October 2013 Newsletter

Hello So What Else Friends and Family,
 

We have tons of great volunteer opportunities coming up this fall! Please join us in paying it forward to our community. Here is a list of our upcoming events:
 
    Join us on October 26th for Montgomery County Community Service Day at 10 am until 2 pm at the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children. The center is located at 12301 Academy way Rockville md 20852. (louriecenter.org) Over 60 student and adult volunteers will be helping with landscaping, painting and upkeep work around the center, both indoors and outdoors. We are excited help and support an amazing organization that provides services for emotionally and developmentally delayed infants and toddlers. Please sign up to help a truly inspiring mission and center.
 
   Volunteers are needed on October 31st to help set up and facilitate the annual Halloween Parade at the Falls Grove Recreation Center. Volunteers are needed from 3PM to 6:30PM. The Center is located at 400 Casey Lane Rockville, MD 20850. Volunteers will be safely guiding the children around the neighborhood, passing out food and helping with set up and clean up assistance. Also on this day volunteers and participants are encouraged to bring canned foods and other donations.
 
   On November 16th So What Else is kicking off of our largest environmental cleanup yet! This will be the 1st of a series of 3 trash cleanups along the Potomac River. We will be starting at Hains Point at East Potomac Park, Washington DC, 20242 at 9AM and working our way up the river toward Georgetown. Our mission is to help clean up the trash that threatens our waterways. Please dress in appropriate clothing and wear closed toed shoes. This event is great for GROUP and FAMILY volunteering!
 
To sign up for one of our events please email sowhatelsehelps@gmail.com or visit our website www.sowhatelse.org.
 
What we’ve been up to:
 
   This past Sunday So What Else held a service learning project booth at the World of Montgomery Festival at Wheaton Mall. Kids were able to make arts and crafts to be donated to different organizations. Thanks to Panera we donated food, that otherwise would have been wasted, to hundreds of participants. Also thanks to Butlers Orchard for donating over 100 mini pumpkins for the event!
 
   So What Else participated at the YMCA Fall Festival last Saturday in Bethesda MD.
 
   We are currently running 18 after school programs this fall in Middle Schools, Elementary Schools and Community Centers around the Metropolitian Community. A tremendous thank you for all the supporters that attended our Gala and help to raise money that will fund our afterschool programs and our summer camps, all of our programs are free of charge to youth and families.
 
Please visit our website www.SoWhatElse.org for more news and information! Thanks again for your support.
 
-So What Else Team

September 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

      Thank you all for undertaking this journey with www.sowhatelse.org, even if in small part. We are approaching the most critical junction in our adventure to serve and help youth in our community. Below are a couple snapshots from our 6 weeks of free summer camp with youth from all over DC, Prince Georges, and Montgomery County.  Each location lasted two weeks and was jam packed with fun, creative and healthy activities.
 
      All youth deserve to have fun and experience opportunity that expands their minds. So What Else was able to meet these needs this summer with outcome driven programming and a youth devoted staff. We extend a BIG thanks to our fantastic board of directors who gave us the venue to provide high quality programming. At the bottom of the Newsletter is where you can find information on our upcoming Gala to support our charity and mission.
 
      This fall we are signed on for twenty after school time programs per week in the Washington Metropolitan area. Our programs are being offered in elementary schools, middle schools, community centers and youth centers focused on providing resources to under served youth. Our calendar is also full with fun and rewarding volunteer opportunities that provide a platform for community members and the kids we serve to take part in and give back to their neighborhoods.

Here is a list of our upcoming events:
 
September 17th – We are returning to Butlers Orchard (22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, MD 20876) for a blueberry gleaning from 9am to 1pm. The blueberries picked will be donated to our after school programs and underserved families throughout Montgomery County. The event is hosted again by FEED THE MIND MARYLAND collaboration between www.nourishnow.org and www.sowhatelse.org.
 
