Our Lady of Mercy Parish offers many opportunities to do outreach. Perhpas one of the following ministries will inspire you to use your unique interests and gifts to make our world a better place.
Share your talents with the assisted living residents who love to take part in exercise programs, arts & crafts, jewelry making, knitting and crocheting projects, and cooking. Perhaps you could share your love of puzzles, word games and other stimulating mental challenges. Teenagers with computer skills would make perfect tutors for residents wanting to learn about the technology and computer programs, and the folks are anxious to take part in Wii Bowling games in the TV room! SSL hours are available.
To volunteer, call the Byron House director at 301-469-9400.
SHADY GROVE PREGNANCY CENTER
Work with people from various faith traditions in the pro-life mission. Shady Grove Pregnancy Center in Gaithersburg offers assistance in a variety of ways to women experiencing problems due to unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Trained volunteer pregnancy counselors meet clients to assess their situation and examine options from a life-affirming position. Pregnancy testing and sonograms are also provided. The Material Assistance program helps families struggling financially to meet the basic needs of their infants and toddlers. The Parenting Program is designed to support and equip first time mothers and fathers with healthy ways to care for their newborn. Mentors are available to provide individual support. All programs are available in both English and Spanish, so bi-lingual speakers are most welcome. You can also serve by preparing mailings or organizing drives for baby clothes (up to 18 months), diapers, Similac formula (milk based), receiving blankets, fitted crib sheets, towels, or baby wipes. Volunteers often say that they receive so much more than they give in this ministry.
For more information call Development Coordinator Mary Anne Feyder at 301-963-6223 (Tues-Thurs); or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
POTOMAC COMMUNITY RESOURCES (PCR)
Become a part of a ministry which originated right here at Our Lady of Mercy! PCR provides 35 therapeutic recreational, social, and educational and respite programs for teens and adults with developmental disabilities and serves 400 members. PCR members are anxious to meet people who will share their interests and gifts with them in taking part in Art, Basketball, Music, Aerobics, Friday Night Social Club, Chorus, Communication Skills, and Respite Care programs. Like to plan parties? Take part in special PCR events to celebrate holidays, a day at the beach, and even Earth Day! PCR staff is present for all activities to help provide support to all volunteers. If you are fifteen years old or older and like to have fun while helping others enjoy a variety of enrichment experiences, this is a good ministry to consider. SSL hours are available.
For more information, visit www.pcr-inc.org or call Program Coordinator Melissa Wyman at 301 365-0561 or email her at email@example.com.
ACTION IN MONTGOMERY (AIM)
Do you want to join other congregational leaders to work and win on economic and social justice issues that affect our parish and county? AIM is a non-partisan alliance of 25 congregations and neighborhood organizations in Montgomery County whose goal is to develop local leadership to organize the people power to create a more just county. Working together with a broad range of Montgomery County residents, you can organize with other AIM church leaders to find concrete solutions to serious affordable housing issues, create after-school opportunities for families in need, stand together with our immigrant brothers and sisters, or other pressing issues identified by our parish. Visit AIM’s website at www.actioninmontgomery.org to learn about the specifics in latest AIM issues.
For more information about how to take part in AIM actions, call OLOM contact Judy Walser at 240-654-4240, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interfaith Works has a variety of opportunities to provide direct service to those in need. Formerly known as Community Ministry of Montgomery County, IFW is an interfaith coalition of 165 member and affiliated congregations working together to meet the needs of the poor and homeless in Montgomery County. Like to cook? Prepare and serve shelter meals at Sophia House and Community Based Shelters in Rockville. Enjoy clothes shopping? Become a clothes sorter or receptionist at the Interfaith Clothing Center in Rockville. Share your work experience by becoming a Friends in Action mentor for a vulnerable family, or volunteer in the Vocational Services Program. Just one volunteer can change a person’s life.
For more information visit www.iworksmc.org or contact IFW coordinator Mary Ann Sestili at 301-299-7369, or email her at MASestili275@verizon.net.
INTERFAITH WORKS CLOTHING BIN
OLOM’s clothing bin, which is emptied weekly, is located near the exit driveway closest to Bradley Boulevard Interfaith Works Clothing Store provides clothing/home goods free of charge to more than 17,000 low-income residents, allowing them to stretch their budgets and buy groceries, pay off utilities and housing costs. Donated clothes are picked up by The Clothing Company, which works with Interfaith Works by contributing both money and clothing goods to the Clothing Center according to the Center’s needs at the time.
MERCY HEALTH CLINIC
Another ministry created by Our Lady of Mercy parishioners in the late 1990s, Mercy Health Clinic is a non-sectarian, non-profit, community health care provider serving low-income adult residents of Montgomery County. Located in Gaithersburg, the Clinic relies on 60+ volunteer physicians and over 150 medical and support volunteers to keep MHC running and efficient! While serving a very diverse population, MHC is in need of bilingual volunteers, especially those who speak fluent Spanish. Medical volunteers include primary and specialty physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, all nurse and medical assistants. Bilingual volunteers are needed for interpreting for physicians and medical staff during clinic, front desk check-in staff to help with patient appointments and questions, and eligibility screeners to review new patients. Time commitments vary by position but can be as little as three hours/month. Become a part of the MHC family and meet some of the most grateful patients you will ever encounter, and witness firsthand the healthcare crisis that continues in this country and our community.
To learn more please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 240-773-0305.
