March 21, 2014 So What Else Newsblast

Hey yall! Hope all’s been well since the last newsblast–it’s been a while! We have lots of good news and new events to share with you today.

First, our Hains Point Clean-Up went excellent this Saturday! We had over 80 folks in spite of the rain and collected over 50 full bags of trash. We’d like to thank the many groups who helped make the event great–the National Park Service, Bike to the Beach, Keen Footwear, Nourish Now, the River Network, LearnServe, the Montgomery Avenue Women’s Center, and of course all of our wonderful staff and volunteers!

Coming up soonest is Autism Awareness Day, this Wednesday April 2. Please wear blue to raise awareness for autism and show support for Bike to the Beach. That evening, Bike to the Beach will be hosting a quick, casual training ride through DC, followed by a celebratory happy hour at Circa. Riders should convene at 6:30 at the Autism Speaks office at 1990 K St NW. A fun opportunity to support one of our great partner organizations and to do some SWE STAFF TEAM BUILDING!

Next up is the international Cultural Center’s Good Deeds Day, Thursday April 3 from 4pm to 6pm at Kehilat Shalom Synagogue in Montgomery Village (9915 Apple Ridge Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20886). SWE will be there directing craft activities for children and collecting in-kind donations for our summer programs! We will be looking for sporting equipment (any type of ball, air pumps for balls, cones, pinnies, jump ropes, hula hoops, etc.), art supplies (colored pencils, crayons, washable markers, tempera paint, safety scissors, gluesticks, construction paper, etc.), and crafts supplies (gimp, embroidery floss, glitter, fabric paint, pony beads, feathers, white kids’ tees for tie-dying, etc.), and any musical instruments. PLEASE HELP US WITH THE COLLECTION OF THESE ITEMS FOR OUR AREA YOUTH!!!

This Saturday April 5, SWE will be helping to staff a canned food drive organized by our partners at Nourish Now. The drive will take place from 12pm to 4pm outside the Giant located at 13060 Middlebrook Rd in Germantown. Please show your support for Nourish Now and contribute what you can! We are also still in need of 1-2 volunteers.
Next Monday, April 7 is SWE Baltimore’s kick-off event–a birthday party for the residents of the Sarah’s Hope shelter! A handful of volunteers provided by SWE will be serving food and leading activities for mothers and children at the shelter. For news on SWE Baltimore, please check out A big thanks to Patti Ross for organizing this event–for an intro to Patti and her work, visit
We recently signed on to help Many Languages One Voice with their “In My Own Words” dinner and art showcase in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Language Access Act. Three or four volunteers are needed to help with set up and break down of the event from 4:30 to 9:00 Thurs April 17 at the Pepco Edison Gallery (702 8th St NW). Dinner will be provided to volunteers. Attire is semi-formal.
Important update! The PG Community Foundation’s Spring Break Out youth Olympics event has changed locations from Anacostia Park in DC to Greenbelt Park at 6565 Greenbelt Road 20770. Please respond with confirmation of your availability for this event in light of changes.
Our volunteer of the month is Ben Dalley of who arrived bright and early to provide transportation and water to our Hains Point volunteers.
Our organization of the month is The Harvest Collective. In addition to consistently serving the community as providers for SWE’s conservation-oriented programs, they have planned two great events for the coming month–Earth Day team building for members of the SWE internal team, as well as another large-scale volunteer clean-up 4/27 at the West Hyattsville Metro!

Looking forward to all of these opportunities to serve our community! Hope you guys can make it out to a few of them. Thanks for reading!

SWE Opens Baltimore Operations

In January of 2014, Patti Ross was appointed to head operations of a Baltimore outpost under the So What Else umbrella. We kicked off our efforts in Baltimore by establishing an arrangement to host bimonthly birthday parties for the resident families of Sarah’s Hope Shelter at St. Vincent De Paul of Baltimore. We are excited to be able to extend to reach of our efforts and philosophy to the City of Baltimore!

March 12, 2014 So What Else Newsblast

A few NEW events to add to your calendars!

Coming up soonest, be sure to check your email for an invite to an outdoor Earth Day team building activity April 22!

Saturday April 26 from 10 am to 2 pm, we will be hosting a large-scale volunteer clean-up of the area surrounding the West Hyattsville Metro station. Thanks to Davey for coordinating the logistics of this project for us! We could use up to 100 volunteers, so spread the word!

Awesome news! We were just confirmed to participate in the At&T National golf tournament Tues June 24 to Sun June 29. As in past years, we will be responsible for staffing the same hole each day of the tournament. We have 142 volunteer slots to fill this year, with two daily shifts from 7 am to 2 pm and from 11 am to 6 pm. We need plenty of ADULT volunteers who can serve alcohol–an ideal opportunity to get corporate volunteers out!

Finally, be sure to look out for news on our annual SWE Gala coming up this fall! Details will be coming out shortly.

Thanks all for coming out to our provider meeting on Monday. Please remember to promote Hains Point to your students!

Those of you who are confirmed, we look forward to seeing you at the volunteer coordination meeting scheduled for tonight at 5.

This week we completed our STEM curriculum! Thanks to Brent Cash, Samantha Ross, Lisa Bartell and Rachael for their hard work putting it together! We are looking forward to having Lisa teach the program at MCPS beginning next school year.

March 7, 2014 So What Else Newsblast

We are excited to share an Earth Day service opportunity in collaboration with the Harvest Collective!

On April 22, we will be leading volunteers in planting gardens at multiple locations in the downtown Silver Spring area. From 12-2 we will be meeting with a group of 15-20 volunteers at the Silver Spring/Takoma Park Montgomery College to plant a garden!

We will also be planting at another nearby location (TBD) from 10-12. We are proud to announce that on Monday we successfully submitted a grant application for $25,000 to the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation!

We have two new additions to our advisory council to announce We brought Dave Winokur on board to help us with community outreach and promotion via social media. A big thanks to Dave for garnering over 100 likes on the SWE Facebook page! – We also brought on Catherine Lopez, a graduate student at Marymount University’s school of Health Promotion Management. She is interested in serving children, particularly in Latin America. In the past few weeks, Catherine has joined us to observe and help out with two of our middle school programs. She has agreed to serve as our Hispanic student liaison, and to help develop a stress management program to integrate into the extracurricular programs that we offer. We are grateful for her contributions!

Attached, please find our up-to-date calendar of service opportunities as well as our summer camp schedule. Come out and serve when you can, and be sure to spread the word to your friends!