September 22nd – Volunteer at the Washington DC Green Festival! Become part of the Green team and directly contribute to the success of an event that promotes social justice and environmental responsibility in Washington DC and around the world. Volunteers are needed from 1PM to 6:15PM 8 to 10 volunteers. Location: 801 Mt. Vernon Place North West DC 20001
 
September 28th – Volunteer and join So What Else at the District of Columbia Building Industry Association’s 21st annual Community Improvement Day. Volunteers will be helping to fix up and beautify the Lederer Environmental Education Center in Ward 7, located at 4801 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave, NE. The event is from 7AM to 5PM. Please wear comfy clothes and shoes you can work it.

September 30th – Kick off day for our Excel Beyond the Bell after school programs located at schools around Montgomery County.

So What Else is also pleased to announce that our 3rd Annual Gala, sponsored by PLAN-IT PARTIES and Mamma Lucia’s, will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM at 10505 Rivers Bend Lane in Potomac, Maryland. Please continue to support So What Else by buying tickets to our 2013 Gala and encouraging others to do the same. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For sponsorship opportunities or tickets
Contact Bob Schless: at 301.980.6181 or rschless@sowhatelse.org.

August 2013 Newsletter

Hello So What Else Family,
 
We have had a busy month of back to back free summer camps provided to the youth of Silver Spring, PG County and the Kingman Boys and Girls Club. Our first week of camp at Broad Acres Elementary School went  great! We welcomed awesome new providers to the SWE family including Larry Mandelbaum, Eric Gabriel, and got incredible support from our team of interns: Noah, Saron, Andrea, Andrew, and Christian.  

 Our second week  of camp in PG County is wrapping up Friday August 2nd. So What Else went to 8 different community centers throughout the county and provided a day of camp filled with sports and fitness, healthy eating progams, art and creativity and service learning. On August 2nd 200 kids from PG County are coming together for an Olympic style event.
 
 A HUGE thanks to Nourish Now for all the food they have donated to our camps these past three weeks, we could not have done it without you. So What Else’s joint collaborative with Nourish Now, Feed the Mind MD, has provided food every day for the last three weeks of camp.  FeedthemindMD.org is gaining momentum and our website should be up and running very soon!
 
 In recent news a team from So What Else and Hearts & Homes Center for Youth did a volunteer project for the Jubilee Organization on July 25th. We had over 10 volunteers who did landscaping and beautification and housework for the Jubilee residents, who are disabled adults. We were happy to give back to the community with a group of youth. Thanks to our crew from Hearts & Homes for paying it forward!
 
 The last three weeks, Jesse Breslerman has taught “Integrative Wellness” at Hearts & Homes and White Oak Rec Center. Thanks for keeping it up with that amazing class!
 
 In conjunction with Eric Gabriel, So What Else has added another class for the fall called “Tapping Creativity”. It will be an arts class designed to get kids in touch with their creative side and allow them to embrace and recognize their own natural creativity, acquainting them with their own voice, ideas, and fostering self-acceptance. We are excited to pilot this program this coming fall.
 
Upcoming Events –
 
August 2nd
Bike to the Beach is this Friday. It is our 4th year as the biggest volunteer group of the event. There is still time to join us, if you want!
 
August 8th
We are looking for volunteers to join us for a fun day at Butler’s Orchard (22222 davis mill road germantown md 20876) to pick blueberries for Feed the Mind Maryland. We will begin at 9 AM to beat the heat and finish around 1 PM. Come join us for blueberry gleaning. The blueberries will be donated to our summer camp at the Kingman Boys and Girls Club.
 
September 28th
We need volunteers to join So What Else at the District of Columbia Building Industry Association’s 21st annual Community Improvement Day. Volunteers will be helping to fix up and beautify the Lederer Environmental Education Center in Ward 7, located at 4801 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave, NE. The event is from 7AM to 5PM. Please wear comfortable clothes you can work in.
 
 Please come out for an event and join us in continuing our mission to pay it forward to our community.

June 2013 Newsletter

Dear So What Else Family:
 
The following is a list of topics covered in this monthly update:
 
Volunteer Service Events
Past Events
News and Notes
 
 Breaking News: Adult Volunteers needed at AT&T Golf tournament, June 25th to June 30th!
 
