Calm after the storm…

This week following Hurricane Irene’s arrival we have been checking in on our programs and clients here in Montgomery County and our friends and family up and down the East Coast. With the dramatic news coverage and tense anticipation building up to the storm, it was impossible to take for granted our own homes – sturdy and secure – that we retreated to as the rain began.

On Saturday, August 27th, Silver Spring Patch helped spread the news that Interfaith Works’ Community Vision program was opening it’s doors to anyone seeking emergency shelter from the storm.

With the doors opening at noon, Community Vision served lunch to almost 30 people, and by the time nightfall came that number had grown to 49 individuals who spent the night with a safe, dry place to lay their heads. After breakfast and lunch were served on Sunday, the rain and wind gave way to beautiful sunshine, and Community Vision closed it’s doors by 3 PM.

Another piece of sunshine reached Community Vision today – a talent show was held for clients and staff of the day center. A chance to sing, dance, smile, and shed their cares, it was a much needed morale boost for everyone after a stressful weekend. In the days that come, we are continuing to keep our neighbors in our thoughts as they wait for power to be fully restored and flood waters to recede.

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Congregation Hosts Tea Party for the Ladies at Wilkins Avenue Women’s Shelter

We have many volunteer opportunities at Interfaith Works, from sorting donated clothing to preparing and serving meals. Many groups approach us with creative and thoughtful ideas for giving back to our neighbors in need. Janet Madison, a member of the Cedarbrook Community Church in Clarksburg, recently hosted a tea party with her congregation for the ladies at our Wilkins Avenue Women’s Shelter.

“We had a great time doing the tea – we have organized tea parties for the women of the church in the past and thought that it would be fun to do at Wilkins Avenue,” Janet shares. A group of women from Cedarbrook Church serve meals once a month at Wilkins Avenue, and looked forward to sharing a special event with the women at the shelter.

Eight ladies from the congregation met on a Saturday morning and made chicken salad on wheat bread, egg salad on flat bread, and English cucumber with dill and cream cheese on marbled rye sandwiches. They filled lemon tarts and baked chocolate cupcakes and caramel pecan cookies.  Hummus and crackers, chocolate truffles, a variety of tea, and sodas completed the menu.

The Cedarbrook ladies went to Wilkins Avenue to decorate the kitchen and serve tea for the women at the shelter. Congregation member Susan Dunn spoke about love and having faith, and presented a gift bag for every woman with each item representing a part in her talk.

Water – essential to life, refreshes

Kleenex – wipes away our tears

Lotion – soothes and heals the rough places

Sponges – wipes up messes and removes stains

Note pad and pencil with eraser – gives a fresh start and new paper on which to write our life, eraser for correcting mistakes

Candy – love is sweet

Janet recalls, “I think there were about 20 women that attended. They seemed to really enjoy themselves. It was very fun for those of us that played a part, and I highly recommend that other groups get involved. You get far more out of it than you put into it.”

If you are interested in volunteering or have a creative idea for a service activity, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Cindy Hall, at Learn more about our volunteer opportunities by visiting our website:

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2011 Montgomery Legislative & Budget Wrap-up

On Thursday, June 16th, Interfaith Works participated in the 2011 Legislative & Budget Wrap-up hosted by Nonprofit Montgomery. The event was held at the Silver Spring Civic Center and moderated by WUSA 9 TV’s Derek McGinty.

State Senator Brian Frosh, Delegate Brian Feldman and County Council Members George Leventhal and Hans Riemer spoke with more than 50 leaders of county nonprofits about budget and legislative issues from this past session, as well as issues that remain on the horizon. After each presentation, questions were raised by the audience and spanned a wide range of topics.

For instance, Rev. Dr. Rosetta Robinson, Director of Interfaith Works’ Emergency Assistance Program, asked a question about the staffing needs at county agencies, and how nonprofits like Interfaith Works can work together with county employees to ensure that vulnerable residents who need assistance do not fall through any cracks in the system.

Our new Executive Director Marie Henderson also addressed the crowd at the conclusion of the event, where she thanked our elected officials for their partnership with the nonprofit sector and emphasized our collective belief in forging a better community for all county residents.

In the coming months, Interfaith Works looks forward to continuing this dialogue in order to prepare for what is sure to be another challenging budget year.

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