, call ahead to see how many veterans they have so you can ensure you make enough.

2 –  Organize a Veterans Day Ceremony or visit veterans

A common way to show appreciation to veterans on Veterans Day is to organize a ceremony. If your school already does a ceremony and the student council does not organize it, contact the club that does and see how you can help. They may want you to either donate something or volunteer to help. If your school does not have a ceremony, talk to your advisor and administration about inviting veterans to school for a small ceremony. You could even include other clubs like band/chorus or art classes to help out! Individually, on veterans day you could go to a veterans hospital or long-term care facility and visit veterans and thank them for their service. Make sure to check with the facility before going.

3 – Learn about veterans or support veteran organizations

You can show appreciation by learning about what veterans have done for this county. Talk with a veteran in your family, a family friend, or in your neighborhood about their service. You can also donate money to national or local veteran organizations. Some example organizations are the Wounded Warrior Project, a local American Legion, or Homes for Our Troops.

These are all great ideas you can do individually or collectively within your school or county student councils. Use this month to show veterans that you appreciate their service to our country!

October 2022 Supporting those with Terminal or Chronic Illnesses

During the month of October, MASC encourages school/regional student councils and individuals to support those with, and those who have loved ones with, terminal or chronic illnesses.  Some terminal and chronic illnesses are cancer, advanced heart disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many more. People with these illnesses often spend a lot of time in the hospital and often experience loneliness and stress.

Below are ways YOU can support those with terminal or chronic illnesses

1 – Hold a Fundraiser for a cause

Pick an illness you would like to support and pick an organization that collects funds to help. This could be your local hospice or a local organization that supports cancer patients. Or, it could be national organizations like the American Heart Association or The ALS Foundation for Life. So examples of fundraisers could be a hat or pajama day where everyone pays $1 to wear it, selling tee-shirts that support the cause, or possibly a Penny War.

2 – Showing Patients you Support Them

To show patients with a chronic or terminal illness that they are not alone you can spend time with them to show that you support them. You could go to a local hospital or clinic and play music for patients, play a game with them, do a craft with them, or make cards for people in hospitals or clinics. Make sure to check with the hospital or clinic about what they allow before you go.

3 – Raise Awareness

Raising awareness about an illness is a great way to show patients that you support them. You can wear the colors of the illness or a ribbon, or you can post on social media to show support for an illness. You can also attend a Relay for Life, color run, walk-a-thon, sports game, or any other event that is raising awareness for the cause. Lastly, you could learn more about the illness so you know what patients are going through.

These are all great ideas you can do individually or collectively within your school or county student councils. Some more ideas of national organizations are The American Cancer Society, The Alzheimer’s Association, or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Use this month to show those with chronic or terminal illnesses that you support them!

September 2022 – Appreciating our Frontline Workers

Frontline workers are those who provide a service to the general public. This includes health care workers, social workers, law enforcement, armed forces, etc. Their jobs are often laborious and occasionally dangerous, which is why it is so important we show our appreciation for our frontline workers. 

Below are three ways YOU can show support for our frontline workers:

1 – Donate goods

This includes donating edible goods like pre-packaged candies, sweets, meals, etc… to your organization of choice. You can also seek to collect highly needed items for donation. An example of this includes goods like hand sanitizer, mask, and gloves to donate to healthcare facilities. Be sure to call who you plan to donate to beforehand to ensure they will accept these goods.

2 – Assemble care packages

Similar to donating individual goods, you can assemble care packages to donate to certain organizations. Inside of these care packages you can put items like lip balms, lotions, hand sanitizers, assorted candies, disposable masks, hair ties, and protein bars.

3 – Just say thank you

Smile, be kind, and verbally tell them how much you appreciate them. This is an easy and free way to make someone’s day and effectively express your thanks. If you want to take the extra mile, you can make thank you cards to show your appreciation.
These are all great ideas you can do individually or collectively within your school’s/county’s SGA’s. Donations can be given to local fire stations, law enforcement offices, hospitals, doctor’s offices, or the Maryland Red Cross. Use this month to give thanks to those who make the world a better place, our frontline workers!