Volunteer Service Events  
So What Else goods collection (Ongoing) – So What Else is in great need of donations to run our afterschool programs. We are currently collecting all sport balls and equipment for our Olympiad and Healthy Living Classes. We also need arts and craft supplies and musical instruments. We are holding an ongoing book drive for Haiti, so please donate all your old children’s books and adult books as well. We also are always collecting clothing, winter coats, bikes and goods donations to donate to shelters and other organizations. If you have donations to give please call Rachael Eichner at (301)758-3367, Dave Silbert at (240)602-0486 or Bob Schless at (301)980-6181 to set up a pickup or delivery.
 
Ongoing Every Thursday – Every Thursday from 2PM to 8PM Bikes for the World has open volunteering at their King Farm Barn location.  Volunteers are needed to help process bikes for shipping to third world countries in need. This is a fun, rewarding experience for bikers and people interested in bikes. The barns are located at the corner of Piccard and Grand Champion within the King Farm community.
 
June 25th to June 30th – Volunteers are needed to staff the AT&T Golf Tournament at the Congressional Country Club, 8500 River Road Bethesda MD, 20817 . Volunteers can choose from 2 shifts and may pick multiple days. The shifts are from 7AM to 2PM or 11AM to 6PM. Volunteers get lunch and may continue to watch aûthe golf and enjoy the tournament after their shifts are over.  
 
July 3rd – Please volunteer for the Stand Up! for Democracy in DC Coalition (FreeDC) DC Statehood Survey Campaign. A So What Else team will be going out on July 3rd and we would love for you to join us. However you can still volunteer the week of June 26th to June 30th as well as July 3rd through the 7th. Volunteers will ask visitors to the National Mall, during the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, about their views on Statehood and distribute info on full citizenship for DC residents.  It’s easy and training will be provided. The campaign starts June 26 – June 30 and July 3 – July 7th – so volunteer now by calling (202) 232-2500 and/or sending an email to StandUp_FreeDC@yahoo.com. Please give them your name, phone number, email and address and they will contact you right away!  
 
July 13th – So What Else will be sending a group of volunteers to help out at Bikes for the World prepare and load 3,000 bikes for shipment to countries in need. The warehouse is located at 1420 S Eads St., Arlington VA and volunteers are needed from 9AM to 2PM.
 
August 2nd -  Volunteers are needed to help with DC Bike to the Beach Ride on Friday August 2nd. Bikers will be riding from DC to Ocean City. When they reach the bay bridge a bus drives all the bikes over the bridge. Volunteers are needed at 6:45AM at the intersection of Route 50 and 404 which is 10 min past the bay bridge. Volunteers will be unloading the bikes from the busses and helping pass out snacks and refreshments to the bikers.
 
Summer Camp Time!
So What Else has 5 weeks of summer camp starting this July. We are looking for creative individuals to come out and lead a program/workshop for youth in need. Our camps highlight health and fitness, arts and culture and service learning. We would like to offer the kids a wide variety of creative learning experiences so if you have a great idea and the time to come out and work with us please contact Dave Silbert @ (240) 602- 0486 or Rachael Eichner at (301)758-3367.
 
Past Events
So What Else dropped off some clothes and a collection of large blankets to Stepping Stones in Rockville. This is part of our new initiative to deliver goods bi-annually. We will do our final 2013 Community Day the first Saturday in December.
 
We finished up our final two classes at Shady Grove. We’d like to thank Principal Edward Owusu for piloting our So What Else programs. The classes were a major success and we hope that the students get involved in our mission to serve the community.
 
So What Else formed a collaboration with the Ernest Community Development Corporation of Prince George’s County. Ernest provides food for Prince George’s residents in need and healthy food education and recommendations for their clients. So What Else and their president, Julia Offiung are going to join forces to create a gardening education initiative for Prince George’s County youth.
 
Thanks to Jesse Breslerman and Nourish Now for conducting two wellness classes (including dinner) at Hearts & Homes and White Oak Rec Center on Thursday night!
 
We had our final meeting with Excel Beyond the Bell to reflect on this year’s after school programming. So What Else scored high in its marks on quality and we would like to thank Lynn Sobolov and Emily Woodard for giving us this opportunity to work in Montgomery County!
 
