Nonprofits Benefit When Volunteers Use Their Professional Skills

As a foreign service officer, George Frederick lived in the Middle East, Africa and other exotic places during his 25-year career. His job was to observe and report what he saw, sometimes several times a day, whether it was groundbreaking or mundane. “You see a lot,” he said. Often he saw things that he wanted to fix, but as an observer he could not. So he volunteered in his off-duty time to help out in the community where he lived. …

Volunteers Feed the Soul at the Ronald McDonald House

There’s a special connection that comes with preparing meals for others too heartbroken to cook for themselves. Making those dinners with a group of volunteers brings an intimacy and humility that cannot be matched. And one of the best spots I know to do that is at the Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church, Va., a place that offers comfort, refuge and care for families whose children are battling life-threatening illnesses. Ending hunger could be a SNAP » Jarun Brown, 64, chops …

Books Program Exposes Kids to the Joy of Literacy

Some people take a fitness class before heading to work. Others jog a mile or two. Jennifer Kenealy, 45, gets her morning workout by hauling boxes of children’s books to schools, recreation centers, youth-focused nonprofit organizations and other sites. These are spots where children of low-income families congregate as part of Alexandria Book Shelf (ABS), a citywide literacy program run by the uber-creative DreamDog Foundation. It is 8 a.m. on a humid, 90-plus-degree morning as Kenealy and I meet in …

Join the 9/11 Celebration of Service and Help Lift Up Neighbors in Need

Washington is a city of monuments, but it’s also a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive style. Those of us who live and work in the D.C. area often take these emblems of our heritage for granted. We barely even see them as we go about our busy daily lives. I remember, after the Sept. 11 attacks 14 years ago, looking at our nation’s monuments with renewed appreciation, even with a sense of protectiveness. And when I moved …

Lights, Action … Volunteer at a Community Theater

Men in tuxedos and women in sparkly jackets mingle in the Green Room of the Little Theater of Alexandria (LTA) in Virginia. A pianist in the far corner plays show tunes on a baby grand piano while a small group sings “Hello, Dolly.” Other guests sip wine and nibble on artistically presented hors d’oeuvres. It’s opening night! The show: In the Heights. Jayn Rife only ushers on opening night now at the LTA and other theaters. “It’s just fun,” she …

Join the Celebration of Service in Honor of 9/11

In the chaos that followed the Sept. 11 attacks 14 years ago, some things came into exquisite focus. We suddenly knew what really mattered — our loved ones, our country, our heroes and the huge loss we had all just suffered. We came together, bonded by an urge to counteract an unspeakable act of violence with countless acts of kindness. Every year since, on Sept. 11, millions of volunteers across America recapture that spirit of unity by exercising the healing …