ST. MARTIN’S FOOD PANTRY
St. Martin’s Food Pantry in Gaithersburg distributes non-perishable food items to needy families every Monday throughout the year. Our Lady of Mercy parishioners provide non-perishable foods for the pantry on the first and second Sundays of each month. If you have a large trunk, a station wagon or SUV, and a generous heart, you are needed to pick up the food donations from the wooden collection box near the chapel. Teens are also needed to help load the pickup vehicle after the 12:30 Mass. St. Martin’s has volunteers to help you unload your delivery of non-perishables. Drivers are needed for the first two Sundays of any month; take your pick of Sundays, and help deliver! One time or occasional drivers are welcome.
If you are able to join in this ministry of helping hungry families, call Kim Ford at 301-452-4759, or email her at email@example.com.
SCAMP (Summer Camp at Mercy Parish)
Adults and teens who are interested in working with children and teenagers would really enjoy being involved in this enriching activity. SCAMP is a five-day camp held at Our Lady of Mercy during the month of June for approximately 30 children from Archdiocese of Washington inner city parishes. SCAMP can always use help in taking pictures, doing arts and crafts, taking part in outdoor games, and helping in the kitchen during breakfast, lunch, and snack times. Adults, here’s a chance to use your leadership and creative skills in helping to plan the camp as well as taking part in the week’s activities. Teens, if you have completed ninth grade, you qualify to serve as counselors; earn community service hours while helping underprivileged children, participating in team building, making new friends, and having fun with the Scampers!
For more information, call Patty McGrath at 301-299-6350 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOME (So Others Might Eat)
If you feel called to volunteer in a ministry that provides direct service to the poor and homeless, serving at SOME may be just what you are looking for! Our Lady of Mercy parishioners have been helping with meals in SOME’s dining room on O Street in Northwest DC for over 30 years. OLOM prepares and delivers meals for 250 guests in SOME's dining room each 2nd Sunday of the month, as well as serving the noon meal that day. Casserole pans with a recipe are available for pick up in church the last week end of the month and can be brought to the Kennedy Room kitchen the Thursday or Friday before our scheduled meal. Drivers pick up the casseroles after the Saturday 9 am Mass and deliver them to SOME the day before serving. Up to 8 servers can sign up to help in the dining room on the 2nd Sunday of the month. For those who cannot prepare a meal, you can bring muffins, cookies, or other baked goods to the parish house prior to the second Sunday. If you would like to sign up to be on a serving team, call Rachel Ahmed at 202-904-4277 or email her at email@example.com; to find out other ways to help SOME, call Sister Pat at 301-365-1415 x 150 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the holiday season many families cannot afford to buy enough food for a Thanksgiving meal. Our Lady of Mercy has traditionally provided Thanksgiving dinner baskets to needy families in Assumption parish in Southeast Washington, the Multi-Cultural Center, and Scotland Community in Potomac. Signups for families occur a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving. On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, parishioners bring their baskets to OLOM between 8 and 9 AM. The baskets are then delivered to their respective destinations. This is a fun family project!
For more information call coordinator Lisa Tuchtan at 301-237-6929, or email her at Lisa.Tuchtan@amjll.com.
CHRISTMAS TOY DRIVE
Our Lady of Mercy provides Christmas gifts for the children in both Assumption parish in SE Washington and the Spanish Catholic Center. The decorated ornaments hung on the Christmas tree in the front entry of the Church contain the age and gender of the child receiving a gift. After the new, unwrapped toys and gift cards are dropped off, the gifts are stored until it is time for delivery to their new boys and girls. Help is needed to punch out the ornaments so that the OLOM school children can decorate them. Strong arms are also welcome to help store the gifts after the Masses. This is a great way to get into the giving spirit!
To learn more, call coordinator Nuni Fairbanks at 301-299-6508 or Isobel Hickey at 301-983-4729 and Megan Lynott at 301-365-5160.
WILKINS AVENUE WOMEN'S ASSESSMENT CENTER
If you enjoy planning and cooking meals, consider joining one of the Our Lady of Mercy teams which provide meals for the 35 women residents at this center in Rockville. This shelter serves as a safe emergency shelter for homeless women. OLOM volunteers have a long history of providing meals for one week during the year. After the assigned week is announced in the bulletin, teams of volunteers pick the day of the week they will be responsible for. The teams then choose between preparing and serving supper or supply provisions for breakfast or lunch the next day.
To learn more information about this fulfilling ministry or join a CBS team, call OLOM coordinator Mary Ann Sestili at 301-299-7369, or email her at MASestili275@verizon.net.
DOROTHY DAY PLACE DINNERS
If you want to do some sort of outreach service but have a limited schedule, Dorothy Day Place is an ideal opportunity for really busy people. Dorothy Day Place is a women’s transitional shelter in Rockville and needs meals for approximately 20 people. Our Lady of Mercy has committed to bringing dinner on the third Monday of each month. Your meal can be simple or elaborate: the residents love and appreciate home-cooked suppers! You can volunteer as often as you wish.
For more information, call coordinator Diane Blomquist at 301-365-0031.
GIFT OF PEACE HOUSE DINNERS
If you enjoy cooking, consider joining Our Lady of Mercy’s team of volunteers who provide dinner at Mother Teresa’s Gift of Peace House in Northeast Washington. Teams and individuals are set up on a voluntary schedule to prepare and deliver the Tuesday dinner throughout the year for the 60 homeless men and women residents. Can’t cook? You can help by organizing a drive for toiletries or providing clean sheets or towels for the residents.
For more information, call Libby Murphy, 301-922-4375 or email email@example.com.