Hundreds of volunteers enjoyed Saturday’s temperate weather as they spent the morning worked to improve several locations which aid the homeless in Montgomery County.
The Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC) of Montgomery County, a coalition of local business partners dedicated to promoting volunteer efforts and partnerships with nonprofit organizations in the county, sponsored Saturday’s efforts as the tenth installment of its “Workplace for Good” service project, in which employees of its member businesses participate in a new community service effort every month.
CVC volunteers worked at ten sites operated by the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH), including permanent housing facilities, an emergency shelter and two safe havens. Work consisted of landscaping, trimming trees and hedges, planting flowers and other beautification efforts.
According to one volunteer, a permanent housing facility in Silver Spring “looked like the Amazon jungle” before the CVC volunteers did their work.
“It’s been phenomenal to see the impact we’ve had on the community and to see businesses come together to support a great nonprofit like MCCH,” said Will Schroeder, a member of the CVC’s board of directors and an attorney at the law firm of Shulman Rogers, one of the principal sponsors of the day’s events. “The coolest part of this project for me is seeing a plan come together where we can help residents at these facilities relax and feel good about where they’re living.”
Schroeder visited several of the sites during the day, including MCCH’s veterans shelter, where he observed a resident sitting in the backyard.
“To me that’s the essence of what this day is about,” Schroeder said. “Making it possible for that individual, who has had so many setbacks in his life, to sit in his backyard on a beautiful October Saturday and enjoy the weather.”
Shulman Rogers was joined in sponsoring Saturday’s events by the accounting firm DeLeon and Stang, whose employees also volunteered their time at the shelters.
“It was a great event, it’s amazing what everybody did,” said Rich Stang of DeLeon and Stang, the incoming board president of CVC. “You give back to the community and it’s a big boon for your business because you get to network with people from different parts of the county.”
Stang said he was pleased to see growing interest in CVC, which has doubled in size in the last two years, and has planned several events for next year, including a seminar series by a nationally-known specialist on corporate volunteerism.
“It was an unbelievable outpouring of hard work and support from the business sector in Montgomery County for MCCH efforts to make sure that everybody in Montgomery County has a safe and affordable place to call home,” said MCCH executive director Susie Sinclair-Smith.
“It gave us an opportunity to meet and educate people about homelessness issues in Montgomery County, and about why permanent housing is so important.”
Sinclair-Smith said MCCH is looking forward to many future collaborations with the CVC.