News and Notes
Charities of the Month: The Reginald S Lourie Center in Rockville (for doing an amazing job of helping children with emotional disabilities)

May 2013 Newsletter

Dear So What Else Family:
 
The following is a list of topics covered in this monthly update:
 
Volunteer Service Events
Past Events
News and Notes
 
 Breaking News: Adult Volunteers needed at AT&T Golf tournament, June 25th to June 30th!
 
Volunteer Service Events
Ongoing Every Thursday – Every Thursday from 2PM to 8PM Bikes for the World has open volunteering at their King Farm Barn location.  Volunteers are needed to help process bikes for shipping to third world countries in need. This is a fun, rewarding experience for bikers and people interested in bikes. The barns are located at the corner of Piccard and Grand Champion within the King Farm community.
 
 May 26th – Join us in volunteering at Common Good City Farm to make a difference in the way people eat. Volunteers will help pick crops or whatever the CGCF staff need from 4:00-6:00pm. The farm is located on V Street NW, between 2nd and 4th Streets, NW. Common Good City Farm is an urban farm and education center that grows food for low-income residents in Washington, DC and provides educational opportunities for all people that help increase food security, improve health, and contribute to environmental sustainability.
 
June 2nd – Join us for our student board meeting at 10AM at One Preserve Parkway, Suite 150, Rockville MD. This will be a round table discussion about service opportunities and youth leadership roles within our organization. This is a chance for student social entrepreneurs to share their ventures and gain support they may need.
 
 June 7th, 8th and 9th – Come and help out at the Special Olympics 2013 Summer Games. Volunteers are needed to assist with the sporting events and a variety of other special events, including opening ceremony. Over 500 volunteers are needed this weekend so there are opportunities available for everyone! The games are located at Towson University, volunteer time depends on the day you are working. Sports experience is not required, all volunteers will be trained prior to event. Volunteers must be 16 years of age. To sign up please visit  www.surveymonkey.com/s/2013SGvolunteer.
 
June 8th -  Volunteers are needed at the “Taste of Potomac” fundraiser for Adoptions Together from 5PM to 10PM. The event will be held at the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center in Potomac located at 11810 Falls Road Potomac Md, 20854. Adoptions Together is committed to providing the highest quality child placement services and mental health services. Volunteers are needed to help out with registration, monitoring auction tables, bar assistants, check out and breakdown the event. Sponsors for the event are needed as well!
 
June 9th – Volunteer at the Taste of Wheaton from 8am to 6pm. 12 volunteers are needed from 8am to 2pm and then 8 volunteers from 2pm to 6pm. The event is located at the Wheaton Farmers Market at 2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902 between Georgia Ave and Veirs Mill Road.
 
June 14th – Come out and volunteer at the White Oak Community and Rec Center End of the Year Celebration! The celebration is from 2 pm to 7 pm at 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring MD. Volunteers are needed to help out at the events and activities. We are also looking for massage therapists, face painters or any other provider who would like to donate their time to the center.

June 25th to June 30th – Volunteers are needed to staff the AT&T Golf Tournament at the Congressional Country Club, 8500 River Road Bethesda MD, 20817 . Volunteers can choose from 2 shifts and may pick multiple days. The shifts are from 7AM to 2PM or 11AM to 6PM. Volunteers get lunch and may continue to watch the golf and enjoy the tournament after their shifts are over.  
 
Past Events
    
So What Else and the Kennedy High School Key Club collected over 150-200 books to be delivered to Haiti. Special thanks to Kennedy HS for collecting the books, and Olivia Deramus from LearnServe for helping get them delivered.
 
Special thanks to Murvell Delpino for being a great volunteer and putting on an arts and crafts class for elementary aged children at White Oak Rec Center this Friday 5/10.
 
This year as her Bat Mitzvah project, Jamie Lipson collected sporting goods to be donated to So What Else for our after school programs and classes. Thank you and congratulations, Jamie!
 
On May 11th, Daphne Clark attended a seminar at the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County. She received advice on how community based organizations should run meetings and structure their company in terms of dealing with giving everyone on the staff a voice.
 
News and Notes
Charities of the Month: Adoptions Together, Nourish now
 
Stars of the month: Daphne Clark